San Diego, CA – January 11, 2023
What started as the plan to “think big” turned into a focus on the Super Cell and is now a fast-moving project designed to enable Wildcat to demonstrate new technology in larger cell format and start assembling large MLP cells.
Our lab space is now roughly 38,000 square feet, an increase over the previous floor plan of 21,000 square feet. This additional laboratory space will include all new equipment to support Wildcat’s next-generation battery material strategy – specifically the Wildcat cathode, solid-state electrolyte, and lithium metal anode.
This project has its inherent challenges of moving from a smaller to a larger scale of battery performance – that is, maintaining battery performance as you scale up. Wildcat needs to be able to demonstrate performance in larger cells to meet customer requirements. Then there is the resource challenge. “Getting key people in place right now for a smooth transition is a priority,” said Jonathan Boylan, Engineering Manager. When Jonathan first joined, Wildcat had 50 people employed. Now, the company is at 120.
Lead times have also been challenging. Over the past few years, supply chain issues have caused extended lead times that exceed 40 weeks for many components, especially electronics.
Lastly, building larger format cells requires a step-change in material production. Significant work is being done in parallel to drive a major increase in our material production.
The lab expansion will include one sizeable dry room and one large low-humidity room to include mixers and slot-dye coaters for coating electrolytes and making larger pouch cells. The team expects the additional space to support 10-20 Ah pouch cells.
By March or April, the company will take occupancy of the building and have the new equipment up and running by the end of Q3-2023.
Many helping hands are involved in this project, including the Research and Development (R&D) team, the Engineering team, and the Scale-Up Team.
The internal capabilities at Wildcat are unique, with two Engineering teams – mechanical and electrical – physically fabricating many of the parts needed. According to Justin Dutton, Mechanical Engineering Manager, “Having a fully-integrated Engineering team allows for direct support with the chemistry needs and flexibility for customization.”
A new team has emerged from this project – the Scale-Up Team. As technology develops, those involved must think about how to take the materials from a smaller scale to a larger scale and ultimately make a product that Wildcat can sell.
“Everyone brings their experience into our research, and that’s how you succeed. You need those new ideas and fresh viewpoints,” said Dr. Dee Strand, Chief Scientific Officer.
Future of Company
With the new equipment and laboratory expansion, Wildcat can cover a wide range of research formats from small high throughput cells (5mAh) to large multi-layer pouch cells (20Ah).
When Wildcat can demonstrate battery performance in a larger cell format and the company can produce materials at a larger scale, we will be prepared to move forward with and demonstrate a viable, real-world solution. “In doing so, we’ll draw automotive attention, and good things for the company will later follow,” said Dr. Dee Strand.
This project is a significant stepping stone for Wildcat, and all involved are excited to be part of this unique project.
About Wildcat Discovery Technologies
Wildcat Discovery Technologies accelerates the discovery of new materials for energy applications, with a focus on the development of advanced materials for rechargeable and primary batteries. Wildcat’s experienced team of scientists uses proprietary high-throughput tools to rapidly develop and optimize breakthrough materials with corporate partners throughout the global battery and materials supply chains. Wildcat has also been named one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies” by Technology Review magazine. For more details about Wildcat, visit us at www.wildcatdiscovery.com, or follow us on LinkedIn.
Wildcat Discovery Technologies
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