FLINT, Mich.--()--Kettering University is collaborating with Intech Energy Storage Corporation (IESC) of Toronto, Canada, to test the critical characteristics of, and experimentally fabricate, a newly designed aluminum-based battery that is more versatile, has a longer shelf life and is made of environmentally friendly, non-toxic, low cost components.
“It is our responsibility to examine the battery design and determine if IESC’s claims are accurate”
Dr. Matthew Sanders, professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and director of the Center of Culminating Undergraduate Experiences at Kettering, has received a funded research grant from IESC in the amount of $200,000 to perform validation testing on the batteries in an on-campus, multidisciplinary project. Sanders will collaborate with Dr. Alexandre Iarochenko, president of Intech Energy Storage Corporation, on the research.
“This multidisciplinary approach is one of the new options that we would like to establish for our students' Culminating Undergraduate Experiences (CUE),” said Sanders.
The aluminum battery validation project is the pilot for the multidisciplinary CUE. It will involve students and faculty from the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering departments.
IESC believes that the aluminum-based battery they have developed may achieve energy densities in excess of those of existing batteries, and that they have overcome the problems identified with existing aluminum batteries such as hydrogen corrosion, early dry out, high cost, low shelf life, positional restrictions and start-up time, according to Sanders.
“It is our responsibility to examine the battery design and determine if IESC’s claims are accurate,” said Sanders. “In essence, we need to determine how fast the battery uncharges. There is currently a lot of ambiguity, so we will need to identify any problems that need to be resolved prior to taking the product to market,” he explained.
The battery is made of aluminum and organic materials. “There are no harmful metals involved,” said Sanders, “it is a green battery.” Sanders described the battery design as layers of aluminum and other non-harmful metals and layers of a proprietary organic material. The more layers the stronger the battery, he said.
According to IESC, the battery concept can be used in every type of battery from a pacemaker to a truck or boat motor. The possible intended uses for the battery include land and sea transportation vehicles, multi-purpose usage such as laptops and cell phones as well as specialty products such as military equipment.
“We will apply standard research protocols and methodologies to examine the battery under different conditions to determine its durability,” said Sanders. Phase 1 of the project is estimated to take up to 12 months to complete, and includes building a prototype for testing. In the first set of tests, Kettering’s IME Department will assess the battery’s performance when exposed to extreme heat and cold.
Read more at: http://www.kettering.edu/news/green-battery-validation
About Kettering University
Kettering University is a nationally-ranked Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Business university that is a national leader in combining a rigorous academic environment with rich opportunities for experiential learning and cooperative education. Kettering focuses on the learning experience of the individual student. For more information, visit www.kettering.edu