Sakti 3 Announces Significant Battery Breakthrough

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been quietly working on a high-energy-density battery that would use mass production platforms with “fully scalable equipment” that would take us to the next level of development.

Dr. Ann Marie Sakti with pilot-scale manufacturing equipment

Dr. Ann Marie Sastry with laboratory-scale equipment

Sakti announced this week that its new battery can store over 1,100 Watt hours per liter (Wh/l) in volumetric energy density, about two to four times that for conventional cells.  Scientific American reports 1,143 Wh/l.  According to Sakti’s release, “This translates to more than double the usage time in a wearable device like a smartwatch, from 3.5 hours to more than 9 hours. It also translates to almost double the range in an EV like the Tesla Model S, from 265 miles to 480 miles.”

Besides the performance improvement, Sakti claims to be able to produce the new, solid-state battery that would rely on a “full scale plant layout to avoid any high cost materials, equipment or processes.”  Professor Wei Lu from the University of Michigan is a battery expert knowledgeable about the process – and also having no financial or other interest in Sakti3. “It’s not either/or in cost and performance in batteries anymore – Sakti3 has both. They built a really high performance device on a really low cost platform – like building millions of high end processors in a factory that produces ordinary plastic wrap. It was quite a scientific feat.”

He vouches for the accuracy of the Sakti numbers.  “They have a very rigorous testing facility.  Their results are highly impressive and very accurate.”

Sakti 3 battery has solid electrolyte, can be manufactured on thin-film deposition equipment

Sakti 3 battery has solid electrolyte, can be manufactured on thin-film deposition equipment

Sakti3’s solid-state battery is produced with the same thin-film deposition process used to make flat panel displays and photovoltaic solar cells.  As noted in the blog last week, Applied Materials has been supplying that type of “large area” manufacturing equipment to an un-named enterprise for production of batteries that would fit that process.

Scientific American explains the process and construction of the cells: “Sakti3’s technology is solid-state battery produced with the same thin-film deposition process used to make flat panel displays and photovoltaic solar cells. The cell contains no liquid electrolyte; an “interlayer” acts as both the separator, which keeps the positive and negative electrodes from coming into contact, and the electrolyte, allowing desirable ion transfers to take place.”

Sakti 3 claims to have the safest cells ever demonstrated because of their all solid-state construction and cell materials.  Their video of a technician dropping hot solder onto an operating cell, with only moderate spikes when the molten metal hits the battery, is a large contrast to the fiery deconstruction of other cells.  The battery continues to discharge without drama.

The company concludes it announcement:”’Our target is to achieve mass production of cells at ~$100/kWh,’ said Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3. ‘Our key patents on the technology have been issued, we are up and running on larger tooling, and can now speed up processing. Our first market will be consumer electronics, and after that, we’ll move to other sectors.’”  Compared to the $238/kWh of a Tesla battery, $100 would make less expensive EVs a real possibility.  The increased energy density would expand the possibilities for electric aircraft.  Imagine some of the recently introduced trainers with three-hour cruising capabilities.

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