Print 99 comment(s) - last by sdoorex.. on Mar 23 at 1:33 PM

Iron phosphate  (Source: MIT)
The new battery isn't ready for commercial development, but it shows great promise

A new battery material created by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could lead to much faster recharge times for batteries.

MIT professor Gerbrand Ceder and researcher Byoungwoo Kang said the material can discharge energy and recharge nearly 100 times faster than batteries currently used in mobile phones.  Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in laptops as well, and could allow longer battery life and faster recharge time if a user is away from a power source for long durations of time.

"The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes," Ceder and Kang sad in the latest edition of Nature.

The duo created a small battery that normally takes six minutes to charge, but used their new traffic flow to recharge the same battery in just 10 to 20 seconds.

It was widely believed the ions and electrons inside the battery moved too slowly, but the researchers noticed that wasn't the case.  They focused on how ions enter nano-scale tunnels aimed at moving electrons around the battery, and eventually created a lithium phosphate coating that helps push ions to the nano-scale tunnels.

Rechargeable lithium batteries used today have the ability to store high amounts of energy, but don't normally release that power, so they discharge very slowly.    

The battery has been supported with federal research money, and two companies have already licensed the technology, MIT announced.  It'd be possible to start mass producing the batteries in two to three years, the MIT researchers said. 

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

lithium titanate?
By shin0bi272 on 3/13/2009 10:10:13 AM , Rating: 3
anyone remember those lithium titanate anodes that were supposed to replace the current ones? They were supposed to increase the lifespan of a lithium ion battery by 10 fold and cut the charge time to 6 minutes. This was the middle of last year or so that I heard this (on DailyTech no less). They were saying that the surface area of the current (carbon covered) anodes was like 3 square ft but that the lithium ones was 300sq ft which let the battery discharge at the high rate of lithium ion batteries but the surface area allowed it to last longer and recharge faster. The lithium titanate was made on a nano scale which is what brought it all these benefits.

What happened to those?

RE: lithium titanate?
By shin0bi272 on 3/13/2009 10:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
oh wait nevermind... found it

And to "edit" my other post its 100 square meters per gram, compared with 3 square meters per gram for carbon... my bad but not a horrible memory eh?

RE: lithium titanate?
By Doormat on 3/13/2009 10:38:50 AM , Rating: 2
The company that makes the technology, AltairNano, doesn't seem to be doing much with it. Their deals to put the batteries in vehicles (with some company called Phoenix Vehicles) seems to have fallen apart. I bought the stock at $1 and its now 63c. So much for that find...

RE: lithium titanate?
By shin0bi272 on 3/13/2009 11:38:14 AM , Rating: 2
well damn... At least the technology is there and it works so it is a viable solution once someone can actually get a contract signed to use it.

RE: lithium titanate?
By gstrickler on 3/13/2009 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 3
Don't forget the silicon nanowire anode battery. Up to 10x the capacity and fast charge/discharge capable. Unfortunately, this technology is further away, and without an improved cathode, it's probably only about 3x-5x capacity.

This Lithium Phosphate technology is an improvement of the technology MIT developed in 2001 and that is currently used by A123 Systems. That makes the 2-3 year availability seem much more realistic.

In any case, give me 1000+ cycles and any improvement in capacity, size, weight, or charge/discharge rate, and it makes a much better laptop battery than current LiIon or LiPo batteries.

RE: lithium titanate?
By shin0bi272 on 3/13/2009 9:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
nice. Thanks for the info I appreciate that.

What is needed for battery Applications.
By Avitar on 3/13/2009 10:14:08 AM , Rating: 2
The long recharge times was one of the things that killed the electric cars in the twentieth century. It is a critical factor in commercial applications. "Time is Money" The question asked in the comments about providing a 100KW line needs to be answered YES! With recharge times of less than five minutes, you can begin to handle the energy with "filling stations."

This is what we are looking at for the future of pollution sensitive areas like New York and California. The power-to-weight ratio is not so important, not unimportant just less so.

If you can make an electric car that can run a hundred miles, at speed (call it 85 mph), recharge in around five minutes and can be profitably sold for less than 20% over the cost of gasoline competitors, including the cost of recycling the battery, then you have a commercial product. These are the parameters that have to be met for a working electric Car that is not confined to niche markets.

