Battery "Tesla": device, characteristics, application
The company "Tesla" is known, first of all, a breakthrough in the field of electric cars. The concept of environmentally friendly transport has long been mastered by the largest auto giants, but American engineers succeeded in bringing the idea closer to the real interests of the consumer. To a large extent, this was facilitated by the power supply systems, which were to completely replace the traditional internal combustion engine. And the line of batteries for electric Tesla Model S marked a new stage in the development of the segment.
The main motives for the development of fundamentally new batteries were caused by the tasks of increasing the performance of electric cars. Therefore, the basic line is focused on providing transport with an innovative energy supply system. In particular, flagship lithium-ion battery versions are used for Tesla Model S models.Their feature is the elimination of the so-called hybrid principle of battery operation, in which the alternate power supply of the machine from the battery pack and the internal combustion engine is allowed. The company aims to make the power supply of electric cars completely independent of traditional fuel.
However, developers are not limited to the power supply systems of motor vehicles. To date, several series have been formed with batteries intended for stationary residential and commercial use. And if the Tesla battery for a car is focused on supporting the functionality of the running gears and on-board electronics, then the models of energy storage batteries can be considered as universal and autonomous power supply sources. The capacity of these elements is sufficient for servicing, for example, home appliances. The concept of the accumulation of solar energy is also developing, but so far there is no talk of a wide distribution of such systems.
Batteries have a special structure and configuration of the location of active elements. First of all, power supplies are distinguished based on a lithium-ion base.Such elements have long been used as a power source for mobile devices and power tools, but for the first time the developers of the Tesla battery discovered the task of powering vehicles for them. For the car, a block is used consisting of 74 components that resemble finger batteries externally. The whole block is divided into several segments (from 6 to 16 depending on the version). Graphite acts as a positive electrode, and a whole group of chemical fillers, including aluminum oxide, cobalt and nickel, gives a negative charge.
With regard to integration into the design of the car, the battery pack is attached to the bottom. By the way, it is precisely this placement that provides electric vehicles with a reduced center of gravity and, as a result, optimal controllability. Directly fixation is carried out using complete brackets.
Since there are only analogs of similar solutions today, then, first of all, the idea may come about comparing a Tesla battery with traditional batteries. And in this sense, the logical question arises about the security, at least, of this method of placement.The task of providing protection is solved by a high-strength case, which encloses the Tesla battery. The device of each unit also provides for the presence of enclosing metal plates. Moreover, it is not the inner compartment itself that is isolated, but each segment separately. Add to this the presence of a plastic lining, which is specifically designed to eliminate the penetration of water under the case.
The most powerful version of the battery for the electric car "Tesla" includes about 7104 mini-batteries, has 210 cm in length, 15 cm in thickness and 150 cm in width. The voltage in the unit is 3.6 V. For comparison, the amount of energy generated by one section of the battery corresponds to the potential produced by the batteries of hundreds of portable computers. But the weight of the battery "Tesla" is quite impressive - about 540 kg.
What gives these characteristics of electric cars? According to specialists' calculations, a battery with a capacity of 85 kWh (average in the manufacturer’s lineup) allows you to drive about 400 km on a single charge. Again, for comparison, not so long ago, the largest automakers in the "green" segment fought for indicators of 250-300 km, which could be overcome without recharging. Impressive and speedy dynamics - 100 km / h recruited in just 4.4 seconds.
Of course, with such properties there will be a question about the durability of the battery, since high performance implies a corresponding wear rate of the active elements. Immediately it should be noted that the manufacturer gives an 8-year warranty on their batteries. Probably, the actual battery life "Tesla" will be similar, but so far even the first owners of electric cars can not confirm or deny this figure.
On the other hand, there are studies that show a moderate loss of battery power. On average, the unit loses 5% of the power capacity of 80 thousand km. There is another indicator indicating that the number of requests from users of electric cars "Tesla" for reasons of problems in the battery pack decreases as new versions become available.
The assessment of the capacitive indicator of the battery is not all clear. As the ruler developed, this characteristic went from 60 to 105 kWh, if you take the most notable versions. Accordingly, according to official data, the current peak battery capacity of the Tesla battery is about 100 kWh.However, according to the results of checking the first owners of electric cars with such equipment, it turned out that, for example, a modification for 85 kWh actually has a capacity of 77 kWh.
There are reverse examples in which excess volume is detected. Thus, the battery model per 100 kWh at a detailed study turned out to be endowed with a capacity of 102.4 kWh. Also revealed and inconsistencies in determining the number of active batteries. In particular, there are discrepancies in the estimates of the number of battery cells. Experts attribute this to the fact that the Tesla battery is constantly being upgraded, incorporating new improvements and improvements. The company itself notes that every year new versions of the unit undergo changes in architecture, electronic components and cooling systems. But in each case, the activity of engineers aims to improve the performance of the product.
