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StrictlyRockers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 12:51 PM
Original message
(Technology Review) Battery Breakthrough
Edited on Tue Jan-23-07 12:55 PM by StrictlyRockers
http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18086 /

Battery Breakthrough?

A secretive Texas startup developing what some are calling a "game changing" energy-storage technology broke its silence this week. It announced that it has reached two production milestones and is on track to ship systems this year for use in electric vehicles.

EEStor's ambitious goal, according to patent documents, is to "replace the electrochemical battery" in almost every application, from hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles to laptop computers to utility-scale electricity storage.

The company boldly claims that its system, a kind of battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market in terms of energy density, price, charge time, and safety. Pound for pound, it will also pack 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals, according to the company.

The implications are enormous and, for many, unbelievable. Such a breakthrough has the potential to radically transform a transportation sector already flirting with an electric renaissance, improve the performance of intermittent energy sources such as wind and sun, and increase the efficiency and stability of power grids--all while fulfilling an oil-addicted America's quest for energy security.
<...>


I hope this is real and not some publicity stunt, or something. This has the potential to help us make a big step toward energy independence and sustainable lifestyles THIS YEAR. I want my electric car. And I want to end GM's reign.

SR




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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Link, please?
:hi:
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StrictlyRockers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Updated. Damn, you were quick.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Thanks. Yeah, I was...and so were you.
:hi:
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Me likes
:D
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. "pie in the sky"
Things like this never pan out...

:sarcasm:

:evilgrin:

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StrictlyRockers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I know.
It's not even worth getting one's hopes up.
:sarcasm:


And neither is this:
http://www.steorn.net/en/news.aspx?p=2&id=981

SR

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Brundle_Fly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. they do
people like duracell or LG show up with brief cases full of cash and buy everything and shelf it.
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Graybeard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. It's about time...sheeesh!
...still using 19th century technology in the 21st century? Still trying to understand why this lagged so far behind other breakthroughs.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. There seems to be some skepticism
"While the technology has been around, my guess is that the processing and manufacturing capability was not. These days layers can be produced at the nanometer level, and by doing so drastically increase the surface area of the storable energy, fully using the dielectric of the Barium Titanate. Apparently they are working on the purity of the Barium Titanate as we speak, so this will be key. I'm just not confident that they can produce these at the price "quoted" in their patent.

Posted by: mjtimber at August 31, 2006 01:37 PM

Pretty sure this is a scam. It is pretty easy to check with a basic physics text book. I just ran some reasonable numbers like K=1250, breakdown voltage = 3.2kV/mm, density of BaTiO3=6g/cm3.

Using the quoted number of 400lb, 52kWh, I find that the claim is off by at least 10^6. Perhaps they have found a way to increase K or breakdown of BaTiO3 by a factor of a million, or I have messed something up, but I doubt it."

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/dealflow/archive...

Typically the problem with ultracapacitor-based energy storage systems is that in a capacitor, only the surface stores charge, whereas in an electrochemical device (such as lead-acid) the charge is stored throughout the volume as potential chemical energy. A hybrid is an interesting approach, and it sounds like this is one to keep an eye on.
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EmperorHasNoClothes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. How long before the startup's employees start turning up dead?
If this is real (and I'm skeptical), it's going to make a lot of very rich and powerful people very upset...
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'm with you; I hope this isn't another "cold fusion" illusion.
I hope it represents a genuine leap forward. It sounds so promising.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'll believe it when I see it, but I really want to believe. This is something I've been hoping for
so much! ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, AND I'M NOT TALKING ETHANOL!
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. "Secretive Texas startup company" ? wonder how they were funded
a better moustrap will always attract investors to your door
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-23-07 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
13. Russian physicist takes on EEStor's bold claims:
Anatoly Moskalev wrote on January 20th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

About EEStore supercapacitor hype :

1. The company made claims about dielectric powder parameters - that is it. Claims themselves are likely correct. So they have powder with:

Eps = 18500, Eth = 3 * 10 ^ 6 V / sm, Density = ~ 6 g / sm^3 ( Eth - practical electric field intensity threshold )

For 12 um thickness of dielectric we get Uth = ~3500 V - top practical voltage. From a capacitor formula you could get

C = ~0.2 F / kg resulting to energy density ~1.15 MJ / kg = ~320 Wh / kg

For comparison Tesla Motors battery pack has 5 2 kWh / 450 kg = ~110 Wh / kg

Capacitors formulas from school text books appears well known so after powder parameters verified EEStore CHEMISTS feel safe to make bold claims.

2. But good physicist like me knows very well that capacitors physics under extreme conditions is not textbook straightforward. The dielectric constant involved will stay at indicated value until approximately 30000 V / sm electric field strength. This value is pretty high so measurements unlikely exceed this so they give high Eps value OK.

But to get claimed energy density you need approximately 100 times higher field strength. Getting such field strenght is extremely unlikely in the Eps measurements. But the reality is that exactly in this field strenght region electrical induction gets saturation because it reaches the interatomic field strength. This is well know effect to physicysts but not very widely known phenomenon to general public. Resulted effect on the energy could be described as if dielectric constant gets reduced in the formula. My estimations demonstrates that actual energy density would be 25 - 50 times less than a claim.

Resulted EEStore capacitor would approximately match currently available ultracapacitors by energy density per unit of mass making ~5 times better energy density per unit of volume. As such it would be marginal improvement over existing ultracapacitors technology. It surely would be a order of magnitude improvement for ceramic capacitors so it would have some use. But it would be nothing as bold as EEStore claims.

In 1 - 2 years from now we will see what would be the outcome of EEStore activity. Judgement day for EEStore would come when somebody would build a capacitor and try to store expected energy into it. It would be discovered that above
~100 V voltage would grow with charge much faster than expected and finally instead of ~15 kWh it would be ~0.3 kWh at the highest possible voltage. But powder alone would match all the promises. Who knows - they might even think it is a big discovery of new phenomenon. So they would explain the failure by claiming they run into truly unpredictable effect unknown to science. Irony is that 1947 year physics knows it and today it is forgotten.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog1/index.php?p=46&js_enab...
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