The politicians that are providing the 20% incentive will also have to live with vastly increasing the numbers of Nuclear power plants (about five times) and upgrading the power grid to support electric transportation. This battery sounds good; there are also the new Ultra Capacitors that could fill the role if they can be brought down in cost by 60%. None of the technology is in place today but understanding the parameters will keep resources from being squandered.

RE: What is needed for battery Applications.
By JonB on 3/14/2009 9:30:01 AM , Rating: 2
If the battery is truly "fast charge" then your filling station is just a set of magnetic induction coils at traffic lights or along highways in a pull out lane.

If you are stopped at a red light for 30 seconds, you might get a 50% recharge. Billing based on RFID. Of course, it wouldn't charge vehicles on a "bad" or "stolen" list, so they'd eventually go dead.

RE: What is needed for battery Applications.
By shin0bi272 on 3/14/2009 11:31:28 AM , Rating: 4
I am not prepared for that kind of government control over my driving/whereabouts. Thanks though.

RE: What is needed for battery Applications.
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 6:55:53 AM , Rating: 2
if it were free charge, then there would be no need for any tracking or gubbermint involvement, just give out free energy at traffic lights.

people won't be so mad at being held up on their way to work then... it's ok, im getting juiced up...

By matt0401 on 3/17/2009 12:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
That's a very interesting idea that could be accomplished two ways basically...

One is the RFID-based billing that a poster mentioned, which another poster mentioned as being very Orwellian.

Another idea, from another poster is of it being free of charge. This is an interesting idea, for "gas" (electricity used for vehicle travel) to be basically socialized. Similar to how a lot of countries have socialized health care. It could definitely work, though I doubt the old grandmother driving to church every Sunday morning and back would feel good about having to pay for a full-time trucker.

Myself, I wouldn't mind the RFID-based billing. I really don't care if the government knows where I've been. The potential for stopping tragedy when it comes to abductions, etc, is substantial. And when it comes down to it, it could be optional.

Discharge in seconds?
By nycromes on 3/13/2009 9:37:46 AM , Rating: 2
The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes

I would love to charge my batteries in seconds, but discharge in seconds? Perhaps I am missing an application where this would be useful, but I can't really think of one. This is a good idea and I hope it pans out to be useful in the long run.

RE: Discharge in seconds?
By isorfir on 3/13/2009 9:44:52 AM , Rating: 5
A fast discharge in electric vehicles is needed for acceleration. This makes the gap between batteries and capacitors smaller, possibly reducing cost if you could eliminate capacitors.

Also, railguns.

RE: Discharge in seconds?
By ViroMan on 3/13/2009 10:46:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well think of all them tazers. Putting an ultra lithium in there means they can shoot more ppl and deal out more doses of fun. Possibly have a shotgun tazer now. shoot out 16 or so leads and anyone with two or more or touching another will get the fun juice.

2-3 years!
By MadMan007 on 3/13/2009 9:46:18 AM , Rating: 2
2-3 years huh, not the usual 5 years which really means never? Sounds good.

RE: 2-3 years!
By gsellis on 3/13/2009 12:35:05 PM , Rating: 5
Grasshopper, it is time for you to leave. You have learned everything we can teach you and you must move out into the world. :D

The quote I still remember was in Autoweek around 1982.

"There are liars, damn liars, and battery engineers."

25+ years later, I have found nothing to refute that.

RE: 2-3 years!
By PlasmaBomb on 3/15/2009 8:08:39 AM , Rating: 2

Stupid slow electrons.
By ice456789 on 3/13/2009 10:05:17 AM , Rating: 5
It was widely believed the ions and electrons inside the battery moved too slowly, but the researchers noticed that wasn't the case.
I hate it when electrons move slowly.

RE: Stupid slow electrons.
By semo on 3/14/2009 11:26:57 AM , Rating: 2
i always find myself waiting behind a slow electron. just before i kick it i think - "wait, what if i randomly shrink down in size such that i can see an electron? what would it do to me?"...

eerm, where am i?

By gsellis on 3/13/2009 8:24:16 AM , Rating: 3
My dreams of world domination with a clip-feed* laser rifle are one step closer.

* - I figure energy weapons need magazines of batteries to be mobile and Mister Pocket Fusion is much further down the road.

RE: Yeah!
By PAPutzback on 3/13/2009 10:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
Beat me to it. I was thinking of the UT lightning gun when I read this.

By nixoofta on 3/14/2009 4:11:24 PM , Rating: 4
...we're still gonna slingshot Rosie into the sun though,..right?

