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New battery could change world, one house at a time

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posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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www.heraldextra.com...


New battery could change world, one house at a time

In a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.

The prize is the culmination of 10 years of research and testing -- a new generation of deep-storage battery that's small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America's antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

Former energy secretary Bill Richardson once disparaged the U.S. electrical grid as "third world," and he was painfully close to the mark. It's an inefficient, aging relic of a century-old approach to energy and a weak link in national security in an age of terrorism.

Taking a load off the grid through electricity production and storage at home would extend the life of the system and avoid the expenditure of tens, or even hundreds, of billions to make it "smart."

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices. It promises to reduce dependence on the dinosaur by hooking up with the latest generation of personalized power plants that draw from the sun.

Solar energy has been around, of course, but it's been prohibitively expensive. Now the cost is tumbling, driven by new thin-film chemistry and manufacturing techniques. Leaders in the field include companies like Arizona-based First Solar, which can paint solar cells onto glass; and Konarka, an upstart that purchased a defunct Polaroid film factory in New Bedford, Mass., and now plans to print cells onto rolls of flexible plastic.

The convergence of these two key technologies -- solar power and deep-storage batteries -- has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

"These batteries switch the whole dialogue to renewables," said Daniel Nocera, a noted chemist and professor of energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sits on Ceramatec's science advisory board. "They will turn us away from dumb technology, circa 1900 -- a 110-year-old approach -- and turn us forward."


Wouldn't it be nice if this really does what they claim it can do?




posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 



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.


Wow now that is impressive.


A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer -- that's 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power.;Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day -- for example through solar cells on the roof -- your power bills would plummet.

Ceramatec's battery breakthrough now makes that possible.


Dang I need some of these and at $2,000 per battery, this is indeed a must have item. No more grid!




posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:06 PM
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Wow. This is huge. This could put a major hurt on the electrical utility companies.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by warrenb
 


I agree. If this is indeed true, it would pay for itself in a year! I'm hoping the oil lobby doesn't try to kill this.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by jtma508
 





Wow. This is huge. This could put a major hurt on the electrical utility companies.

Stars to you and warrenb.
This IS huge. I hope it is what they claim it is. Another thing this would do is lessen the chances that a terrorist attack would destroy our infrastructure. If each house had its own battery, we wouldn't be dependent upon a grid.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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Let's hope this technology doesn't all of a sudden disappear. If this is true then the electric car will fall in price. If true, it will change everything.

[edit on 17-8-2009 by cloakndagger]



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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this is better...


en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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Although I am excited about better Battery units than what traditional Solar Panels, Wind Turbines use to store excess electricity, I highly doubt that this technology will be affordable enough to make it into mainstream society.

Wind Turbines and Solar Panels, although still not very efficient (less than 42% efficient), they are insanely cheap to produce and implement...but not in the United States. The reason being is that Insurance Companies will not insure a home with Turbines and/or Solar Panels unless they are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Listed and installed by a UL Approved Installer. This jacks up the price at least 10-fold.

For $100 you can make your own Wind Turbine (or cheaper if you salvage those parts from old Automobiles and old Electronics). However, to get your Insurance Company to cover your house, you would have to pay out $1000 - $70,000 for the exact same thing that is UL Listed and installed by a UL Approved Installer.

Is it Underwriters Laboratories that is to blame, or the Insurance Companies, or the Power Companies? To be honest, they are all probably in the same bed together. Until someone gets them out of bed with one another, alternative forms of Power in the United States will remain alternative and neither mainstream nor affordable.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:30 PM
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Sounds too good to be true, but it IS true.

I cant wait for the oil / electric companies to buy the patents and never let them see the light of day.


star

haha "see the light of day"...funny when it has to do with solar energy.

[edit on 17-8-2009 by epitaph.one]



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:30 PM
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Hrmm, now instead of a solar power why not use electrolysis and use it to charge the battery. I mean this is a huge advancement and it is actually going in the right direction, independent home power generation.

