Long-lasting fuel cells, innovative batteries for electric cars, high-performance capacitors – SCHOTT is already developing solutions for the energy technologies of the future. Glass is truly multitalented and a material that can be used to convert, transport, store and use energy.
The art of manufacturing glass calls for designing specialty glasses that meet specific demands out of a wide variety of starting materials. Here, glass can take on completely different properties and perform different functions by choosing the right glass components. Take glasses that are electrically insulated extremely well, for example, or those that conduct electricity. Many glasses are dielectrically “inconspicuous,” while others set new standards for extremely high storage density and excellent dielectric properties. Glasses can also be extremely thermally resistant or be softened at even low temperatures.
Glass for greater reliability in electric mobility
Glass-to-aluminum seals (GTAS®) encapsulate components that deliver electricity inside high-voltage ion batteries for use in electric automobiles and thus ensure that they run smoothly for years to come. In order to drive electric mobility even further, SCHOTT works along the entire battery roadmap. An innovative glass powder (“S-Glass”) helps to stabilize the separators in today’s liquid electrolyte batteries, allows for higher temperature resistance and thus greater security and a longer lifespan. SCHOTT is also a partner in many different projects on developing “next generation” batteries (lithium-air and lithium-sulfur batteries) in which a solid ion conductor replaces the liquid electrolyte. SCHOTT has developed an innovative ion conducting material for this purpose. “Batteries of the future” hold immense potential. In commercial form, they promise to deliver three to five times higher storage capacities of around 1,000 watt hours per kilogram – and thus much longer ranges for electric cars.
Glass also offers the flexibility and performance that the energy landscape of the future will require – and SCHOTT experts are continuing to develop new ideas for innovations made of glass that electrify.
An experimental setup at the Technical University of Darmstadt shows how glass electrifies using a pane of BOROFLOAT® glass. This experiment demonstrates the extremely high dielectric strength of glass. Despite the extremely short distance of only 2.75 millimeters and voltage of 65,000 V, no breakdown takes place between the electrodes through the glass plate. Unlike discharges through air in the form of lightning, the electricity that appears as a blue flame is not conducted through the glass plate. Instead, the electricity is impressively guided through the air and across the glass surface all the way to the edges like lightning without leaving even a trace of damage on the glass. (left picture)
Hint for journalists
SCHOTT introduced its innovations on the topic “Glass electrifies” for the first time at a new series for the press entitled “Discovering Glass” on April 16, 2015. The follow up event in the fall of 2015 will focus on “Ultra-thin glass.” (right picture)
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