Yet Another New Battery Technology

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Steve S, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I don't know enough about battery tech to know what the standard measure is, so I'll just accept that the standard measure of capacity is energy/volume as you say. Still, my point remains. The mass density (mass/volume) also needs to be known to assess the practical merit of the tech. They are independent properties. If a device has a given whr requirement, one tells you how much space the battery will require and the other tells you how heavy it will be. Of course, the "dilution" you speak of complicates things.
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's a pretty basic chemistry:



    It looks like the impedance of the graphite is such that matching Lithium Ion performance is hard. Graphite is a pretty good insulator, so the internal resistance of a battery cell is high enough that you just can't get the amperage up to where it's useful for computer electronics.

    Some people have floated ideas like running meshes of better conductors through the graphite, like silver wire and such to improve the conductivity at a battery's core. That sounds like a pretty good idea, and probably what those dudes at Stanford are contemplating. Hopefully they'll come up with something marketable.

    And then there's Graphene. Graphene changes everthing, since the stuff is one of the best (THE best?) room-temp conductors in existence.

    The Ted Talk guys describing graphene include much improved batteries among the many exciting possibilities single atom thick carbon sheets offer.

    There are already companies producing commercial quantities of graphene, but the stuff is super-expensive, though very likely to come down in price as new production techniques and facilities are brought on-line. A lot of people are hungry for the stuff as graphene promises so many uses from macro, micro and nano construction, to electronics and computing and optics. Some people are calling this this dawn of the Carbon Age.

    Given all that, it might actually be possible that we will see viable aluminum (or other anode chemistry) batteries with all the awesome properties we keep hearing about at some real point in the foreseeable future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
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  4. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    I don't know much about grapheme, but I've been hearing about it for years about how it will be a game changer in CPUs and how intel should use it. However, nothing seems to ever come of it.
     
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  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The concept of graphene has been around for ages, but nobody thought it was practical until 2010, when the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester, UK after they demonstrated graphene was industrially viable. Prior to this, people thought that a mono-atomic layered material would, essentially crumple too easily and be impossible to work with in any real sense. But apparently, one of graphene's neat-o qualities is that it is able to maintain its own structural integrity when everybody previously thought it was impossible.

    Since then, there's been a race to get manufacturing off the ground, with a couple of fairly simple, scalable methods for producing the stuff now being used. A number of companies are successfully turning out usable quantities, with plenty of investment pouring into what is seen as the new, must-have super-material. That's not bad for four years R&D.

    I think we're just seeing the early end of an accepted watershed moment in science and materials engineering. Give it a bit more time. Battery tech isn't at the top of the list, but when production muscle gets up there and prices come down, it should see its day.

    Remember how much white LEDs originally cost after they were invented? I bought one of the first white LED flashlights a couple of years after they started being produced. It cost me nearly $90 and it had 10 LEDs in it. Ten years on, they give away more powerful ones as promotional key chains.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
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  6. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Yes. Unfortunately, I do remember how frightfully expensive they were. We did about 1,500 sq. ft. of ceiling lighting in our home with 2.5" LED spots soon after they were available. Now, you can do the whole project for 80% less.
     
  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Dang! That's some serious early adoption! -If you're anything like me, then I bet you were super-happy to have those in your ceiling when you first put them up.

    I don't early adopt with much, but I'll tell you, that ridiculous flashlight was the pride and joy of my power-outage kit. -And come to think of it, with mass-production comes a distinct drop in quality; I've had several cheapie LED flashlights die on me, but that first one was built to survive the apocalypse. -And on three D cells, it can run continuously for over a month. :)

    Fortunately, I've not had to test that, but where I live, 2-3 day power cuts happen pretty much bi-annually.
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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  9. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Well, it's Tuesday again:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ake-on-musk-in-5-billion-race-for-new-battery

    Most of this is directed towards large-scale energy storage (hence no new tablet batteries in the offing) but the thing that I find interesting is that none of the technical approaches discussed sound overly familiar (well, maybe the one related to Li-Polymer...). Having seen molten sulfur battery chemistries years ago, molten metal doesn't surprise me, but by the same token doesn't that heat represent lost energy...? Anyway, lots of money's being thrown around; I wonder if it will amount to anything...???

    (Courtesy of Bloomberg site)
     
  10. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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