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esaj

Future batteries

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Very interesting read. Tx for sharing this link. 

In a few years time, you could fill your batteries at a charge station in just a few minutes, and continue your trip. Total freedom to go anywhere.

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Interesting reading, thanks for sharing this.

Personally I believe  that changing the electrolyte will yield some improvement but at a much higher cost, and could generate a battery 'format' war that carries on for quite a few years (Apple vs Tesla vs Samsung vs Volkswagen Audi Group vs .....).

The true brakethrough that will probably make most other designs obsolete, will be when batteries can be produced (3D printed) like computer chips, and as such could be integrated as a structural part in the device. Just imagine the EUC's shell is made of a multiple layers of battery that are only a micron thick, covered on the outside with a carbon layer for protection. A 7-8kg wheel with a 100Wh battery that charges in < 1h, sign me up!!!:D

 

 

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It is the "charge in 6 minutes" bit I have trouble with, especially when it comes to batteries of the size that are needed for cars.

Take the typical 680Wh EUC battery. A 6 minute charge would need to supply 6.8kW ignoring losses. From (say) the 110V US supply that would be nearly 62 Amps. Imagine the current a car battery would require.

Ethanol/Methanol fuel cells seemed the best way forward to me and have been promised for some years now and, so far failed to commercially appear. it is capable of being a biofuel, you just fill up at a fuel station, quiet electric motors and CO2+water as waste. For small devices like phones the thinking was that you would buy little methanol cartridges that you slip into the phone when it is getting low on power - really something just like the ink cartridges we used to use in fountain pens.

i would love to see it for model flying, we already buy mathanol by the gallon to power our engines but it is the 20% oil and nitromethane it has in it which is about 70% of the £16 or so cost per gallon. Being able to fill up with methanol and go without the noise and mess or having loads of batteries would be super.

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@keith the whole biofuel thinking works if you have enough of it as a by-product of another production process, but once you have to start producing it just for the sake of biofuel itself, it starts to look much less promising as  this costs energy, there are important losses, and it polutes....

There nothing like green electricity from photovoltaic cells, windmills, etc. that goes straight in the e-grid, directly to you e-powered device. The main bottleneck is the batteries (and the polution their production generates), once that's solved forget the rest, >80% of our  transportation needs will be covered. But there are other issues, as you pointed out.

The fast charging aspect is indeed a lot more complex than people think. I was looking into buying an electric car recently but when investigation I found out that when buying something like a Tesla, and installing a dedicated fast charging wallbox; You have to get your electricity system in the hous upgraded, you'll need a special high amp charging line but  there are limitations depending on the quality of the grid you're on and you possibly need a system that prioritises the current to avoid that all electricity goes to the car instead of the heating system, the deepfreezer, etc.

There's a peak energy consumption in the early morning (breakfast, shower, heating the hous, etc), then it goes down while people drive to work, it stays moderate during daytime (when solar panels produce more), and then there's a peak again in the early evening when people come home form work/school  (heat the house, cook, do disches, wash clothing, etc.), and during the night there's a very low demand.

Logically true green energy cannot cover all needs in most countries, so there has to be another system (coal, nuclear, etc.) to cover for the peaks in the demand but then what do you do with the excess E during low demand periods, especially with nuclear reactors that cannot be switched on/of like a lightbulb?

The solution is that you have electric cars (and everything else with a batt) charging their batteries everywhere during moments when there's an overproduction. I would not be one bit surprised if the nuclear lobby would be lobbying to push electric cars. The batteries in these cars can stock worthless excess electricity production, that then can be charged at premium price.

But there is a big but here: from that POV the fast charging batt, could become more of a problem than a solution.

As explained above, the theoretical fast charging time (at home, office) could be a lot slower depending on the type of car, charger, your budget, the region where you live/work. So with these super fast charging batts a lot of people will probably end up driving to the 'petrol' station for a fill.......during peak moments in the morning and evening.

 

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54 minutes ago, Jurgen said:

but then what do you do with the excess E during low demand periods, especially with nuclear reactors that cannot be switched on/of like a lightbulb?

Ah, we thought about that in the UK when we were going to build lots of nuclear power stations, so we built Dinorwig reversable turbine power station see: http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm. Uses all the 'waste' energy to pump water to the top of a mountain and then uses it to drive the turbines when high demand occurs.

Then we didn't build all those nuclear stations. Still, it could be handy to store the excess renewable energy!

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25 minutes ago, Keith said:

Ah, we thought about that in the UK when we were going to build lots of nuclear power stations, so we built Dinorwig reversable turbine power station see: http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm. Uses all the 'waste' energy to pump water to the top of a mountain and then uses it to drive the turbines when high demand occurs.

Then we didn't build all those nuclear stations. Still, it could be handy to store the excess renewable energy!

when you have high hills and mountains you have a lot more options (windmills, hydropower,...) , but here it's almost as flat as a pancake, and there are buildings everywhere, That's why EU rules will push us inevitably towards nuclear energy.