Charging power
By bobsmith1492 on 3/13/2009 2:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
I posted about this yesterday:

There are going to have to be some big changes to make auto quick-charging feasible.

By etekberg on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By AnnihilatorX on 3/13/2009 8:26:41 AM , Rating: 5
Lead acid battery in cars release its energy very quickly due to the low internal resistance.
You can melt a wrench by shorting a car battery. Yet it is safe enough to be used.

RE: dangerous?
By SpaceJumper on 3/13/2009 9:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
Charging internal resistance is higher than the discharging internal resistance for the today batteries. The internal resistances dissipate the energy as heat and drive down the battery efficiency. Fast charging and discharging battery is basically mean high efficiency battery.

RE: dangerous?
By codeThug on 3/13/2009 2:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
Try hooking it directly up to a 300 gigajoule flux-capacitor mr. smarty pants.

RE: dangerous?
By Guspaz on 3/13/2009 8:28:05 AM , Rating: 5
Errm, no, it's known as a capacitor.

RE: dangerous?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/13/2009 11:10:55 AM , Rating: 3
A Flux Capacitor* So I can power the planetary shields, and defeat the Zerg!

RE: dangerous?
By GodisanAtheist on 3/13/2009 1:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
...and travel back to the future!

RE: dangerous?
By ccmfreak2 on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By pattycake0147 on 3/13/2009 8:52:41 AM , Rating: 3
All batteries have chemical reactions going on inside them. How else do you think they produce energy.

RE: dangerous?
By Raidin on 3/13/2009 9:43:31 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed, but be careful how you word it. They don't produce energy, they only transfer it.

RE: dangerous?
By pattycake0147 on 3/13/2009 9:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
This is true, point well taken.

RE: dangerous?
By 91TTZ on 3/13/2009 10:40:58 AM , Rating: 3
The same can be said of bombs. It takes loads of energy to make the materials, and then it's released in a fraction of a second.

RE: dangerous?
By Oregonian2 on 3/13/2009 2:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Depends upon assumptions about the initial state (and one's word definitions). An assembled rechargeable battery may be "charged" upon assembly in which case they do "produce" energy their first run.

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing produces energy.

energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only changed from one form to another.

Both a bomb and a battery convert chemical potential energy to something else.

A battery converts it to electric charge in a controlled manner. The more charge there is present, the slower the charge producing reaction occurs until it outputs its maximum voltage. A kind of negative feedback because as you draw charge out of the battery, the chemical reactions will accelerate to replace the lost charge. Outstrip it's a bility to generate more charge and you will current limit causing the votlage to drop.

A bomb, on the other hand, converts chemical potential energy to heat and it does so in a positive feedback manner. I.e. the hotter this chemical reaction gets, the faster the reaction occurs. The reaction itself producing heat. You end up with a runaway situation that is constantly accelerating until all the fuel is spent. Typically with concentional explosives this chemical reaction is simply combustion, often with an oxygen rich compound rather than air itself (an oxidising agent).

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 12:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
as an addition..

A nuclear bomb converts nuclear binding energy into EM radiation (which is then subsequently absorbed by the surroundings to produce heat). This occurs in a chain reaction, this is not the same as the positive feedback situation inside a chemical explosive but very similar. The EM radiation produced by nuclear fission does not speed up the reaction process (and if anything might slow it slightly) but the increase in high energy free nuetrons DOES cause the chance of a fission reaction accuring to increase. Being as more free neutrons are produced by a fission reaction than required for it to occur (1 required, 3 produced, typically) this will effectively be a positive feedback situation.

Nuclear Fusion is different, the heat generated (again starts as EM and is absorbed) will increase the plasma temperature and hence the mean speed of the H ions meaning a collision (and hence fusion) is more likely.

Both these reactions are far easier to moderate than a chemical explosion, however. Free neutrons are often controlled by boron rods inserted into the reactor. In Fusion you can control the reaction by controlling the temperature and containment/pressure.

The only reason increased temperature might inhibit a fission reaction is by a detrimental affect on the correct moderation of the neutrons. This only really applies to a reactor, rather than a bomb as the fissile material is far elss dense. At the end of the day, the neutrons have to be within a certain speed range for the maximum chance of a fission interaction. The moderators inside a nuclear plant actually slow the neutrons down. More heat could hinder this, tbh you're more likely to have meltdown before anything significantly different manifests though.

