Thursday, January 16, 2014

A short update for 2014 . . .

S/Cap RFID Tag Developments

While sales for S/Cap RFID tag products were disappointing for calendar year 2013, Enable IPC announced it is in discussions with overseas partners to produce combined GPS and RFID tags. A growing trend for the RFID industry, combining complementary tracking technologies such as RFID and GPS can provide a company unprecedented levels of supply chain efficiency. A combined GPS and RFID system can add the global tracking benefits of GPS to the locally accurate and detailed tracking provided by RFID. For more information on the benefits of combining RFID and GPS please visit check out our two-part series on combining the two technologies.

Great Results from Nanotech Coated Li-Ion Batteries

Enable IPC subsidiary, SolRayo, Inc., continues its National Science Foundation Phase II grant research on commercializing the application of its nanoparticle solution to lithium-ion battery cathodes. The company has found remarkable results. Applying the nanoparticle solution to lithium-ion battery cathodes decreases the degradation of the cathode materials allowing more powerful cathode materials to be used - previously these materials would degenerate too quickly for efficient use. These materials have particular benefits when used in high temperature or high power applications where the increased stress and degradation would normally be more apparent.

A C-rate (also called a charge rate) is the rate at which a battery discharges/charges. A C-rate of 1C means, theoretically, that the battery charges in 1 hour while 2C means 30 minutes. The company has also found that using its nanoparticle solution to provide superior materials for lithium-ion cathodes also yields longer life at higher C rates.

The company tested commercial cathode materials (i.e., cathode materials -- supplied by a company specializing in battery material supply -- which are currently used in commercial batteries) at 1C and 2C rates at elevated temperatures.  While the material failed quickly at a 2C rate without our nanoparticle coating, it remained fairly steady with our coating.  The figure below shows (in half cell configurations) an average of cells with and without the coating at 50 degrees C at a 2C rate.   These are harsh conditions where many batteries will fail.  Yet, our nanoparticle coating allows the use of a safer cathode in harsh conditions.  Higher C rates and varying temperature continue to be evaluated and characterized, as are configurations with high powered anodes currently used commercially.

2014 . . .

We expect 2014 to be the year we begin selling our nanotech product on a commercial level -- under a license agreement or as a service to cathode suppliers, or both.  We believe this will open the door to some major applications in the energy storage industry.