Enerize intellectual property includes more than 20 US and international patents and patent applications in areas critical to the advancement of electrical energy production, storage, and manufacturing quality assurance.
Our growing portfolio includes patents and patent assignments in such technologies as non-destructive testing, solar cells, fuel cells, supercapacitors, nanotechnology, lithium batteries, and sensors to name a few. Selected patented or patent pending technologies are briefly described.
Nondestructive Quality Assurance for Lithium Batteries, Solar Cells, Supercapacitors and Fuel Cells
Measuring the Ionic Conductivity of Solid Electrolytes
Non-contact non-destructive methods and equipment for testing solid electrolyte components in batteries, fuel cells and other solid state devices have been developed and patented by Enerize. These technologies can provide automated 100% quality assurance testing for a variety of solid state energy generating and storage devices during the manufacturing process.
Determining the Conductivity of Powdered Materials as a Function of Bulk Density
Enerize develops non-destructive non-contact methods and equipment for accurately determining the conductivity of bulk powdered materials used in manufacturing of batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. This technology can provide quality control of component materials during synthesis as well as during their use in the manufacture of electrochemical energy devices.
Assuring Component Seal Integrity Using High Voltage Gas Discharge
Packaging seal integrity is an important quality parameter for devices such as flexible batteries, solar cells and supercapacitors. Enerize has developed a non-destructive high voltage gas discharge system that allows rapid and precise hermiticity determination in batteries, solar cells and other energy storage devices during and after the sealing step. In addition to detecting frank defects, the method provides a good indication of the longer term reliability of the system. This method is especially valuable for the quality assurance of lithium batteries, dye sensitized solar cells and supercapacitors where any defects in packaging seal integrity could lead to reduced service life.
Non-Contact Measurement of Liquid Electrolyte Conductivity
A non-contact method for determining electrolyte conductivity has been developed that provides rapid results and is applicable in the chemical industry for electrolyte production as well as in production of batteries and other devices. This technology will also find application in the oil and petrochemical industries for non-contact testing in corrosive environments.
Combined Eddy-Current and Capacitance Sensors for Determining Conductivity of Thin Films.
Non-destructive non-contact testing can be especially important for thin, flexible, and mechanically sensitive films, such as polymer electrolytes for batteries, fuel cell membranes, and thin films in sensors and other similar devices. The combined sensor method can be automated for testing the conductivity of polymer thin films and membranes during the manufacturing process.
Electromagnetic Non-Destructive Testing of Battery Electrodes Structure (Jelly Roll)
The capability to determine the quality of dry electrode structures prior to impregnation with expensive electrolyte can be important in the manufacture of batteries. This non-destructive, non-contact method can be fully automated and saves time and money during the manufacturing process.
Determination of Electrical Contact Quality/Ohmic Resistance Between the Current Collector and Electrode During Continuous Process Fabrication of Batteries and Supercapacitors
To a large extent, the efficiency and power of an electrochemical energy generation and storage devices depends on internal resistance, including the interface resistance between current collector and active electrode mass. This technology provides non-contact, non-destructive determination of the interface resistance and allows in-process optimization of product characteristics.
Non-Destructive Tests to Determine the Remaining Service Life of Electrochemical Energy Sources.
A good estimate of the remaining service life for rechargeable and primary batteries, supercapacitors, solar cells, and fuel cells can be obtained by this patented technology. Use of this method and equipment can greatly improve the reliability and service life of systems that depend on these energy storage devices.
Solar Cells and Batteries
Integral Thin-Film Photovoltaic Devices
Advances solar cell technology includes an Integral thin-film photovoltaic modules with vertical electron-hole junctions. This microelectronic technology can be used for creation of inexpensive and efficient solar cells and other devices that convert light energy into electricity. This thin-film photovoltaic design features mono-crystalline substrates that have maximal inter-junction area. The design allows a simplified manufacturing process, decreased use of semiconductor material, and improved conversion efficiency and reliability.
Advanced Encapsulation and Protective Coating Materials
Another solar cell related technology at Enerize is a family of advanced encapsulation and protective layer materials with proprietary additives that have been shown to substantially enhance efficiency of mono-crystalline photovoltaic devices. These materials can also be used to advantage with multi-crystalline, nano-crystalline and amorphous silicon photovoltaic systems.
New Materials for batteries
High efficient LiMn2O4 and modified natural graphite can provide high quality and low cost materials for Li-ion battery electrodes.
Solid inorganic electrolyte with a good conductivity characteristics at ambient temperatures are valuable materials for use in solid state micro batteries.
A new family of high temperature proton-conducting polymer membranes has been developed by scientists at Enerize. These new ionomeric materials exhibit excellent moisture retention and conductivity. In fuel cell applications they are stable at substantially higher operating temperatures than perfluorosulfonate materials such as Nafion®. With lower material and production costs and superior performance, the new Enerize ionomers could well become a replacement for expensive Nafion®, thus reducing the overall cost of fuel cells.