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Bipolar Plate Lithium-Air Flow Cell

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234664D
Publication Date: 2014-Jan-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 89K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Bipolar Plate Lithium-Air Flow Cell

Background

Lithium-air batteries are a promising energy storage technology for automotive applications.  However, current lab-scale research cell designs, such as pouch and Swagelok® cells, are not suitable for automotive applications.  A suitable automotive cell design must satisfy three criteria:  (1) be amenable to high-volume/low-cost manufacturing and assembly; (2) minimize mass and volume while maximizing energy and power densities; and (3) operate efficiently on air.  Given the design criteria highlighted above, a bipolar plate cell design is a logical starting point for an automotive lithium-air cell. 

Solution/Description

A bipolar plate flow cell, shown in Figure 1, is proposed for automotive lithium-air batteries. This cell consists of:

•        An electric current collector in contact with a cathode that incorporates a flow field or channel for delivering air to the cathode.

•        An electrically insulating and ionic conductive film separator that is interposed between the cathode and anode.

•        A current collector in contact with the anode.

•        End plates to compress the cell components together.


When assembled, the electrode stack can be compressed by way of tightening bolts or straps. Multiple cells can be arranged in series to achieve the desired battery voltage, and the active area of the cells can be sized to achieve the desired current.  Besides satisfying the design criteria above, a bipolar plate cell design can yield higher current densities due to a more uniform current distribution and better utilization of active materials. In addition, the scalability of the bipolar plate cell design allows for a natural progression from research to full-size cells and from single cell to multi-cell stack testing.  The...