Tuesday, December 13, 2016

INL, Colorado company announce deal on battery monitoring technology

Eric Dufek, head of Idaho National Laboratory's Energy Stoarge Group, at work in the Energy Systems Laboratory on University Boulevard. INL has been involved with electric vehicle battery research for the U.S. Department of Energy since the 1980s.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory has teamed with Dynexus Technology of Boulder, Colo., to provide the energy storage industry with first-of-a-kind technology for advanced battery health diagnostics.

Under an exclusive licensing agreement, Dynexus will commercialize INL’s embedded wideband impedance technology for analyzing and forecasting the health, aging and safety characteristics of advanced energy storage devices. The 2011 R&D 100 Award-winning Impedance Measurement Box (IMB) was invented by INL’s Energy Storage Group with support from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office.

Dynexus, headquartered in Colorado, develops products and services that connect advanced sensor-based enterprise data with decision makers to improve access to embedded intelligence. The wideband impedance technique developed at INL delivers in-depth diagnostic insights not previously available outside the battery research lab, providing tremendous value for safer and more cost-effective commercial implementation of advanced energy storage technologies.

“The whole purpose of the work is to understand the bounds of safety and performance as the battery ages,” said Eric Dufek, INL’s energy storage group lead. “This allows informed decisions about the state of health and battery life.”

The dependability of energy storage devices, mainly batteries, is becoming increasingly important to consumers, industry and the military. As battery end-user expectations increase and the consequences of battery failures become more pronounced, there is a pressing need for timely insights about battery health to ensure predictable performance, personal safety and reduction of waste. INL’s broad-spectrum impedance technology enables embedded continuous monitoring of a battery’s health and remaining life throughout the entire course of its life cycle.

From an environmental standpoint, the INL technology could help find new uses for EV batteries after their capacity fades beyond acceptable power and range performance, usually defined as below 80 percent of initial capacity.

“This technology could help assess the resale value of a used electric vehicle, or provide remaining life and safety insights for repurposing those batteries into secondary applications,” said Dynexus president and CEO, David Sorum. “Monitoring battery health and remaining life will help ensure the safety and reliability of repurposed batteries, and will strengthen their viability, insurability and marketability.”

Although embedded wideband impedance evolved from INL’s participation in automotive battery research and development, Dynexus Technology will explore commercial applications across a broad range of markets, from EVs to drones, from utility energy storage to telecommunications, and from medical devices to military systems. In all cases, the wideband impedance technique delivers operational data not previously available outside a laboratory setting.

“The technology has the potential to add value at all levels across the battery value chain,” said David Lung, Dynexus chief technology officer. “It’s like having an onboard “smart meter” for your electric vehicle battery, providing the owner and the dealership with immediate and easily accessible factual information about battery health throughout its useful life.”

Read more about the technology here:
https://factsheets.inl.gov/FactSheets/Impedance_Measurement_Box.pdf

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