Batteries and Fuel Cells

Working closely with other National Labs, the government and industry, our cutting edge battery and energy storage research helps to build better, more energy-efficient rechargeable batteries.

Batteries and Fuel Cells

Renewable energy and electric cars are becoming more competitive with conventional technologies that make use of fossil fuels. For renewable technologies to more fully take their place in the marketplace, we need a new generation of rechargeable batteries. Our battery research is developing rechargeable battery technologies that are more efficient at generating and storing energy—so that batteries cost less, hold a charge longer, and last longer before needing replacement.

Rechargeable battery technology improvements are limited by the costs of component materials and the fundamental chemical and mechanical instabilities that impede vehicle battery development. We're working to advance battery technology, testing new materials and material synergies, improving ranges, acceleration, costs, lifetimes, and safety. We also work to identify and better understand cell performance and lifetime limitations—advancements that not only benefit electric vehicles but also enhance batteries for many other applications, such as mobile electronic devices.

Our research looks at a variety of components and materials within the battery cell that can change performance. The research involves:

  • Battery development and analysis
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Sophisticated diagnostics
  • Novel materials synthesis for cathodes, anodes and electrolytes.

Our goal is to provide the technologies for the successful commercialization of polymer-electrolyte and solid oxide fuel cells for automotive and stationary applications. Research capabilities include:

  • Catalysis, to optimize the transport of charged species to the catalysis site
  • Polymers, which need to function at high operating temperatures of polymer electrolytefuel cells
  • Modeling, to improve polymer-electrolyte fuel cell design
  • Diagnostics, using electrochemical, spectroscopic and microscopic methods.

Video

How Battery Innovation is Changing our World, featuring the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Light Source user facility, and Vince Battaglia, Leader, Energy Storage Group at Berkeley Lab.