RE: dangerous?
By modus2 on 3/13/2009 11:40:37 AM , Rating: 5
Nothing produces energy, it only alters the form of the energy between different kinds, ie kinetic, chemical, thermal, electric etc.

RE: dangerous?
By BladeVenom on 3/13/2009 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:06:28 AM , Rating: 2
yes, matter is merely another form of energy.

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 12:56:13 PM , Rating: 2

Energy can not be created or destroyed, it can only change forms.

The Sun neither creates or destroys energy. It's nuclear fusion creates heavier atoms out of lighter ones, with the excess given off in many forms - heat/light/etc.

Don't believe everything you read in wikipedia...

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 2:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
You are sadly mistaken.

The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added by heating the system, minus the amount lost as a result of the work done by the system on its surroundings.

Since you like wikipedia:

In nuclear fission or fusion (or any reaction what-so-ever), energy is NEVER created or destroyed. The amount of energy that binds the particles of an atom is immense. This allows fusion reaction of converting hydrogen to helium to release insane amounts of energy that is stored in an atom.

In stars, hydrogen nuclei combine with each other in nuclear reactions to build helium atoms. These high-energy reactions create the light and heat of the Sun and most other stars.

Once you grasp all this information, you might try research Entropy:

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 4:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just semantics, not sure.

But the First Law, when stated just in terms of "energy" alone as you and I have stated it thus far, only holds up as long as you exclude nuclear processes like fission and fusion. And this makes sense when you think about it because these nuclear processes were first described in the beginning of the 20th century. The First Law, however, was stated nearly a century earlier.

If you restate the First Law to say that the combination of mass and energy are always conserved, then this properly takes into account nuclear processes. This is a more modern definition.

Mass and energy are not strictly speaking the same thing, although through a nuclear process it is possible to convert one to another.

This is how I learned it in college physics, and I don't see anything in any of your links that contradicts what I'm saying.

And here's a link that covers the "except" part for you (notice footnote #2).

Based on all this, I don't think it is much of a stretch to say the Sun "creates" energy, even though technically it is just converting mass to energy through fusion. But since most people agree that mass and energy are different follow what I'm saying here?

RE: dangerous?
By Black69ta on 3/14/2009 12:43:28 PM , Rating: 4
First Law does hold up even in terms on Fission and or Fusion.
Think of it this way Nuclear Bonds are immensely strong, so when you fissile an atom (or split it) you release the energy that was required to hold it together. But one atom isn't split at a time, it is a function of millions and billions of atoms at a time hence the tremendous amounts of energy released.

Fusion is the opposite, Deuterium and Tritium both contain a set amount energy to bond them into atoms. When fused they form an ordinary Helium atom. Helium requires less nuclear bonding then Deuterium and Tritium combined so the excess energy is released. There is no creation just conversion. The "First Law of Thermodynamics" is a law because there are no exceptions.

If a star like our sun produced energy instead of just converting the mass is contains, there would be no Supernovas or Black Holes or stars that just burn out. They burn out out because the mass of fuel they contains runs out and they can no longer support fusion.

Mass is not the same a energy however is is equivalent to energy related by the formula E=Mc^2, at least least until someone can prove Einstein wrong. Mass and energy can be thought of as the same in the way that water and Ice can be thought of as the same while a cubic meter of water doesn't freeze into a cubic meter of ice, the ratio is constant, much the same as the ratio of mass to energy.

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
You sir, are correct.

Mass is another form of energy, but energy is not another form of mass. =)

RE: dangerous?
By masaauk on 3/16/2009 10:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
I am truly sorry good sir but you're incorrect. Nuclear fission/fusion does not change mass into energy (not intrinsic mass anyways). They change relativistic mass, which already has an energy component to it, (the energy added by binding energies within the atom) into energy. The intrinsic mass of two hydrogen atoms is the same as one helium atom (assuming a deuterium ion). If you take into account the differences in binding energy, the helium atom now has a relativistic mass lower than its components. That energy is released in the form of EM radiation.
Don't blame it on the alcohol, blame it on the strong force!

RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 4:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
Just incase anyone is curious, here's another link that can be informative.

RE: dangerous?
By Omega215D on 3/14/2009 7:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
Right at the bottom of the page (for me) "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics"

RE: dangerous?
By gsellis on 3/13/2009 12:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you did not get BladeVenom's response (and I started to reply to the key post of this thread), mass can produce energy. Not all bombs are chemical. The first significant non-chemical one was tested on July 16th, 1945 in New Mexico.

