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Blog Tesla Releases New Video on Battery Manufacturing

Tesla has released a new video that teases its battery manufacturing efforts in an effort to recruit talent to its cell team.

The video shows mesmerizing shots of Tesla’s battery cells moving through the production process. The music of Don Hinton’s 1960 tune “Honey Bee” accompanies the images, including the lyrics “You gave me a charge and it felt so fine, Shivering up right through my spine.”

Tesla unveiled in September at its Battery Day event a new 4680 battery cell, a larger form factor that would increase range by 16%.

Tesla said the new cells will have a 5x increase in energy and a 6x increase in power capacity. The new cell is 46mm by 80mm, featuring a “tabless” design that enables the efficiencies.

The new YouTube video links out to a page on Tesla’s website advertising jobs.

“At Tesla, we build cars and factories from the ground up,” the webpage says. “Now we do the same for batteries. Join us to solve the next generation of cell engineering, manufacturing, materials, equipment, and operations challenges ahead—all in one vertically-integrated team.”

Check out the video above.

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Tesla engineers have been wrestling with this problem for years:
"Right now, we have a challenge with basically what's called calendaring, or basically squashing the cathode, with material to a particular height. So it just goes through these rollers and gets squashed like pizza dough, basically. And - but very hard pizza dough. And then - it's causing - it's denting the calendar rolls. This is not something that happened when the calendar rolls were smaller, but it is happening when the calendar rolls are bigger. So it's just like - we were like, okay, we weren't expecting that."

Is there any way for us armchair engineers to send our ideas to Tesla to solve this problem?

In my solution I have the goal of delivering the cathode powder uniformly across the nip (where the rollers contact) at the required speed and quantity. I think the speed to be about 40kph. The reasons the feed in encapsulated in a vacuum chamber is to a) allow the powder to accelerate to the roller speed by gravity and b) with little air around the particles at the nip there will not be powder pushed away from the nip as compression takes place as there would be if there was air being squeezed out.


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