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3 hours ago, Jurgen said:

Logically true green energy cannot cover all needs in most countries, so there has to be another system (coal, nuclear, etc.) to cover for the peaks in the demand

or these countries import green energy, as many now import gas or oil or uranium to meet their energy demands. For example, north Africa can easily meet the energy demands of Europe to 100% with solar power plants. 

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6 hours ago, Niko said:

or these countries import green energy, as many now import gas or oil or uranium to meet their energy demands. For example, north Africa can easily meet the energy demands of Europe to 100% with solar power plants. 

Technically, this is correct.

The reason the West tried to get away from oil in the 70 and 80's, didn't have an environmental motivation, but a political one: reduce dependency on the politically unstable Middle-east oil producing counries. Starting to import the majority of our electricity from unstable North-African regimes, that are more and more becoming anti-west extremist strongholds, is unfortunately not a much better alternative. Anyway, the greenest energy is the energy  that is not being consumed. The EUC's or hooverboard's footprint is much smaller than an electric car, so I believe it's part of an integrated solution (see electric conceptcar of Audi with built-in hooverboard charging doc).

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2 hours ago, Jurgen said:

Starting to import the majority of our electricity from unstable North-African regimes, that are more and more becoming anti-west extremist strongholds, is unfortunately not a much better alternative.

I agree that the fear of dependence is the largest obstacle in this endeavor. I don't think it is very rational though. 

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From what I've read, the Chinese have already bought a lot of companies/mining rights etc. from the African continent... ;) Not to mention that their gold-holdings are likely much larger than officially stated, gold-backed Yuan in the next decade? That's going to collapse all the western fiat-currencies...

currency%20wars.jpg

 

Edited by esaj

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17 hours ago, Keith said:

Ah, we thought about that in the UK when we were going to build lots of nuclear power stations, so we built Dinorwig reversable turbine power station see: http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm. Uses all the 'waste' energy to pump water to the top of a mountain and then uses it to drive the turbines when high demand occurs.

Then we didn't build all those nuclear stations. Still, it could be handy to store the excess renewable energy!

Kind-of cool, a 1500 MWh reservoir with 300 MW power, almost 1% percent of the average UK power generation. 

Edited by Niko

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Everybody always thinks of solar panels when talking about solar energy, but there are some pretty cool other types of solar power plants, like Spain's Andasol plant with parabolic troughs which heat up liquid, and then uses molten salt -tanks to store the heat energy for later use:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andasol_Solar_Power_Station

Solar towers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower

Solar updraft towers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower

Probably the largest solar downdraft tower I read about a couple of years ago, although don't know if it ever will be built:  http://www.fastcoexist.com/3030110/this-giant-tower-in-the-desert-could-generate-as-much-power-as-the-hoover-dam

Edited by esaj
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Right, and a few years ago I would have bet that it's not the solar panels who will win the race. Today I wouldn't bet anymore. Currently, Germany(!) has enough solar panels installed to produce the entire(!) electricity demand on a sunny summer day. The same amount of panels installed in the Sahara would produce even more electricity almost every day of the year.

Edited by Niko
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A US company called solid energy systems is claiming they have a new li-ion variation with 500wh/kg and improved safety. They say they will sell them for drones in November. They haven't listed any downsides, they may be expensive to make or only support low currents, it's about 2x the power density of the top panasonic cells and 3x more than the 2200mah high current cells in most EUC.

http://www.solidenergysystems.com/

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4 hours ago, lizardmech said:

they may be expensive to make or only support low currents, it's about 2x the power density of the top panasonic cells and 3x more than the 2200mah high current cells in most EUC.

I worry when obviously very important specifications like the 'C' rate charge and discharge rates are missing, it tends to infer those specs are poor. A thinner, lighter electrode doesn't bode well for high current delivery and, really, it is a fairly small incremental improvement, certainly not the game changer that is needed.

However a low 'C' rate combined with a very high charge density can still deliver a very good current - like these drone batteries that are half the weight of 65C packs: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=55804 these work out 244Wh/kg (and at £19.42 each are small enough to fit 4 in one side of a KS-14C to give a 355Wh battery for less than £80 {$105} - shame they are out of stock!) 

On the other hand, these 65C ones: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__91204__Turnigy_Graphene_6000mAh_4S_65C_Lipo_Pack_w_XT90.html work out at 116Wh/kg and are £77 each - almost 4 times the price and less than half the charge density.

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At least a few times every year for more than a decade, we have heard about some innovation that will double (or better) the capacity of batteries. Yet in reality it's more like a 10% average increase which is about a doubling every 10 years. Like Keith says, there are other parameters than capacity that are important and that may partially explain why these "doubling technologies" don't have overnight impact. I will get excited about them when I can buy them at a reasonable price.

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