40kwh is huge, just think at 2g's a pop you can get 2 and have a redundant system. Yes, yes this is what I consider progress.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 02:52 PM
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There have been so many reports like this I've come to understand this is little more than infomercial. Yep, the physics is great, and yep, it's promising but God knows how many decades it will take to bring it to market... And just like that, from article to article... Venture capital at its best.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 05:36 PM
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And guess what? This is the last time you'll likely hear about this battery again. Like all of the other breakthroughs over time that have been announced, something will happen that will force this technology under the rug and into the FBI/CIA/DOD Vaults. Military operations might get to use it, but we won't ever hear about it again.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by ProfEmeritus
reply to post by warrenb
 


I agree. If this is indeed true, it would pay for itself in a year! I'm hoping the oil lobby doesn't try to kill this.


I bet the plans are already in place to silence this, lets face it the oil companies have been successful so far...



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by refuse_orders
 





I bet the plans are already in place to silence this, lets face it the oil companies have been successful so far...

Perhaps, but at some point, the oil companies will not be able to supply enough oil to meet demand. If they were wise(I know that's a reach), they would embrace this technology, and try to manufacture it.
Even the oil companies may one day go the way of the buggy whip manufacturers.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


Oh i agree, the end has to come sometime for the oil industry. Sadly i think they have a few more years left in them yet.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:53 PM
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reply to post by Hastobemoretolife
 





Hrmm, now instead of a solar power why not use electrolysis and use it to charge the battery. I mean this is a huge advancement and it is actually going in the right direction, independent home power generation

Absolutely agree. In addition, INDEPENDENT home power generatiion gives each family a great deal of security in case of a disaster, unlike the situation that exists today.
Living "Off the Grid" would really mean something, literally!



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


Good thread S&F. Several impressive new battery technology are in the works, including the one from Israel, but they haven't gone mainstream. The idea is simply to make it mainstream.

Unfortunately the grant so far still goes to big companies (another way to give money to big companies).

Obama announces battery grants: Big Three, Michigan, li-ion companies come out winners

If only this is true. Obama to Battery Developers: Step Up & Innovate, Funds Will Follow



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by Jazzyguy
 

Thank you for the links. Starred. It looks like, from what I read of your links, that the awards are all for vehicular battery development.
It certainly would be giving the government Imprimatur if they would award grants for home power next-generation batteries.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 10:20 PM
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I do believe we have something here...

I did a quick lookup of the electrode potentials involved. Sodium comes in at -2.71V. I could only find one sulfur compound in a quick check, that being sulfur dioxide at 0.50V. I didn't notice what sulfur compound they were using (I don't think they specified), but I will assume it is something that has a higher potential than 0.50V.

The real trick is the speed at which a battery can convert chemical energy to electrical, and it appears the ceramic membrane is the key to their success here. If they can get the two compounds close enough together and still maintain the electrochemical barrier, then the amount of energy that could be produced would be appreciable.

The other thing to consider is the energy density (amount of energy that can be stored with a full charge). According to their numbers, this is considerable as well!

Lastly, at $2000.00 each, such a battery has an excellent cost per kilowatt-hour, MUCH lower than a typical deep-cycle lead-oxide battery. And before anyone goes nuts talking about lithium-ion or any of the other new-age batteries, lead-oxide is the cheapest commercially available battery in existence today considering cost per kilowatt-hour.

Awesome design, and awesome find, Prof. S&F!

==============================
reply to post by bigspud

I checked your link. It's a capacitor, admittedly a high energy density capacitor, but still a capacitor. I actually use some EES caps in my research. They make good quality parts.

If we assume 20 kilowatt-hours (20,000 watt-hours) of energy output from a single charge, and assume a voltage across the capacitor of 220V (household voltage), that means an output of 91 amp-hours. Capacitance is measured in Farads, where one Farad is capable of delivering one amp for one second. There are 3600 seconds in an hour. So for the capacitor to perform as well as the battery we are discussing, it would have to be on the order of over 327,000 Farads.

The largest capacitors available today in terms of capacitance are the SuperCaps which range up to about 10 Farads at no more than 5 volts (usually more like 3.3V). When talking about high-voltage capacitors, it is impossible to find anything over a Farad, and even those cost hundreds of dollars and have to be special ordered.

Also, unlike a battery which maintains a fairly regular voltage until discharged, a capacitor will drop voltage quickly as it discharges, given by the equation Q=CV, where Q is the remaining charge in Coulombs, C is the capacitance in Farads, and V is the voltage across the capacitor.

So unless this new capacitor can improve on present design by a factor of over 327,000, it is far from better.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 05:30 AM
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Interesting. It reminded me of this thread I read a while ago,,,
www.abovetopsecret.com...



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