April 18, 2013 at 2:59 am #7435NassimParticipant
“You could replace your car battery with one of our batteries and it would be 10 times smaller, or 10 times more powerful. With that in mind you could jumpstart a car with the battery in your cell phone.”
Every so often similar claims seem to appear – I have been watching this space for 40+ years – and each time I take them seriously, just in case.April 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm #7441gurusidParticipant
Yes interesting technology. However I think the laws of physics would have something to say about trying to start your car with something as small as your phone battery; you might find you need a large heat-sink to dissipate all the heat generated from trying to effectively short circuit the battery as that is how the battery would see the load of the starter motor. Car batteries have this problem of internal resistance already, and it is one of the reasons for their relatively short life. Its the same problem as found on board the microprocessor chip in your pc and the reason it gets so hot: high current/small space. Then there is the problem of how the battery will work with the rest of the equipment, as it is in effect part of the circuit, here operation of an inverter is adversely affected by the batteries internal characteristics. There have been numerous incidents of laptop and phone batteries catching fire and this is a problem with any small high power battery as in fact they point out:
Other battery experts welcomed the team’s efforts but said it could prove hard to bring the technology to market.
“The challenge is to make a microbattery array that is robust enough and that does not have a single short circuit in the whole array via a process that can be scaled up cheaply,” said Prof Clare Grey from the University of Cambridge’s chemistry department.
University of Oxford’s Prof Peter Edwards – an expert in inorganic chemistry and energy – also expressed doubts.
“This is a very exciting development which demonstrates that high power densities are achievable by such innovations,” he said.
“The challenges are: scaling this up to manufacturing levels; developing a simpler fabrication route; and addressing safety issues.
“I’d want to know if these microbatteries would be more prone to the self-combustion issues that plagued lithium-cobalt oxide batteries which we’ve seen become an issue of concern with Boeing’s Dreamliner jets.”
Prof King acknowledged that safety was an issue due to the fact the current electrolyte was a combustible liquid.
He said that in the test equipment only a microscopic amount of the liquid was used, making the risk of an explosion negligible – but if it were scaled up to large sizes the danger could become “significant”.
However, he added that he soon planned to switch to a safer polymer-based electrolyte to address the issue.
Again it points to there being no panacea for our current energy problems, though that’s not to say that something like this if developed and brought to market wouldn’t be a boon to battery backups – depending upon what they were used for, good ‘ole hyper complexity kicks in right off the bat.
However I am sure it will feature soon in expensive military and high tech gadgets, though it remains to be seen if there will be a commercial market of any description in the near future to bring it to the masses… :unsure:
Sid.April 19, 2013 at 1:50 am #7446NassimParticipant
However I am sure it will feature soon in expensive military and high tech gadgets,
Yes. I can just imagine how much improved the performance of a drone would be with a battery that is:
1- Very lightweight
2- Capable of allowing the aircraft to fly for many hours – silently – and while carrying lots of electronic equipment
I am sure those who make these things would salivate at the prospect.
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