A New Lithium-Metal Battery Takes Flight in Drones

Katie Fehrenbacher for GreenTechMedia:  A Massachusetts-based startup says it’s doing something that no other company has been able to pull off: selling lithium-metal batteries commercially.

And they’re appearing first in drones.

SolidEnergy Systems, a spin-out from MIT, has developed a battery that it says has double the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries. That means that a battery from SolidEnergy Systems could be half the size of a standard lithium-ion battery and hold the same amount of energy, or it could be the same size as a lithium-ion battery and hold twice as much energy.

For drone makers, that means a drone could fly farther and longer on a single charge. For example, a drone surveying acres of crop land could fly for an hour instead of just 20 minutes with a standard battery.

The company’s battery can “double the radius” that a drone can fly, and “quadruple the area covered,” said SolidEnergy Systems CEO and founder Qichao Hu, who developed the technology at MIT in the lab of battery researcher Don Sadoway.  Full Article:

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