It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

New betavoltaic power cell works for nearly 20 years

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 09:03 PM
link   
A company called Qynergy Corporation has worked with scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Research Reactor on an energy project funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The project has resulted in the creation of a power cell that can generate small amounts of electricity for over 20 years, working in a manner similar to solar power but using radioisotopes instead of light.

The amount of energy specified in this article seems small, microwatts to tens of milliwatts, but the technology still seems interesting.



newswise

The technology used in betavoltaic power cells is similar to solar power generation, but uses radioisotopes as the energy source rather than sunlight. The cells use isotopes that are fully contained within the power cell—similar to the radioactive source found in many household smoke detectors—and can be used without external risk.

The technology transforms the energy of beta particles into electrical power—with the capacity to generate electricity for months or years, depending on the energy and half-life of the isotope used. The power cells, called QynCells™, are rugged, safe and portable, and are capable of operating in harsh environments and extreme temperatures with no required maintenance.

The project was funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate. The QynCell™ can be used as a stand-alone power source or coupled with a variety of power storage and power generation technologies, either to extend the overall power system lifetime or to generate extra power. Future work might lead to integrating the QynCells™ with super capacitors and rechargeable lithium ion batteries and using the technology for micro and nano systems.

The Air Force is extending funding for the development of QynCell™ designs for specific Department of Defense applications using two isotopes, promethium-147 and krypton-85, for devices with lifetimes ranging from one to 20 years and for power ranging from microwatts to tens of milliwatts depending on the needs and requirements of the specific application.


I wonder if this can be scaled up for larger power requirements.
If so, this could be even bigger than solar power.




posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 09:12 PM
link   
Betavoltaics seem to have been around for quite a while but this is the frst time I've heard of them.



en.wikipedia.org...

Betavoltaics were invented over 50 years ago. In 2005 a new betavoltaic device using porous silicon diodes was proposed to increase their efficiency. This increase in efficiency is largely due to the larger surface area of the capture material. The porous silicon allows the tritium gas to penetrate into many pits and pores, greatly increasing the effective surface area of the device.

The primary use for betavoltaics is for remote and long-term use, such as spacecraft requiring electrical power for a decade or two. The recent progress in technology has prompted some to suggest using betavoltaics to trickle-charge conventional batteries in consumer devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers. As early as 1973, betavoltaics were suggested for use in long-term medical devices such as pacemakers.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 09:22 PM
link   
Ah the good old Atomic battery last I heard they were talking about a decade run time

www.technologyreview.com... trk=nl

20 years man that would be great progress It could have many applications depending on how strong they make them. Imagine a cell phone battery that could run for years



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 10:26 PM
link   
ermm... a cell phone battery powered by a radioactive element doesn't sound too attractive, regardless of the quantity and type of radiation.



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 10:29 PM
link   
Get rid of you smoke detectors then
If any amount is too much heh.



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 10:38 PM
link   
We encounter radioactive items all the time during everyday life. Like sardion2000 pointed out Smoke detectors. Another example is those
modern watches with the faces that glow use a small amount of tritium.


Heres some other interesting items we use that are radioactive
hps.org...

www.nuenergy.org...



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 09:52 PM
link   

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Another example is those
modern watches with the faces that glow use a small amount of tritium.


Heres some other interesting items we use that are radioactive
hps.org...

www.nuenergy.org...


I thought that they stopped using the radioactive face glow stuff, and use something safer now. I was reading about cool watches a few weeks ago and one company at least (I think it was omega or something) said they use some chemical paste now rather than good old fashion tritium



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 05:39 AM
link   

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
We encounter radioactive items all the time during everyday life. Like sardion2000 pointed out Smoke detectors. Another example is those
modern watches with the faces that glow use a small amount of tritium.

It's just that the amount of energy, and hence radiation, those put out is extremely small, while we're talking here of (planned) cells to actually power stuff. These "batteries" would be Al Qaeda's wet dream for dirty bombs.



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 10:02 AM
link   
Tale of the Radioactive Boy Scout.

