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Energy storage — Calculating better batteries

ORNL has developed the SolidPAC tool to help researchers design energy-dense, long-lived and safe solid-state batteries. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Topic: Clean Energy

Scientists can speed the design of energy-dense solid-state batteries using a new tool created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Solid-State Battery Performance Analyzer and Calculator, or SolidPAC, can help researchers who have developed a promising new material but are unsure how to design a successful cell, said ORNL’s Ilias Belharouak. “It builds practicality into the search for better batteries,” he said.

Researchers exploring materials and architecture for safer, more efficient battery designs can access the publicly available SolidPAC tool to accelerate their work. Based on user input, the system analyzes factors such as materials chemistry, thickness and electron flows, feeding back design specifications and an energy density estimate, as outlined in a recent paper.

“SolidPAC will help researchers, industry and even educated laypersons tinker with different compositions and determine energy density,” said ORNL’s Marm Dixit. “The result is a toolkit that lets users configure battery designs for specific uses.”