Q1: Ilika has just announced that it has shipped samples of its Stereax P180 batteries to a tier 1 supplier for hostile environment testing. Steve, what type of hostile environments will they be subjected to?
A1: The Stereax P180 batteries will be tested to demonstrate their performance at operating temperatures between minus 40 degrees C to 150 degrees C which are the extremes to which sensors could be exposed on vehicles. They will also be subjected to rapid temperature increases and very aggressive cycling as well as being exposed to high humidity. All of these conditions are outside the capabilities of conventional lithium-ion batteries and the high humidity is a challenge for other solid state batteries as they use free lithium which is highly reactive with moisture.
Q2: How long will the testing process take?
A2: Well, the batteries will be put through accelerated life cycling to determine their useful operating life. Our internal testing has rated these batteries to perform from 900 cycles when the batteries are being fully discharged up to about 5000 cycles when the application only demands partial discharging. So, on this accelerated basis, we expect the testing to completed in a few months.
Q3: What other potential applications are there for these type of batteries?
A3: As well as automotive and aerospace, the batteries size and performance make them ideal for applications in autonomous sensor devices in an industrial environment. For example, for health monitoring and predictive maintenance of hot machinery or, at the lower temperatures, to monitor infrastructure such as pipelines and bridges.
Ilika plc (LON:IKA) is a pioneer in materials innovation and has been inventing new materials for energy and electronics applications for over a decade. Global brands such as Rolls Royce and Toyota have long term collaborations with Ilika’s development teams.