At last; an answer to all those battery problems

charles_reed

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Reproduced from an US website:-

Inside Ceramatec's wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions -- electrically charged particles -- back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It's amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it's both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn't want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec's breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery's life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours -- how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That's a pretty exciting place to live.

And then you recharge. With a projected 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles -- one per day for a decade -- you leave the next-best battery in the dust. Deep-cycling lead/acid batteries like the ones used in RVs are only good for a few hundred cycles, so they're kaput in a year or so.

How do you recharge? By tapping your solar panels or windmills. It's just like plugging in your cell phone or iPod, only you plug in your house.
 

wooslehunter

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Interesting bit of marketing BS.

[ QUOTE ]
that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery's life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

[/ QUOTE ]

So, where does the power come from to charge the battery in the first place. If it's free then indeed it's 3c/kWh. $2000 / ( 4 x 5kWh x 365 x 10)

If it's from the grid, it's 11c/kWh.
 

wotayottie

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wonder how big / heavy the battery is . 5 kw for 4 hours = 6.5 bhp for 4 hours. assume 200 bhp required for a car and for an 8 hour duty cyle thats 64 batteries or thereabouts. now a car engine might weigh say 200kg with fuel so the battery would need to weigh maybe 4kg each to compete. all very very rough figures. but thats 120k for batteries alone.

went to the 60th anniversary of Colin Chapmans founding of Lotus cars. lots of fascinating things to be seen and one of them was an electric Elise where they had installed a throttle linked sound system to relay the sound of a revving engine. partly safety (ever been near a Prius moving on battery alone?) but also cos thats the only way most petrol heads would consider an electric car. got to be able to rev the nuts off going through a tunnel. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

charles_reed

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The battery is described as "the size of a refrigerator", now that's probably one of your American walk-ins. So I'd guess in the area of 3-5 tons (sodium is pretty heavy, and the gear to keep it @90C will be significant).

By-the-bye your assumptions about power comparisons are probably fallacious - the Prius electric motor , I believe, is about 3.2kW flat out (someone will be along to correct that soon), the electric motor scores over your ic or even ci motor for the vastly superior torque it produces.

The significance of this announcement (they're trying to raise capital for pre-production) is the application of thin-film technology (already all around us in the Li-polymer batteries we're all using in phones and laptops) to sodium batteries, proven technology but currently operating around 600C, to run at a remarkably low temperature.

can't see it making it to domestic power-use, but maybe motor-cars... GM had a car designed around this battery.

Used to race against CC in 750 Club.

Which betrays my age...
 

wooslehunter

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[ QUOTE ]
Solar or wind.

The battery is in fact the major cost-consideration in total energy self-sufficiency.

[/ QUOTE ]

Which isn't free either BTW.

Just a comment about the marketing BS, not the product.
 

Spyro

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So it charges by solar or wind power, how many weeks would it take to fully charge?
/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

charles_reed

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<<Which isn't free either BTW.

Just a comment about the marketing BS, not the product.>>

Since when have journalists (forgive me James) been strict respecters of the truth?

If you ignore CofC, depreciation, maintenance etc. it is.

For the hyped domestic use I don't think much chance, I think the piece is aimed at US manufacturers looking to get a piece of those $$$$ budgeted by the Bush and now the Obama administrations.

I thought it a change from the endless discussions we have on 150-year lead-acid technology.
 

saltwater_gypsy

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All with a pinch of salt methinks!
What has happened to hydrogen technology and fuel cells. The Mercedes A series was built with a chamber to take a fuel cell. Still hasn't happened.
Battery technology has moved very slowly and steadily for decades. The latest generation of lithium cells have still to be fully exploited.
 

Stemar

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Even assuming the hype is accurate (which I don't) I'd be a little uneasy about having several kilos of metallic sodium in my boat. If the casing got damaged and water got in, the sodium would give it a very warm reception.
 

wotayottie

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[ QUOTE ]


By-the-bye your assumptions about power comparisons are probably fallacious - the Prius electric motor , I believe, is about 3.2kW flat out (someone will be along to correct that soon), the electric motor scores over your ic or even ci motor for the vastly superior torque it produces.

Used to race against CC in 750 Club.

Which betrays my age...

[/ QUOTE ]

torque x revs = hp. what governs vehicle max speed is hp - torque can be multiplied by gearing to give whatever you want.
 

alan_d

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[ QUOTE ]
What has happened to hydrogen technology and fuel cells?

[/ QUOTE ]

When I was at school in the 1950s I used to read articles in New Scientist about how fuel-cell technology would shortly replace lead-acid batteries for electric traction. It is a good job I am patient ...
 
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