RE: dangerous?
By MadMan007 on 3/13/2009 12:51:56 PM , Rating: 4
Not quite. Mass doesn't 'produce' energy, it is energy. Nuclear fission and fusion simply utilize the energy stored within atoms (or released when one atoms combine) which is simply a lot higher energy density than chemical reaction bombs.

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By codeThug on 3/13/2009 2:41:37 PM , Rating: 1
masher must be taking the day off.

RE: dangerous?
By MadMan007 on 3/13/2009 3:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
It was a simplified explanation and close enough for layman's chitchat. You're just trying to argue semantics.

RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 3:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
You need to stop spewing this nonsense. Please refer to my previous responce to your posts.

Now, if you really want to take a stance against the first law of thermodynamics, disprove it. Since said law is not based on proofs, it just is...

The first law of thermodynamics continues to be a law because physics has never provided evidence against what it states.

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: dangerous?
By gsellis on 3/16/2009 7:47:01 AM , Rating: 2
Matter is converted to energy. "Produces" was a poor choice of words. But after a nuclear reaction, you will not have the same amount of mass. Same for a matter - anti-matter reaction. Mass is 'destroyed' as it is converted to energy.

RE: dangerous?
By General Disturbance on 3/13/2009 12:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
No you're right etekberg...that is a very popular term in science fiction...Larry Niven's universe anyway.
Great reference!

RE: dangerous?
By Chocobollz on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
By kontorotsui on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By mead drinker on 3/13/2009 8:33:13 AM , Rating: 1
This would be a great commercial achievement if it would be used in the looming electric vehicle market where the main concern has been what happens after the initial charge received at your home is depleted. The weight and volume of the system as you mention are not yet concerns and are neglible as they are comparable to ICE.

RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 3/13/2009 1:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that this could allow a practical electric car. My question isn't how fast does it charge, but how long does it last? If it only lasts for a year, then it isn't practical or economical. In fact it would produce a huge amount of waste.

Batteries need the same ability as a car's gas tank/fuel pump. Ability to be "refueled" quickly and last at least 20 years. I mean there are 30+ year old cars out there still running the same engine, transmission, and fuel system as the day they were built. It just takes proper maintenance.

One of the things I hate about cars today is that they're too complicated. There's so many little pieces of crap that can break. Hence why my dream is to take an old car (67-69 Camaro and put modern equipment in it. The only computers in the car being the ECM for the motor and the stereo.

RE: Good
By murphyslabrat on 3/13/2009 2:36:32 PM , Rating: 3
I think the referenced article explains things better than this Dailytech one. As far as I understand this article and the one it was based on, this is simply a make-over for traditional li-ion batteries.

The article that Mr. Barkoviak linked used the analogy of city streets, on which I'll extend: this doesn't build any new houses, doesn't put new doors on houses, and doesn't change the structure of the houses. All it does is make more streets, and make them bigger.

RE: Good
By erple2 on 3/13/2009 5:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the longevity issue. It'd be very interesting to see if they can even make the batteries, let alone whether they last any length of time, or what their energy density is (all things missing from the DT article).

On the other point ...

Nothing like having a car that requires constant tuning and tinkering with to keep it running well.

No thanks. I'll take my modern car with all of the electronic gizmos inside that don't require retunes for each season. By the way, once you put modern equipment in a 67 camaro, it's no longer simple anymore. I like cruise control. I like power windows. I like keyless entry. I like that I only have change the oil on my car every 3000 or so miles and it'll run flawlessly for 100+ thousand miles.

My experience with pre 1980's cars has been that something always needs tinkering with. Whether it's timing, carburetor, sparkplugs, whatever, it's NOT the plug and play devices we have now. That convenience is worth far more to me than the antiquated simplicity of old old cars.


RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 3/13/2009 6:15:03 PM , Rating: 3
Modern shocks and struts, disc brakes, modern posi traction, etc doesn't make a car prone to trouble. The ECU would be the only computer in the car. Stuff like fuel injectors and what not are not really troublesome components.

What I don't like are all the sensors and random safety crap in cars today that do nothing but break and add weight. I don't need power door locks. Sure I like power windows but those also aren't really too troublesome. I don't need remote start either. And you only have to change the oil every 3-5000 miles on any car. Even a car from the 60s.

