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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. 



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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
quote:
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.


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