As already mentioned, in parallel with the car battery line, Tesla also develops a segment of energy storage devices intended for domestic use. One of the latest and most striking developments in this segment was also the lithium-ion block PowerWall.It can be used as a permanent source of energy to cover certain energy tasks and as a backup unit with an autonomous generator function. This battery "Tesla" is presented in different versions, which differ in capacity. So, the most popular models are 7 and 10 kWh.
As for performance, the power potential is 3.3 kW at a voltage of 350-450 V and a current of 9 A. The mass of the unit is 100 kg, so you can forget about battery mobility. Although you should not dismiss the possibility of using the unit at the cottage in the seasonal time. You should not worry about the battery damage during transportation, as the developers pay special attention to the physical protection of the case. The only thing that can upset the newly-minted user of this Tesla product is the battery charging time, which is about 10-18 hours, depending on the version of the drive.
This system is based on the elements of PowerWall, but is intended for servicing enterprises. That is, we are talking about the commercial version of the energy storage, which is amenable to scaling and is able to provide high performance of the target object.Suffice it to say that the battery capacity is 100 kW, although this capacity is not the maximum. The developers have provided a flexible system for combining several units with the ability to provide from 500 kW to 10 MW.
Moreover, the PowerPack single batteries are also improving their performance. Not so long ago, the appearance of the second generation of the commercial Tesla battery, the performance characteristics reached 200 kW, and the efficiency 99%. This reserve of energy storage and technological properties differs.
Engineers to provide the possibility of expanding the volume used a new inverter type inverter. Thanks to this innovation, both the power and the capacity of the unit have increased. In the near future, the company plans to offer the concept of introducing PowerPack cells into the structure of Solar Roof auxiliary solar cells. This will give the opportunity to replenish the energy potential of the battery not through the main power supply lines, but due to free solar energy in continuous mode.
Where is the Tesla battery produced?
According to the manufacturer, the lithium-ion battery is manufactured by its own Gigafactory factory. Moreover, the assembly process itself is implemented in conjunction with the company Panasonic.By the way, the components for the battery segments are also supplied by a Japanese company. At the facilities of the Gigafactory, in particular, the newest series of power units for the third generation of electric cars Model is being produced. According to some calculations, the total volume of batteries produced at the maximum production cycle should be 35 GWh per year. For comparison, this volume takes up half of all the power produced in the world of batteries. 6500 employees of the enterprise will serve such a high potential, although in the future it is planned to create about 20 thousand more jobs.
It should be noted that the Tesla battery model S has a high degree of protection against hacking, which practically minimizes the risks of the appearance of counterfeit analogues on the market. In addition, the manufacturing process itself involves high-precision robotic units. Obviously, only corporations of the same level as Tesla are able to repeat technology today. However, interested firms do not need it, since they are engaged in their own developments in this direction.
The prices of Tesla batteries also change regularly, which is associated with cheaper production technologies and the release of all new components with higher performance. A few years ago, the battery for the Model S electric car could be purchased for $ 45,000. At the moment, the items cost $ 3,000-5,000. Similar price tags apply to PowerWall home appliances. But the most expensive is a commercial battery "Tesla", the price of which is $ 25,000. But this concerns only the first generation version.
Analogs from competitors
As already noted, "Tesla" is not a monopolist in the segment. There are quite a few similar offers on the market that may be less well known, but are quite competitive in their characteristics. Thus, an alternative to the PowerWall system is offered by the Korean firm LG, which developed the elements of Chem RESU. The unit with a capacity of 6.5 kWh is estimated at $ 4,000. Storage with a range of 6-23 kWh offers Sunverge. This product has the ability to monitor the charge and connect to solar panels. Its cost varies on average from $ 10,000 to $ 20,000. ElectrIQ offers home energy storage devices with a capacitance potential of 10 kWh. The unit costs $ 13,000, but this price also includes an inverter.
Other automotive manufacturers are also developing the innovative direction, which are even more closely tied to the market for the Tesla battery in various versions. Among the competitors of this link are especially noted Nissan and Mercedes. In the first case, the proposed line of batteries XStorage with a capacity of 4.2 kWh. The special features of these elements include a high degree of environmental safety, which fits into the requirements of the newest European car production standards. In turn, Mercedes produces small elements of 2.5 kWh, but they can be combined into more efficient units, the power of which reaches 20 kWh.
The manufacturer Tesla is undoubtedly the most popular developer of innovative power supply systems and ecological vehicles. But, opening new horizons in the world of technology, and this company is facing serious obstacles. In particular, electric cars Tesla Model S with lithium-ion batteries are regularly criticized by experts for not sufficiently high safety in terms of protection against fire batteries. Although the latest versions of the engineers have made significant improvements in this regard.
The problem of unavailability of batteries for the mass consumer also remains.And if this situation changes with household storage devices due to cheaper elements, then the idea of pairing units with solar panels cannot yet be successful in the market due to the high cost. Opportunities for the accumulation of free energy are the most promising and beneficial for users, but the purchase of such systems is beyond the reach of most interested consumers. The same applies to other areas in which the use of alternative energy sources is expected. The principle of their work gives a lot of advantages, but they are achieved only at the expense of sophisticated high-tech equipment.