Silicon Valley Startup Plans 3D-Printed Strong-State Battery Gigafactories


Silicon Valley startup Sakuú says that it has arrange a pilot facility for 3D-printed solid-state batteries — the primary on the earth. That method could be a giant twist within the battery world if commercially aggressive, each as a result of solid-state batteries have been little greater than a futurist’s desires up until now and since 3D printing has not been the strategy of desire for manufacturing batteries. So, till actual scale and industrial competitiveness is achieved, it is going to solely be pure for battery trade followers to method Sakuú with a full-sized serving to of skepticism.

That stated, Sakuú experiences that it did simply open “a state-of-the-art multi-faceted engineering hub for its battery platform printing initiatives in Silicon Valley” and claims that this hub will “function the gateway for at-scale battery printing gigafactories across the world.” It wouldn’t be the primary technological marvel to come back out of Silicon Valley.

Photograph courtesy of Sakuú

Whereas plans are pretty much as good as a contract written with disappearing ink within the tech world, a pilot battery manufacturing facility Sakuú opened a 12 months in the past is already producing 3D-printed solid-state batteries for actual prospects. The brand new “engineering hub” will take that to the subsequent stage and act as the corporate’s true headquarters. “The brand new facility will showcase two of Sakuu’s flagship merchandise. First, Sakuu’s revolutionary Kavian platform — the world’s first at-scale 3D printing platform able to quickly printing secure, ultra-high power density solid-state batteries in customized sizes and styles. Second, Sakuu’s non-battery manufacturing platforms able to producing medical gadgets, IoT sensors, and different cutting-edge electrical gadgets — produced in a extremely sustainable and environment friendly method.”

Photograph courtesy of Sakuú

Sakuú had raised $62 million by the autumn of final 12 months. “Utilizing its newfound funding, the corporate goals to fund the launch of its first-gen solid-state batteries (SSBs) in H2 2022, in addition to the long run launch of its second iteration battery 3D printer,” 3D Printing Trade writes. “The corporate seems to be on the monitor it has deliberate out. With twice the power density and 30% much less weight than present Li-ion cells, the agency’s second-gen batteries have potential residential and industrial functions, inside power storage, microreactors and electronics.” Sakuú can also be concentrating on use in electrical automobiles as nicely, however no clear partnerships have been famous at this level.

So far as scale, the younger firm goals to succeed in a battery manufacturing capability of 60 GWh by 2028. That’s nearly double the

“We’re in a fast progress part on account of robust demand for our forthcoming printed batteries,” stated Sean Sharif, VP of World Provide Chain and Logistics. “Our new facility paves the way in which for our first 3D printing platform gigafactory, dubbed Sakuu G-One. The power will permit our groups to fine-tune all elements of our battery printing applied sciences to allow swift deployment of our gigafactories.”

The brand new 79,000-square-foot engineering hub will likely be centered on bettering battery manufacturing and design — together with performing as residence to groups centered on engineering, materials science, and additive manufacturing. It’ll even be the place new gigafactory worker coaching and shopper product demos happen. “It’s estimated to deal with 115 staff by the primary quarter of 2023.”

“Sakuu is dedicated to constructing a particularly gifted workforce that wishes to be a part of our reinvention of sustainable power manufacturing,” commented Founder and CEO Robert Bagheri. “We’re on a mission to construct an organization and model that’s pushed by transformative merchandise that may depart an impactful legacy for societal and environmental change.”

On June 7, Sakuú introduced that “its first-generation non-printed lithium metallic battery has achieved steady 3C discharge fee below intensive testing.” CleanTechnica‘s Steve Hanley, masking the information on the time, wrote, “Based mostly on the corporate’s Kavian platform, the fast printed batteries will allow customizable, mass scale, and value efficient manufacturing of solid-state batteries whereas fixing basic challenges confronting battery producers immediately. Pattern cell deliveries are anticipated to ship to purchasers in 2023.”

Earlier within the 12 months, the corporate introduced a giant battery power density milestone. “Sakuu, developer of the world’s first 3D printed solid-state battery, immediately publicizes the benchmark energy-density achievement of 800 Wh/L in its first-generation non-printed lithium metallic battery. This marks a big milestone on Sakuu’s roadmap to totally 3D printable solid-state batteries able to larger than 1200 Wh/L by 2023. Till now, market-leading lithium-ion batteries, like these present in immediately’s top-selling electrical automobiles, have functioned in a variety of 500–700 Wh/L,” the San Jose firm introduced on March 15. “Sakuu battery’s Wh/L capabilities have elevated exponentially since improvement started in August of 2020, and with this newest benchmark take a look at accomplished in February 2022, is extra promising than main commercially obtainable batteries.” Does reaching 800 Wh/L imply the corporate can get to 1200 Wh/L? There’s no assure of that, but it surely sounds as if the corporate is making fast progress.

Chart courtesy of Sakuú

Is Sakuú a scorching new battery firm to look at? I wouldn’t be writing about it if I didn’t suppose so. They’re removed from the end line. Mass manufacturing of commercially aggressive batteries isn’t any simple feat, and solid-state batteries have been an elusive (but massively hyped) dream for greater than a decade. Throwing 3D printing in, a primary look on the information this week threw up quite a few yellow, pink, and orange flags. Nevertheless, the nearer I regarded, the extra intrigued I acquired. May Sakuú be the true deal?

Alongside the June information, CEO Bagheri stated, “So far as our strong state battery improvement, we’re making ready to unveil a brand new class of fast printed batteries manufactured at scale utilizing our additive manufacturing platform. The sustainability and provide chain implications of this pioneering improvement will likely be transformational.” With large claims, one should carry large proof. Not being certainly one of Sakuú’s purchasers, we are able to’t affirm the viability of Sakuú’s tech and plans. Nevertheless, real-world progress is being made and the preliminary plans have gotten actuality. If the CEO thinks what they’re doing is “transformational,” it’s on him and his workforce to carry that to life, however most transformational tech begins in somebody’s head, and far of it comes out of Silicon Valley, California.

“We’re on monitor to develop that ‘holy grail’ solid-state battery by 2023, and this first-generation benchmark is a validating accomplishment on the roadmap to considerably higher batteries,” Bagheri stated in March.


 

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