An organization known as ION Storage Systems, which was invented in a lab on the University of Maryland, is now up and operating at its manufacturing facility in Beltsville.

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A Prince George’s Co. facility is making higher, safer batteries

It won’t be a stretch to say that the long run shall be powered out of Beltsville — and the long run will come sooner if you happen to’re within the U.S. Army.

An organization known as ION Storage Systems, which was invented in a lab on the University of Maryland, is now up and operating at its manufacturing facility in Beltsville.

The firm makes what’s often known as a stable state battery — with a key part made out of ceramic. But whereas the fabric may be the identical factor used to make your dinner dishes, it’s additionally extraordinarily versatile whereas exhibiting marked enhancements in a number of methods over the extra frequent lithium ion batteries that energy so many issues at the moment.

“Batteries have a flammable liquid electrolyte. We all know all of the remembers as a result of batteries are catching fireplace,” stated ION Storage CEO Ricky Hanna. “So we’ve taken that flammable liquid electrolyte out and we’ve changed it with our stable state ceramic, which is like ceramic, like a dinner plate. Dinner plates don’t catch fireplace, proper? And so not solely is it a secure battery, it’s additionally a greater battery.”

The U.S. Army is the primary huge contract ION Storage is serving, partly as a result of the batteries are fireproof. But they’re additionally about 30% lighter than batteries used now, whereas additionally producing 40% extra energy.

ION Storage Systems, which was invented in a lab on the University of Maryland, is now up and operating at its manufacturing facility in Beltsville.
(WTOP/John Domen)

WTOP/John Domen

ION Storage Systems, which was invented in a lab on the University of Maryland, is now up and operating at its manufacturing facility in Beltsville.
(WTOP/John Domen)

WTOP/John Domen

ION Storage Systems, which was invented in a lab on the University of Maryland, is now up and operating at its manufacturing facility in Beltsville.
(WTOP/John Domen)

WTOP/John Domen

ION Storage Systems, which was invented in a lab on the University of Maryland, is now up and operating at its manufacturing facility in Beltsville.
(WTOP/John Domen)

WTOP/John Domen

When the Beltsville facility is totally up and operating, it’ll be producing greater than one million batteries per 12 months. By 2027, Hanna expects these batteries to be put inside a number of the tech used now, whether or not it’s a telephone, automotive or one thing else.

“Every automotive firm, and each battery firm is attempting to make stable state batteries. And they’ve been attempting, there’s other ways to do it,” stated Eric Wachsman, a professor on the University of Maryland who additionally runs the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute.

Wachsman helped discovered the corporate with tech created in his lab, which he stated will find yourself powering telephones, laptops and even electrical autos for for much longer than the batteries in use now.

The firm started rising in College Park earlier than transferring to Beltsville, which isn’t precisely recognized for its battery manufacturing — however ION Storage sees an enormous profit to being there.

“Batteries and Maryland sometimes don’t go collectively,” Hanna stated. “But it has truly been an exquisite strategic location. Our first market buyer is simply 20 minutes away. … Anywhere else, it’s a must to get in a automotive or I’d must get a aircraft for 20 hours to go see how batteries are made.”

Wachsman stated somebody from Samsung tried to license the expertise from him as quickly as he began presenting the findings. He rejected that provide.

“If I had carried out that, this is able to be made in Korea. That would have been it. I’d have gotten licensing earnings, I’d have analysis cash from Samsung. But you wouldn’t see financial improvement in Maryland,” Wachsman stated.

The facility in Beltsville, housing the world’s solely totally automated stable state battery maker, makes use of an all-American provide chain, too.

“They’re doing it in a manner that eliminates the necessity for cobalt and nickel and different merchandise which might be generated by slave or little one labor,” U.S. Rep Glenn Ivey stated. “And it additionally protects the United States from having to have manufacturing carried out abroad.”

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