jts

energy storage devices

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By 'energy storage devices' I include batteries and supercapacitors and anything else that stores energy, especially energy that can put out electricity. Currently there is a bunch of stuff happening in the energy storage business. Energy storage devices are relevant to cars (which use a battery), electric cars, mobility scooters, computer battery backups, and anything that uses portable energy. It is relevant to alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, ocean tides, ocean waves, I'm not an expert. I will merely give a non-expert bird's eye view of some of the stuff that is happening.

Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery:   "Lead is dead."   It is said the lead acid battery is obsolete and is due for a replacement. The replacement that is proposed is the lithium iron phosphate battery, also known as the LFP battery. This is about 3.5 times the price but lasts about 10 to 20 years instead of 3 to 5 years for the lead acid battery. It stores better than the lead acid battery. The lead acid battery is supposed to be charged at least once a week tp prevent or minimize deterioration. The LFP battery has a flat voltage profile, which means it maintains good voltage until near the end and then the voltage drops with little warning. The lead acid battery has a curved voltage profile, which means it gives plenty of warning. Which is better? For your computer backup I imagine the flat voltage profile is better. For a mobility scooter or electric car, you could be far from home and suddenly the voltage drops; the curved profile is better.

Sodium Iron Phosphate Battery:   This is cheaper than the LFP because sodium is cheaper than lithium. The problem seems to be the size of the sodium atom, bigger than the lithium atom. If they can overcome this problem, they will have a cheaper alternative to the LFP battery.

Ultrabattery:   This is a combination of the lead acid battery and a supercapacitor. It is apparently easy to make from the lead acid battery. The main advantage seems to be that it extends the life of the lead acid battery, from 500 charge-discharge cycles to 30,000 (if I heard him right). This is HUGE!

Supercapacitor:  This is supposed to replace the chemical battery. It lasts virtually forever, about a million charge-discharge cycles. They seem to be meeting the challenges it presents, making it charge slowly and discharge slowly. I'm not sure about the safety of it; what if it develops an internal short circuit and self destructs?

Graphene battery:  Graphene is a form of carbon with the atoms arranged in hexagons and one atom thick. Somehow they make a battery out of that.

The lead acid battery may be not dead yet:   The most common cause of failure of the lead acid battery is (I am told) crystals of lead sulphate, known as sulphation. A company claims they have a special battery charger that uses high frequency current (millions of hertz) that reverses and prevents sulphation. I don't know if this is for real.

Flywheel:   Many years ago a science magazine had an article about using a flywheel as an energy storage device. Suspend it magnetically in a vacuum. Make it out of a material with extremely high tensile strength so it doesn't fly apart. It charges as a motor, discharges as a generator. Can it store enough energy? Can it be safe?

More battery ideas:   There is the magnesium battery, the hemp battery, the gold battery that lasts forever, and every time I turn around, some genius kook bullshitter person comes up with a new revolutionary energy storage device. Maybe some day some crackpot will hit the jackpot.

 

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thank you for the heads up

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I saw a commercial about a portable oxygenator that runs on batteries that looks like an over the shoulder bag for binoculars. I didn't pick up on how long it lasted before a recharge but I wish it had been around when my Dad was alive and wheezing. 

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-- Charges in 6 minutes.

-- Travels 320 kilometers. (I take that to mean when it is new.)

-- Energy density 3 times higher than lithium iron phosphate.

-- 90% of the capacity even after 20,000 charge cycles. (A lead acid battery lasts about 300.)

-- It is in the testing stage.

-- The price is unknown.

Could this be it? The battery that makes the lead acid battery obsolete?

 

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I hope we eventually build a power generator and storage unit that can last for a long, long time. My riding grass mower's battery is in its second year and I didn't charge it or even bring it in from the cold this winter. The left over gas was fine too, now that I put a little of the product called Stabile? into it.

That USA show, "The Colony" is back on, with a lot of alien technology. Melissa McCarthy is turning into a real babe since she lost a lot of weight. That's all I have to say about that.   

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