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Battery Breakthrough?

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posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 09:57 AM
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A Texas company says it can make a new ultracapacitor power system to replace the electrochemical batteries in everything from cars to laptops.




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.


Ups & Downs:


Ultracapacitors have many advantages over traditional electrochemical batteries. Unlike batteries, "ultracaps" can completely absorb and release a charge at high rates and in a virtually endless cycle with little degradation.

Where they're weak, however, is with energy storage. Compared with lithium-ion batteries, high-end ultracapacitors on the market today store 25 times less energy per pound.







The ZENN car will be the first commercial application of EEStor's new energy storage system. The company is expecting delivery of the systems later this year.


I hope the Claims are true.




posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 10:42 AM
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Hmm...


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.


Well that is an extremely bold claim indeed. MIT's Technology Review is also a very reputable science news journal. It seems that even the person who wrote the article was more than a little incredulous.

A Hybrid battery is THE holy grail of energy storage research. I hope this is the real deal and not just another baby step, because this is the right time. It could push Electric Vehicles over the top, so to speak.


For example, the company's system claims a specific energy of about 280 watt hours per kilogram, compared with around 120 watt hours per kilogram for lithium-ion and 32 watt hours per kilogram for lead-acid gel batteries. This leads to new possibilities for electric vehicles and other applications, including for the military.


If these claims are verified by Real World testing by consumer orginasations, it could also prompt an explosion in Solar and Wind in many places around the world. I'm not holding my breath though... mostly because I'm hoping this is not the whole picture as I want a chance to crack this nut eventually.
I know, increadibly selfish of me, but I can dream can't I?


[edit on 22-1-2007 by sardion2000]


x08

posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 07:22 PM
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And how does this compare to Steorn's claim of a non-decharging battery? I think battery power is good enough for most normal things that need batteries these days (ie. laptops etc.) but it's the life of the battery that's the issue...



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 08:50 PM
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It's somewhat more credible because this startup is backed by Kleiner Perkins, but even still the engineering and science challenges are huge.

Maybe they found some trick, but there are good reasons to be suspicious.

Still, getting to energy density of Li-Ion batteries (which is much lower than gasoline or Diesel fuel) with greater longevity, charge and discharge time would be great.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 10:33 AM
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I read an article pertaining to this technology some time ago. It was either Discover or Scientific American, but essentially the gist of it was that a student (MIT possibly?) had developed a way to use nano-particles to increase the surface area of the capacitor plates. Capacitors can certainly store a good deal of energy, but because of the low surface area it is quickly discharged. This guy found a way to increase the area and hence the storage capacity. He theorized that within a few years, he should be able to increase the surface area by several orders of magnitude, thus allowing a capacitor to store the same amount of energy as a battery, but with several advantages: no memory, near instant charging, environmentally friendlier, and less costly to manufacture.

Sounds like they're getting close!




 
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