Societal commitment to renewable energy and environmental sustainability has nearly reached consensus. As such, investment in new technology is growing to meet those demands. Policy initiatives such as the Energy Act of 2020, and an influx of capital - from sources like Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Credit Suisse to the tune of ~$755B USD in 2021 - are helping companies build a future where we no longer depend upon non-renewable energy sources.
Not surprisingly, software companies like Alchemy have joined in to facilitate the process across a spectrum of innovative technologies.
Since commercialization of the Li-ion battery almost 30 years ago, standards of performance and cost have continued to improve. But as the technology reaches its theoretical limit of energy density, the verdict is still out as to which new technology will achieve higher energy density and power with reduced cost, while utilizing readily available materials at scale. Alchemy interviewed the CTO of a vertically integrated solid state battery company, Blue Current, on this very topic not too long ago: The (Ubiquitous) Role of Novel Battery Technology in Our Everyday Lives.
For many, standing in the way are a host of challenges like consistent quality, performance, and time-efficient testing.
Cycling, cell characterization, and material tests performed on hundreds, and sometimes thousands of samples under a vast array of conditions, are generating massive amounts of data that all weigh in on the performance and safety of the end product.
A problem often seen is manual entry of that data from an instrument into a system of record, like a spreadsheet, document, or ELN. Manually post-processing these records is a significant drag on the development process, and leaves room for human error and significantly reduced lab capacity.
Furthermore, when the information is dispersed, non-standardized, and disconnected - the task of finding insights becomes tedious and difficult for scientists, engineers, and managers alike. Compounded by having large numbers of projects, limited corporate resources, and staffing shortages makes the effort of full scale commercialization a grand challenge.
Here’s where modern lab data management software can really help. Imagine if you could
- Have a single, integrated platform for all of your R&D work (Fundamental research >> Pack testing)
- Automate data capture and analysis from any instrument into a custom format and user interface
- Correlate data from electronics, processing, and materials for predictive experiment design using AI/ML
- Search and retrieve any and all project data in a matter of seconds
Modern systems take this automated and integrated approach. The capabilities of Excel, an electronic lab notebook (ELN), a lab information management system (LIMS), workflow management, project management, and artificial intelligence now exist connected in one place. This is enabling battery and energy technology labs to drive speed and realize commercialization - the platform we offer to do that is Alchemy.
The future is now, let’s discuss.
I will be at the International Battery Seminar (Orlando) in March, and speaking at The Battery Show (Novi) in September.
Will you be there too?
Weston Blundell earned his BSc in Biochemistry from Louisiana State University. He began his professional career at Air Products and Chemicals, where he sold cryogenic gasses to energy and machine companies. He later moved to Cabot Corporation selling carbon materials into biogas applications and battery component manufacturers. His areas of expertise include battery manufacturing, energy materials, hydrogen synthesis, and biogas refining. He has joined Alchemy as an Energy Technology and Materials specialist. Alchemy provides lab data management software to applied science companies. www.alchemy.cloud. Reach Weston at email@example.com.
“Easy to understand system with tremendous flexibility and industry-specific workflows - the upside here is undeniable.”
“Seeing that materials created in the system can be dynamically linked to create TDS/SDSs is a game changer.”
“The best experience was how detailed the live demos were. I rarely see such quality in a full rollout, much less a trial.”
“Translating what was learned during the one-on-one sessions and actually doing it in Alchemy was awesome.”