I like cars I can work on without a computer to diagnose everything. My 87 Camaro only needed about 3 wrenches to work on most parts of it.

RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:25:14 AM , Rating: 3
You wrote 20, then 30 years. Shocks and struts don't last 1/5th that if replaced as they should be, and even ignoring handing, will entirely rust through when used in average climates.

Disc brakes certainly don't last that long either, the rotors must be turned a few times until they are too thin and have to be replaced. Same for brake lines, calipers, etc. There's no "care" and "maintenance" that precludes replacing these parts over that timespan. Fuel injectors will also be troublesome over this period if the gas lines age enough or poor quality fuel is used.

Power windows are also troublesome over 20+ years. Many fail within 10 if frequently used. So we can say these things aren't "trouble" but mainly because it'll be only a few things that happen to each car, not all of them at once. Plus, typically the older a car gets, the less frequently it is driven so the wear decelerates besides body rust-through if it's stored outside, but even then in the snow belt if it's not driven it's not exposed to salt so much.

There is something to be said for 20 to 30 year old cars though, at least the larger ones could have parts swapped without taking out 10 other parts just to gain access. These days just changing spark plugs or the battery means removing something else first.

RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
False. Weight and volume, and price was mentioned too, are the primary concerns. If it were not for these factors, electric cars would already travel further than they do, and be able to be recharged faster than they can.

How are these electric vehicles achiving the mileage they do at arguably almost-affordable prices? By using design characteristics common to efficient economy cars. Small, light weight, careful attention to component cost.

RE: Good
By Guspaz on 3/13/2009 8:35:27 AM , Rating: 4
That's a good point; for example, the limitations for charging electric cars comes not from how fast the battery, but how many amps you can supply from your house.

A typical computer battery, using mine as an example, stores 80Wh. Ignoring potential losses and conversions and other such things, charging that in 10 seconds would require you to supply 28.8KW of power. Again ignoring conversion to AC, at 120v you'd need to provide 240 amps. Most circuits in your home are 10 to 20 amps.

RE: Good
By Lord 666 on 3/13/2009 8:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention the infrastructure and electrical generation method upgrades to make a 240 outlet available in every home.

This is where nuclear power comes in as wind/solar/wishful thinking are not going to power these needs.

RE: Good
By shin0bi272 on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Good
By StevoLincolnite on 3/13/2009 12:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
Australia uses 240 volts, and without Nuclear Power Generation, Granted it has much smaller consumer demand because of the Population differences, Funny thing is though, I started reading this thread a few hours ago and the Power went out completely across town.

Plus Australia by law will have only Energy Efficient Lighting available, which might help offset energy needs to an extent.
Plus I did hear some talk about the Government upgrading the Power grids so they were all computer controlled so they would have higher efficiency.

RE: Good
By croc on 3/13/2009 6:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Plus I did hear some talk about the Government upgrading the Power grids so they were all computer controlled so they would have higher efficiency."

Talk is cheap... Maybe one infrastructure project at a time? Start out with the broadband roll-out, please... Most of our power grid is already on a SCADA system of some sort, but the seperate companies don't have inter-connects between their systems. Not to mention that the loss of a grid, say in Perth, cannot be easily supplemented by a grid in SA. Distance is a factor, but total power generation nation-wide is just barely adequate. Gas fired power could be brought on line faster, but it would still take several hours to get a GFPS on the grid. Power grids are perhaps the most complicated systems of any nation's infrascructure. Very few people really understand just how complicated they truly are.

RE: Good
By StevoLincolnite on 3/14/2009 12:09:44 AM , Rating: 2
The Government isn't building the NBN, hence why they had the tender process to find an ISP that would.

I agree, the power systems are complex, but some upgrades to increase efficiency would be a good way to cut down our carbon foot print and hopefully lower prices.

RE: Good
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 12:30:30 PM , Rating: 1
This is where nuclear power comes in as wind/solar/wishful thinking are not going to power these needs.
Nah, I propose that we move everyone/everything else out of Texas and cover the entire state with Solar cells. How's that for energy independence! See, it can be done.

RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Good
By s12033722 on 3/13/2009 1:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
240 V outlets are available in just about every home. You just use 2 120 V lines at opposite phases. How do you think most ovens and dryers run?

