analysts have long warned that the leading lithium-ion battery
manufacturers have been taking risks in their headlong redesigns to obtain higher energy and power density
, lower cost per kWh and ironically better safety, for example from less-flammable and non-flammable electrolytes.
Dr Peter Harrop of IDTechEx says, "In industry you first stabilise your design before increasing production one hundredfold but the battery industry has been cutting corners. They are repeatedly changing anode, cathode, electrolyte and often format as well while massively scaling up. Electric vehicle, toy and phone battery fires are ongoing and although some incidents, such as burning aircraft and many hoverboards, are often blamed on poor battery management systems and even simply lack of a fuse, the circuitry would not be so critical if the cells were more trustworthy. There is no inherently safe lithium-ion cell or battery management system so the chemistry remains very, very important. We were not surprised by the Samsung
phone battery fires and recall and we said it was not the end. Now, on cue, iPhone 8s are splitting apart either on arrival or after several days of use. The battery inside the phone is swelling, bending the front of the phone and separating it from the body of the device. So far, there have not been any fires — just ruined phones."
The day before and the day after the event there are 30 Masterclasses
teaching these subjects and others and a deep look at the smart materials involved.