May 11, 2017 06:33 AM EDT
Apple bought new battery cell lifecycle testing machines which potentially could help develop batteries with longer life for devices made by the Cupertino-based tech giant. The machines were the same ones used by the battery research partner of the electric car maker Tesla. Jeff Dahn, the battery researcher, doubled the lifetime of Tesla batteries four years ahead of time using the machines.
Dahn has several inventions which led to the development of the li-ion cells, earlier than the target date. The li-ion is the preferred battery now for electric cars and personal electronics, 9TO5Mac reports. He leads a battery-research group at Dalhousie University that has a partnership with Tesla. The new battery cell lifecycle testing machines that Dahn invented are central to the group’s research on extending the battery life.
There are two researchers on the project with one of the researchers concentrating on the in-house battery cell research group for Tesla. The other one began a company to commercialize the new battery cell lifecycle testing machines through Novonix. One of Novonix’s clients is Apple, Dahn discloses.
Besides Apple, another client of Novonix is ATL in China which supplies the Cupertino-based tech giant batteries, Tech Portal reports. The high-precision charges systems of Novonix’s new battery cell lifecycle testing machines could measure the coulumbic efficiency of cells to less than 10 ppm precision and 50 ppm accuracy. On every channel, the systems have 2 Amp maximum current over 0-5 Volt range with integrate temperature sensing of 4-wire class A RTD.
Electrek reports that when Dahn spoke at the International Battery Seminar in March, he admits not understanding perfectly the chemistry behind battery degradation. However, he says the new battery cell lifecycle testing machines they developed enabled his group to test new chemistries more accurately and faster. It resulted in significant discoveries for cells’ longevity.
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