RE: Good
By JediJeb on 3/13/2009 2:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing, but noticed in the original post it mentioned 240A not volts. Most 240V outlets only have at best 30A breakers in most homes. To run at 240A would require a cable over an inch in diameter I imagine. With amperage that high any crack in the insulation of the wire would be very dangerous and the heat generated when pulling a load on it would be very high I think.

RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:31:33 AM , Rating: 2
Most households only have 100A, sometimes 200A total service. Total. The entire grid would need redone from one end to the other to support everyone rapid charging cars.

Cracks in wire insulation are not dangerous because of current, they are dangerous because of voltage. If the wire is the appropriate gauge, the thermal density will be no higher than any other wiring in your home. Of course the total heat produced is higher, but it is not much of a factor unless someone tries to cheat codes and put too small a capacity run in with an oversized breaker trying to get more juice to their car.

RE: Good
By Marlonsm on 3/13/2009 4:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good point

But how about putting one battery like that on your house, so it'd be slowly recharged during the day(maybe even using solar panels also) and when you need to recharge you laptop, or even your car, all those amps would come from that battery.

This way the infrastructure wouldn't need big changes.

RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:36:18 AM , Rating: 2
Then you're paying twice as much for costly batteries, both of which having to be replaced in a few years. It would be more energy friendly to just make both batteries the same with a quick-disconnect modular cartridge design, and a lift swaps one battery pack with another, instead of suffering the loss in inefficiency to discharge one to charge the other.

However for practical purposes electric cars already cost too much because of the battery, a reasonable target is batteries that charge at up to 30A @ 220V input as that will allow use of the existing infrastructure.

RE: Good
By Integral9 on 3/13/2009 9:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, but your battery is probably only producing somewhere near 12volts, not 120. So I think you need to produce 240A @ 12 volts. Which shouldn't be that hard to do from a standard wall outlet. The problem I think is going to be providing enough "bandwidth" for the Amps to flow through. You need a pretty wide path to get 240A @ only 12V.

RE: Good
By emboss on 3/13/2009 10:59:34 AM , Rating: 2
Guspaz is correct. He's simply using the 80 Wh battery capacity (voltage doesn't matter), and calculating how much power would be needed to recharge that in 10 seconds = 10/3600 hours. Simply dividing 80 Wh by (10/3600) hours gives 28800 W of power for 10 seconds. Regardless of the voltage anywhere.

However, you've got 120 V at the wall, so to pull 28.8 kW out of the wall socket you're going to need 28.8 kW / 120 V = 240 A. Note that this assumes no losses anywhere between the socket and the battery, whereas in real life these would be significant (requiring more than 240 A from the socket).

RE: Good
By Integral9 on 3/13/2009 1:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
(voltage doesn't matter)
Ahh. Thanks. I guess what I was trying to say was that you could take advantage of a voltage drop to produce more current. It would take longer to charge the battery, but at least you wouldn't have to decide between running your house or charging a battery in 10 sec.

RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:47:34 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, but it still wouldn't work. 12V*240A=2880W. 2880W/120V=24A. 24A*90% Switching PSU Efficiency = 27A. A typical household AC outlet is only rated for 15A.

Granted, you could wire up a different outlet.

RE: Good
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:16:26 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see any reason why these 12v batteries cannot be hooked up in series for charging, so you can shunt 240v into 20 cells at once. (12v each)

RE: Good
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/13/2009 10:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
If you're going to recharge at home, two hours is probably more than acceptable. Considering the Tesla has a 53kWh battery pack, a 2 hour charge, with a 220v outlet would be 120A. That's within the realm of possibilities... an electrician (or homeowner with a fully paid life insurance policy) could install the additional circuit panel and outlet in the garage for this.

Where this tech would come into play would be the electric equivalent of gas station. Where a 5-10 minute recharge is required. Since these haven't been built and flowing these levels of charge would be their sole business model, the expense of the equipment wouldn't be as much of a factor.