FROM HARPER'S MAGAZINE BY KEN SILVERSTEIN

Golf Manor, a subdivision in Commerce Township, Mich., some 25 miles outside of Detroit, is the kind of place where nothing unusual is supposed to happen, where the only thing lurking around the corner is an ice-cream truck. But June 26, 1995, was not a typical day.

Ask Dottie Pease. Cruising down Pinto Drive, Pease saw half a dozen men crossing her neighbor's lawn. Three, in respirators and white moon suits, were dismantling her next-door neighbor's shed with electric saws, stuffing the pieces into large steel drums emblazoned with radioactive warning signs.

Huddled with a group of neighbors, Pease was nervous. "I was pretty disturbed," she recalls. Publicly, the employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that day said there was nothing to fear. The truth is far more bizarre: the shed was dangerously irradiated and, according to the EPA, up to 40,000 residents of the area could be at risk.

The Radioactive Boy Scout

Comment: This looks interesting, however the article makes a disclaimer in the "don't try this at home," spirit of things. It seems that a Boy Scout wanted to make a "neutron gun." Then he proceeded to buy a whole lot of smoke detectors. Well check out the link, this has got to be a great story.



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 10:22 AM
link   
They actually made a book about what that kid did, it was an unbelievable story. David Hahn (the kid) had understanding enough to conduct complex experiments both of the chemical and nuclear variety, yet could barely write above what one would expect from an elementary school student. He literally devoted his teenage years to working on his "reactor", which was really just a radioactive pile.

If I recall it wasn't just smoke detectors, he found several sources of radioisotopes including a radioactive isotope of cesium found from lantern oil soaked cloth, and radium (I think Ra-226, not sure though) from paint used on the faces of old clocks.

I like the idea of creating nuclear batteries, it seems to me that the efficiency they could provide would be awesome and, with time, could revolutionize the consumer electronics industry. As for their risk, assuming proper radiation shielding was used in this device, I'd expect any risk to be negligible and certainly not of an amount sufficient for a terrorist organization to efficiently turn them into dirty bombs.

Edit: I just re-read the title. Betavoltaic would seem to indicate that beta particles (essentially just high speed electrons/positrons) would be the radiation used in such technology. If such is the case, shielding may be even less of a concern considering that beta's don't deliver a deep dose to the human body, they only manage to deposit a skin dose in completely exposed skin...even clothing can typically block them.



[edit on 10/20/2005 by Shadow]



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 11:59 AM
link   
Could anyone calculate what the lethal dose of beta radiation is in Watt and hence from what point on it might be a terrorist risk?



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 10:58 PM
link   
I can give you it in Rem, or Roentgen...Watts wouldn't be a viable electrical conversion. I could maybe rig some numbers around and get you an answer in amps, but I would need voltage and resistance first to get power (watts)...which as far as the human body is concerned would be too hard to calculate and not really provide any useful information.

As far as Dose, I'd say over 600 rem of any kind of radiation would result in an almost 100% chance of radiation sickness and a greater than 80% chance of death within two months. As far as Roentgen, I know some dose rate equations to work from but don't really have any idea what kind of exposure rates to use.

Besides, I don't think you could take the electrical power the battery can create and convert it to a Dose/Exposure directly. If someone has any input to the contrary, pleast post it...this pertains directly to my job and I'm pretty interested in it ( I happen to be both and electrician and am training to be a nuclear propulsion plant operator).



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 01:59 AM
link   
Upon looking into it:

One rem = 0.01 Joule/kilogram (J/kg). So 600 Rem equals 6 Joule per kilogram. For an average person of say 80 kg so 480 Joules of radiation would be lethal. So a 10 Watt battery would contain enough radiative power to give off a lethal dose in 48 seconds (Watt = Joule/s). Now I know that beta radiation can easily be stopped, but if it was put into an explosion as dust particle that could be inhaled and/or ingested, it might not be all that healthy in any case.



posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 03:31 AM
link   
This thing would be a helping hand to space ships that would travel let's say mars or other places like that.



posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 12:02 PM
link   

Originally posted by pepsi78
This thing would be a helping hand to space ships that would travel let's say mars or other places like that.

They already have rtg's for that and they work just fine.




top topics



 
0

log in

join