Decoding the Heartbeat: Unlocking Battery Production Efficiency with Data

  • Eli Leland
  • June 20, 2024

How a battery’s charge-discharge cycle data can transform battery production.

These days, when talking with someone new about batteries and battery quality, I find myself talking about heartbeats.

Sure, heartbeats.

If you think about it, the battery’s voltage as it charges and discharges repeatedly is like a heartbeat.

Really, this is just one of several qualities that make batteries more like living organisms than they are like the microchips and mechanical systems that make up our modern world.

Think about it. No two batteries are exactly alike, owing to manufacturing variability and the complexity of their internal composition. Batteries are sensitive to heat, cold, and the passage of time. They tend to degrade slowly — and then all at once. They even swell and shrink almost imperceptibly with each charge-discharge cycle, as if they are breathing.

And every battery has a heartbeat.
An electrochemical charge-discharge heartbeat.

What do we know about human heartbeats?

For one thing, your heartbeat says a lot about your health. The doctor listens to your heartbeat when you get a checkup. If they need to know more, they’ll wire you up to an electrocardiogram and look at your heartbeat’s electrical signature.

Now to be fair, any layperson can hear your heart beating by putting an ear to your chest, or recognize the pulses on an EKG. But a trained cardiologist can see things like murmurs, arrhythmias, and past heart attacks in that signal.

Back to batteries.

At the end of the day, one of the best ways to assess a battery’s quality, performance, and health is to look at its heartbeat.

The battery’s heartbeat can reveal things like flaws in the battery’s internal physical structure, contamination in its vital electrode materials, and signs of specific degradation mechanisms and failure modes.

On the production line, when the battery’s heart first beats, it can tell you if you’ve made a good battery or not.

In a product development lab, it can tell you if the battery will be part of a successful product launch, or alternatively if you need to worry about battery fires in your customers pockets and garages.

So at Voltaiq, that’s our approach to Battery Quality Analytics — we look at the battery’s heartbeat.

And in doing so, help our customers ramp up new battery factories faster and ensure successful product launches.

Thump thump!

  • Eli Leland
  • June 20, 2024