RE: Good
By rcc on 3/13/2009 12:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's only money. Just install a second fixed 60kWH battery with a slightly higher voltage in your garage and charge it all day at a lower rate. Pull in, hook up, and do your 10 second transfer. Oh, and stand clear of the heat sinks. : )

RE: Good
By sdoorex on 3/13/2009 2:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
If the system requires a second battery, why not just save the second and wholly unneeded transfer cycle and just make the batteries swappable. Maybe make some special parking apparatus that when you park, it lowers the discharged battery out of the truck moves it to a charging dock and raises the charged battery into the truck. This would save on the lifespan of the batteries, plus you would have all that wasted thermal energy from the transfer and as such would be cheaper in the long run. Not to mention, this would make a battery leasing system very easy. Just have the stations have the same apparatus but in a drive-over fashion and you pay a monthly plan to be able you use the batteries. As for charging for the energy used, you could have a plan based upon either the number of swaps or you monitor how much energy is used to recharge each battery.

This plan is already being worked on in France by a group called Project Better Place and Renalt. Quoted from :
Project Better Place has begun in October 2007 and is working with Renault on development of exchangeable batteries (battery swapping)

RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By Bubbacub on 3/13/2009 4:20:53 PM , Rating: 5
dude you seriously need to chillout

your 'party' lost 4-5 months ago. get over it. why anyone would get so wound up supporting one group of politician scummers over another is beyond me.

RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 3/15/2009 12:08:06 AM , Rating: 2
My "party" is anyone who values their ability to live their lives in peace and without the government telling them what they can and cannot own.

I could care less about Republicans and Democrats.

RE: Good
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
My "party" is anyone who values their ability to live their lives in peace

Can Iraqis vote for your party so you can leave them in peace?

Yeah the party that masterminds the invasion of two countries and spearheads the marginalisation and provocation of a couple more is the party all about peace.

Or am I wrong and you're not a stereotypical republican?

Ron Paul 2012!

RE: Good
By sdoorex on 3/23/2009 1:33:13 PM , Rating: 1
The idea isn't to do it at every home or parking spot but at service stations. Home charging would be done much the same as it is now, you just plug into the wall. Much like gas stations as now. This would not be as extremely expensive as you are saying and would be very economical as the stations and operators could make a lot of money. This would also git rid of the range argument against EVs.

As to the government rant, I said nothing about the government doing anything other than that certain governments are looking into supporting it. I also don't support any party in particular since they only look out for their own interests, not the interest of the people, and as such would appreciate some respect as to refrain from politicizing the thread.

Sorry for taking so long to reply, I was out away from civilization for a week and a half.

RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
You're overlooking that many homes only have 100A in TOTAL service, and either way, at peak times like in the evening the grid just won't handle that. The last stretch of wiring from the breaker box to the outlet in the garage is the least of the issues, easier, quicker, cheaper, than any other factor.

RE: Good
By AlexWade on 3/13/2009 9:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder about how long such batteries will last. What good is a fast charging battery if it last a short time? For how many charge cycles is this battery good for?

RE: Good
By Doormat on 3/13/2009 10:53:27 AM , Rating: 3
LiFePO batteries have other positive aspects. Like their 2000 charge cycle life (to 80%). Compare that to the 300-500 cycles of standard lithium batteries.

One of the facts that came out of this study was that you don't need to recharge the battery in 10 seconds. If you cut down the charging rates (but still charge them faster that you otherwise could without this discovery), the Wh/kg and Wh/L go up. As you increase the charge/discharge rate the battery capacity goes down. This isn't generally a problem though for PHEVs considering the fastest you could charge one is limited by what kind of electrical service enters your home and what outlets you have available (240V/30A is probably the highest).

The simplest example would be to replace the Volt's batteries with these in a few years. You could get the same range, a smaller battery (12kWh instead of 16kWh), and not have to worry about replacing the battery in the 100,000 mile warranty period (the battery would last about 3,000 cycles before 80% capacity, or about 108,000 miles).

I would bet they'd still be fairly expensive - $18,000 for a 12kW pack. But considering that GM expects to have to replace the battery pack (parts and labor at their expense) at least once in the warranty period of the first few years worth of Volt production, and they're paying about $10K per pack, its an improvement.

RE: Good
By gsellis on 3/16/2009 7:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
Good points.

You made me think of another. With such a fast recharge rate, hybrids can get bigger. Regenerative braking on something like a tractor trailer or locomotive are less likely to put too much into the charging system too fast. Hmmmm...

(I still like the hydraulic hybrid that U of Minn or was it U of Wisc did in the 70's with a 16HP Briggs and Straton engine - regenerative braking and brilliant gas mileage on a not so efficient engine. Size made it a two seater in a Bradley GT body - but it still did 0-60 in 8 sec. - if you want to research it, it was covered in Mother Earth News in the 70's.)

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki