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THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby dolanbaker » Sat 14 Jun 2014, 10:17:07

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27829874

Vanadium "redox flow" batteries are indeed stable. They can be discharged and recharged 20,000 times without much loss of performance, and are thought to last decades (they have not been around long enough for this to have been demonstrated in practice).

They can also be enormous, and - in large part thanks to their vanadium content - expensive. The smallest of the "Cellcube" batteries that American Vanadium is producing in partnership with German engineering firm Gildemeister has a footprint the size of a parking bay and costs $100,000.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 01 Jul 2014, 17:39:46

Molten-air battery offers up to 50x higher storage capacity than Li-ion

With support from the National Science Foundation, researchers at George Washington University, led by Stuart Licht, think they have developed a novel solution, and they're calling it the "molten air battery."

These new rechargeable batteries, which use molten electrolytes, oxygen from air, and special "multiple electron" storage electrodes, have the highest intrinsic electric energy storage capacities of any other batteries to date. Their energy density, durability and cost effectiveness give them the potential to replace conventional electric car batteries, said Licht, a professor in GWU's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry.

The researchers started with iron, carbon or vanadium boride for their ability to transfer multiple electrons. Molten air batteries made with iron, carbon or vanadium boride can store three, four and 11 electrons per molecule respectively, giving them 20 to 50 times the storage capacity of a lithium-ion battery, which is only able to store one electron per molecule of lithium. "Molten air introduces an entirely new class of batteries," Licht said.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby JV153 » Wed 02 Jul 2014, 02:35:08

Molten salt batteries aren't new. I remember reading about them when I was 12 years old but even molten salt batteries haven't achieved any kind of significant use. Problem is, how much energy (enthalphy of fusion) does it take to melt a large at 750-800 Celsius ? Does the molten salt or air battery need heating while sitting unused ? (ans: yes).


The molten air batteries in this study aren't rechargeable, they are quasi rechargeable.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 07 Jul 2014, 18:39:52

Engineering researchers develop next-generation battery

A research team from the University of Alberta has used carbon nanomaterials to develop next-generation batteries capable of charging faster and lasting longer than today's standard lithium-ion batteries.

"What we've done is develop a new electrochemistry technology that can provide high energy density and high power density for the next generation," said lead researcher Xinwei Cui, who completed his PhD in materials engineering at the U of A in 2010 and is now chief technology officer at AdvEn Solutions, a technology development company that is working on the battery so it can be commercially manufactured for use in electronic devices.

The research team developed the new technology for energy storage using a process called induced fluorination.

"We tried lots of different materials. Normally carbon is used as the anode in lithium-ion batteries, but we used carbon as the cathode, and this is used to build a battery with induced fluorination," Cui explained.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 23 Jul 2014, 18:35:40

Affordable Batteries for Green Energy are Closer than We Think

At the heart of the current debate around energy is the question of storage. In cars, how to build batteries that run for hundreds of kilometres; in electricity, storing energy from solar panels for when the sun doesn’t shine.

Our analysis shows that the past very high storage costs are now rapidly falling. This suggests that the financial appeal of electric cars and stationary storage is set to keep increasing considerably in years ahead.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 24 Jul 2014, 18:48:45

Cost-effective, solvothermal synthesis of heteroatom (S or N)-doped graphene developed

A research team led by group leader Yung-Eun Sung has announced that they have developed cost-effective technology to synthesize sulfur-doped and nitrogen-doped graphenes which can be applied as high performance electrodes for secondary batteries and fuel cells. Yung-Eun Sung is both a group leader at the Center for Nanoparticle Research at Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and a professor at the Seoul National University.

These heteroatom-doped graphene exhibited high surface areas and high contents of heteroatoms.In addition, the lithium-ion batteries that had modified graphenes applied to it, exhibited a higher capacity than the theoretical capacity of graphite which was previously used in lithium-ion batteries. It presented high chemical stability which resulted in no capacity degradation in charge and discharge experiments.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 27 Jul 2014, 20:25:09

'Holy grail' of battery design achieved: Stable lithium anode

Researchers report that they have taken a big step toward accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades -- design a pure lithium anode. All batteries have three basic components: an electrolyte to provide electrons, an anode to discharge those electrons, and a cathode to receive them. The nanosphere layer of a newly created battery design resembles a honeycomb: it creates a flexible, uniform and non-reactive film that protects the unstable lithium from the drawbacks that have made it such a challenge.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 30 Jul 2014, 17:51:59

New Battery Boasts 7 Times More Energy Density

Imagine a lithium-ion battery that packs 7 times more energy per kilogram than any battery available today. How would that change the future of electric vehicles?

Just last week, we reported on a conversation with Mitsuhisa Kato, Toyota’s head of research and development, who complains that the batteries available today are simply not good enough to make EV’s a credible choice for most buyers. Kato said it will take a “Nobel Prize winning battery” before EV’s go mainstream. Toyota, Honda and the Japanese government have made a major commitment to hydrogen fuel cell cars instead.

This week a research team at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering has announced a new lithium ion battery that packs seven times more energy density – at 2,570 watt-hours per kilogram – than current lithium ion batteries. The team, led by Professor Noritaka Mizuno, adds cobalt to the lithium oxide crystal structure of the positive electrode, which promotes the creation of oxides and peroxides during the charge/discharge cycle. In addition, it promises significantly faster recharge times as well.

Isn’t it ironic that the “Nobel battery” Toyota’s Kato referred to may have been invented by a team of Japanese scientists? For a more detailed technical explanation of the of the new battery, see the report first published in Nikkei Technology.


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Tesla Gigafactory deal confirmed - Panasonic to invest up to $1Billion

Panasonic has reached a basic agreement with Tesla Motors to participate in the Gigafactory, the huge battery plant that the American electric vehicle manufacturer plans to build in the U.S.

Tesla aims to begin the first phase of construction this fiscal year. The plant would start making lithium-ion cells for Tesla cars in 2017. The automaker is shouldering the cost for the land and buildings.

Panasonic likely will invest 20 billion to 30 billion yen ($194-291 million) initially, taking responsibility for equipping the factory with the machinery to make the battery cells. An official announcement on the partnership will come by the end of this month.

Capacity at the Gigafactory will be added in stages to match demand, with the goal of producing enough battery cells in 2020 to equip 500,000 electric vehicles a year.

The total investment is expected to reach up to $5 billion, and Panasonic's share could reach $1 billion.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 20 Aug 2014, 17:15:40

Secretive Company Claims Battery Breakthrough

Sakti3, a Michigan startup that auto-industry insiders have been whispering about for years, says it might soon hit those two sacred targets. The company has long been in semi-stealth mode, talking to the press but offering few particulars about its technology. Now, Ann Marie Sastry, co-founder and CEO of the company, tells me that the company’s prototype solid-state lithium battery cells have reached a record energy density of 1,143 Watt-hours per liter— more than double the energy density of today’s best lithium-ion batteries.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 26 Aug 2014, 19:07:24

What causes Lithium-ion to die?
A speaker at the BATTERIES 2013 conference in Nice, France, flashed charts on the screen that showed continuously rising energy densities. When the audience asked the presenter: “Do you believe in these predictions?” the self-conscious speaker replied in a strong Chinese accent, “no.” A subdued laugher arose. The battery industry does not foresee significant improvements in energy density in the near future.

After the 2008 callback when Li-ion disassembled in consumer products, safety gained added attention and batteries became safer. With the advent of the electric vehicle, longevity is moving to the forefront and experts begin exploring what causes batteries to fail. While a two-to-three year battery life with 500 cycles is acceptable for laptops and mobile phones, the eight-year warranty of an EV appears short when considering that a replacement battery carries the price of a new compact car. If the life of the battery could be extended to, say, 20 years, then driving an EV would be justified even if the initial investment is high. Driving a fancy EV, such as the Tesla Model-S, may be more novelty than utility.

In October 2012, Leaf owners in California and Arizona sued Nissan, claiming that the vehicles have a design defect that causes them to prematurely lose battery life and driving range. Heat when driving in a hot climate was blamed. The battery in the Leaf has no active thermal management to keep the cells cool. This omission was given as the reason why the battery would lose 27.5 percent of its capacity after one-to-two years of ownership.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 01 Sep 2014, 16:45:26

Vanadium battery technology could transform power grids

New York has a reputation as the city that never sleeps. But it does use much less electricity after dark — and its utilities charge a lower price for power then.

On top of a Manhattan skyscraper is a car-sized battery that charges itself at night, when most of the building is empty and electricity costs less. When office workers arrive the next morning — and the electricity price rises — the battery discharges to power the building.

The mega-battery was produced by American Vanadium (don't let the name fool you, it's actually Canadian, run out of Vancouver). And its technology has the potential to transform electrical grids, along with our ability to make use of green energy such as wind and solar power.

The metal vanadium is element 23 on the periodic table, between titanium and chromium.

American Vanadium owns the world's largest known deposit of vanadium, at a mine in Nevada.

Bill Radvak, the company's president and CEO,is looking for ways to exploit the resource.

Vanadium has long been used to strengthen steel — just a tiny amount can make steel 10 times stronger, allowing thinner beams to be used to building construction.

But recently, there has been lots of interest in using it to make batteries.

Vanadium is a unique battery material because it's the only element that can be used on both sides (positive and negative) of the same battery, Radvak said.

When there are different elements on the two sides of the battery, as in a lithium battery, the electrodes degrade with every charge, he added.

Battery 'lasts essentially forever'

"But when you actually have the same element on both sides, the battery lasts essentially forever."


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 01 Sep 2014, 23:39:48

Graeme wrote:Vanadium is a unique battery material because it's the only element that can be used on both sides (positive and negative) of the same battery, Radvak said.
Doesn't that trigger your BS detector?
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 03 Sep 2014, 18:06:26

You don't agree? Explain. Not saying you're wrong. Just looking for truth.

New RMI Project Aims To Sustain Battery Cost Reduction

Four short years ago, the U.S. solar industry surpassed expectations by installing 340 MW of solar at a cost of $6.40 per watt in the first half of 2010. How times have changed. In the first quarter of this year alone, the U.S. installed 1,330 MW of solar for an average $2.36 per watt. In other words, we installed roughly four times as much solar in half the time for about one-third the cost. Talk about progress!

Because technology costs (in this case, PV modules) plunged so rapidly, balance-of-system costs today make up the majority of system prices. That’s today’s land of opportunity for further cost declines in solar. And now, battery energy storage is undergoing a similar evolution.

Over the past several months an increasing number of industry executives have drawn analogies between energy storage and the history of solar costs. Lithium ion-based energy storage systems, it’s said, are currently where solar was back in 2010. Typically these kinds of comments are in reference to the cost of lithium-ion batteries, which, with the help of the Tesla gigafactory, are expected to come down dramatically in cost over the next several years—just like PV modules circa 2010.

Batteries can play an important role in helping the U.S. realize a clean, affordable electricity future powered largely by distributed renewables. But forecasted declines in the cost of lithium-ion cells won’t be enough. Just as with solar, batteries’ balance-of-system costs—permitting, interconnection, inverter/converter costs, installation labor, safety testing, battery enclosure, power electronics, etc.—will be an important enabler of greater, faster adoption. This is especially true considering that balance-of-system costs for batteries currently consume an even greater share of distributed energy storage costs than solar balance-of-system costs did for PV systems back in 2010. And that’s precisely why RMI is launching this important line of work.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 07 Sep 2014, 18:29:46

EV Batteries Are More Awesome Than We Thought. Probably.

When I went to buy my EV, I was concerned about battery life. Sure, the car would come with a battery warranty, some of which are more awesome than others, but what about after the warranty expired? How much would a battery pack cost to replace? How long would it really last? 8 years? 10? 15? It was all very mysterious, and no one was really making any promises. So, being the giant nerd that I am, I set out on a mission. A mission to figure out how tough the batteries in EVs really are.

I started with the car I would end up buying: the Smart Electric Drive. I scoured the internet, and found a document from the manufacturer. I don’t have permission to reproduce it, but I can give you the highlights:

~9000 cycles at 1C (extrapolated)
4000 cycles 2C
3000 cycles at 3C
Note: All stats are 100% depth of discharge (DoD) to 80% remaining capacity.

These stats are nothing but impressive. At 9000 cycles, and 80 miles per charge, I could expect my Smart Electric Drive to travel 648,000 miles and still have 80% battery capacity! Amazing, no? These are some seriously tough cells! Another interesting point? At 2% DoD cycling, at insanely high rates, the cells lasted 3.5 million cycles! That’s insane! Guess we don’t have to worry about regenerative braking wear!

That’s great for me, but what about the pre-eminent electric car: The Model S? Well, that’s a bit of a trick. You see, the exact cells that Tesla uses are probably unique to them. But we can try to make some educated guesses based on similar Panasonic cells! And it looks like it’s about 300 cycles to 80% capacity, at .3C, for these particular cells. Gee, that seems low, doesn’t it? But let’s really look at this further. How could Tesla use such cells, and not have cars going flat in just a few years? We know that Teslas in the wild seem to be holding up really well!

There are a few main reasons for this:

Depth of Discharge
Rate of Discharge
Temperature Management
We might not be looking at a valid datasheet

Lets look at each of those a bit closer:


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 08 Sep 2014, 08:05:00

Working under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, we reported the findings in the January 2014 issue of Nature Communications.

This breakthrough sugar-powered biobattery can achieve an energy-storage density of about 596 ampere-hours per kilogram (A-h/kg) — an order of magnitude higher than the 42 A-h/kg energy density of a typical lithium-ion battery. A sugar biobattery with such a high energy density could last at least ten times longer than existing lithium-ion batteries of the same weight. [Electric Bacteria Could Be Used for Bio-Battery ]

This nature-inspired biobattery is a type of enzymatic fuel cell (EFC) — an electrobiochemical device that converts chemical energy from fuels such as starch and glycogen into electricity. While EFCs operate under the same general principles as traditional fuel cells, they use enzymes instead of noble-metal catalysts to oxidize their fuel. Enzymes allow for the use of more-complex fuels (such as glucose), and these more-complex fuels are what give EFCs their superior energy density.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Timo » Mon 08 Sep 2014, 08:46:29

Tanada, thank you for that bit of news! The future of electrification can't get here soon enough, and energy storage is the single biggest barrier to overcome in getting there. News of fuel cells, though, makes me wonder about the gigafactory underway in Nevada. At the pace that battery/storage technologies are changing right now, will Tesla be able to adapt their own manufacturing technologies to keep pace? What nearby state will become the first gigasugarfarm? I don't think sugar grows in the desert. Still, great news!
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby JV153 » Mon 08 Sep 2014, 12:36:45

Keith_McClary wrote:
Graeme wrote:Vanadium is a unique battery material because it's the only element that can be used on both sides (positive and negative) of the same battery, Radvak said.
Doesn't that trigger your BS detector?


Well, if you know how a lead-acid battery works.. :lol:
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 13 Sep 2014, 18:14:21

ViZn Energy: A New Flow Battery Contender in the Grid-Scale Storage Race

For years, battery technology startups and researchers have been striving to create a rechargeable, grid-scale energy storage system using zinc, one of the world’s cheapest and most plentiful metals. Zinc-based batteries tend to break down after just hundreds of charge-discharge cycles, however -- and coming up with new technology innovations to overcome this remains a challenge.

Take the example of ViZn Energy Systems, a startup with a zinc-iron flow battery it’s now putting to the test in grid-scale applications. For the past four years, ViZn (pronounced “vision”) has been busy turning a fundamental weakness of its alkaline-based electrolyte chemistry into a key advantage.

Founded in 2009 as Zinc Air Inc., the Columbia Falls, Mont.-based startup changed its name in September and launched its first commercial-scale product, an 80-kilowatt, 160-kilowatt-hour zinc redox flow battery housed in a 20-foot shipping container. It also announced its first deployment with BlueSky Energy for an Austrian microgrid project, aimed at storing and balancing on-site solar generation.

In March, ViZn announced that Kalispell, Mont.-based utility Flathead Electric Cooperative had installed a second system, meant to test a variety of grid support services. And this week, grid energy storage software and systems startup Greensmith named ViZn as one of the battery providers it’s working with at grid scale.

ViZn’s Z20 systems are targeting a price point of $800 per kilowatt-hour for microgrid systems, Kirk Plautz, vice president of sales, told me in a July interview. The company’s longer-term goal is to put together five of these containers in a 1-megawatt, 3 megawatt-hour system, the GS200, with a “clear path” to reducing those costs to about $450 per kilowatt-hour at scale, he said.

That’s on par with the costs being targeted by other flow battery competitors, whether they’re using vanadium (UniEnergy, Imergy and Cellcube), iron-chromium (EnerVault) or zinc-bromine chemistries (Primus Power, ZBB, RedFlow). Flow batteries pump electrolyte through electrochemical cells, and thus can add more tanks of electrolyte to expand their energy capacity, something sealed batteries can’t do. They aren’t as efficient as the latest lithium-ion batteries, however, and can’t compete on how much power they're able to deliver at any one time.

One of ViZn’s key differentiators is its use of an alkaline, rather than acidic, electrolyte to get the job done, executive vice president Craig Wilkins told me. That alkaline chemistry, developed over the course of nearly a decade of research at Lockheed Martin, was aimed at avoiding the dendrite formation and subsequent failure common to acidic-based zinc battery chemistries, he said.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 13 Sep 2014, 23:26:47

Keith_McClary wrote:
Graeme wrote:Vanadium is a unique battery material because it's the only element that can be used on both sides (positive and negative) of the same battery, Radvak said.
Doesn't that trigger your BS detector?


A vanadium redox battery consists of an assembly of power cells in which the two electrolytes are separated by a proton exchange membrane. Both electrolytes are vanadium based, the electrolyte in the positive half-cells contains VO2+ and VO2+ ions, the electrolyte in the negative half-cells, V3+ and V2+ ions. The electrolytes may be prepared by any of several processes, including electrolytically dissolving vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) in sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The solution remains strongly acidic in use.


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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 18 Sep 2014, 17:45:47

Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch

A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on. Scientists are now reporting they have overcome key obstacles toward making lithium-sulfur batteries, which have the potential to leave today's lithium-ion technology in the dust.


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