Taking a closer look
Zap&Go was founded to develop a new class of energy storage device with considerable functional improvements over commercially available supercapacitors or ‘ultracapacitors’. This technology is referred to as the Carbon-Ion or C-Ion cell in contrast to Lithium-ion or Li-ion. Zap&Go has a development programme in hand to develop and perfect this technology.
The C-Ion cell will provide specific power characteristics between one and two orders of magnitude higher than a Li-ion cell. It is designed to be classified as non-flammable and non-hazardous for transport, allowing the product to be shipped easily and to comply with both current and future regulations.
Due to the method of energy storage, the cell has fewer moving parts electrochemically and so can withstand 100,000 charge/discharge cycles.
The C-Ion cell is being designed for manufacture using many of the technologies well known in Li-ion cell production. This will enable Zap&Go to quickly scale-up production and to use manufacturing capacity already in existence. This will allow new products to be made and extra functions to be added to existing products, for example:
- Improved energy storage allows the cell to be used as the principal method of energy storage in a far wider range of technologies than conventional supercapacitors.
- High specific power allows very fast charging (in seconds) through Zap&Go’s “Instant-charge” technology.
- High specific power enables the extension of Li-ion battery lifetimes and reduction in battery size through peak shaving in hybrid applications.
- Improved safety protects customers, allows easy shipping and opens up applications in hazardous areas.
- Long cycle life allows energy storage to be installed for the entire lifetime of the device, reducing design complexity by reducing or eliminating service intervals and saving money.
The commonly used electrochemical power sources such as batteries and electrical double layer capacitors (EDLC’s) or supercapacitors, have a liquid electrolyte and solid electrodes. The liquid electrolytes possess good ionic conductivity (>1mS/cm) but pose risks – electrolyte leakage, fire-hazards in the case of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells, limited cycle life and adverse environmental impacts. A significant proportion of the costs of large scale manufacturing these cells occurs in the specialised processes and equipment, as the liquids can be both air and moisture sensitive and the processes need to be optimised and strictly controlled.
By using solid electrolytes in combination with suitable solid electrodes, it is possible to overcome most of these issues. Enhanced safety, reliable operational performance, extended cycle life, significantly enhanced energy density, vastly improved power density and the possibility of fast charging have prompted renewed interest in solid state energy storage systems such as batteries and supercapacitors.
Zap&Go is developing solid state systems for electrochemical energy storage.
To date some of the barriers to widespread adoption of these systems have included:
(a) prohibitively high cost,
(b) volume change in electrodes,
(c) insufficient ionic conductivity of solid electrolytes at lower temperatures (20oC to -40oC),
(d) charge transfer resistance at electrode/electrolyte interface
(e) stability issues on cycling.
To overcome these challenges, Zap&Go is now focussing their research efforts in developing gel and all-solid state C-Ion cells. C-Ion have all of the advantages of EDLC’s, but are designed to operate at higher voltages through the use of their technologically advanced electrolytes. These electrolytes can operate in the 4.0V to 6.0V range, which has the potential to improve the energy density of the C-Ion cells.
Specifically, Zap&Go is creating polymer-inorganic composite electrolytes in the form of membranes. Such materials are tailored to contain interconnected nano-sized channels formed by the polymer network for easy ion migration. The polymer network weakly binds the ions to enable fast ion transport. The weak binding and fast ion transport is achieved by creating a network of vacant binding sites in the polymer.
Zap&Go leads the way in Ultra-Fast Charge technology that can replace slow charging lithium-ion batteries and charge devices and applications in less than 5 minutes.
Check out the latest video from Zap&Go and our new and exciting plans.
On the move, completely cordless or in state-of-the-art facilities installations, Zap&Go has developed significant intellectual property, patents, trademarks, registered designs and know-how in higher voltage supercapacitors.
Carbon-Ion technology in action
Zap&Go has harnessed Carbon-Ion technology and applied it to a wide range of markets and industries with exciting solutions.
Zap&Go portable charger fuels up in just 5 minutes Gizmag