Battery Options for Range and Longevity

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two varying approaches to battery development may hold clues to future directions for energy storage.  At the same time, their announcements, promising as they seem, reinforce our cautious attitudes toward how battery performance numbers are presented. PNNL Attacks the Electrolyte Issue According to Green Optimistic, “Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new formula for battery’s electrolyte solution to enhance its performance unprecedentedly in terms of its service life and storage capacity or an electric vehicle’s range.” The video gives an overview of what it takes to make a battery and hints at the reasons battery research takes so long to give up improved energy storage devices. Unprecedented the development may be, and the promise of …

BASF NiMH Battery Rebirth?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

BASF, according to Wikipedia, “is the largest chemical producer in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany.  BASF originally stood for Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (English: Baden Aniline and Soda Factory). Today, the four letters are a registered trademark….” With ongoing research into increasing energy storage capabilities of nickel metal hydride (NIMH) batteries to rival or exceed that of lithium batteries, BASF could make breakthroughs in building a safer, lower-cost battery.  Using an Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) award of $3.8 million, the company is working on a project titled, “High Performance NiMH Alloy for Next-Generation Batteries.” Funding applies through February of next year. ARPA-E’s project description lists some of the anticipated benefits of “these new battery chemistries,” including better energy density allowing up to three times the driving range …

Battery Prices and Lithium Futures

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

EV World has a weekly email update to which your editor subscribes.  Because they provide a collection of articles and opinions from different sources, one often comes away questioning trends and even facts – or sometimes the meaning of it all. This week, an article referenced from Green Car Reports says that EV batteries may already have fallen to $250 per kilowatt hour.  This would be a godsend for sales of battery-powered cars, because sticker prices would drop sharply.   The article quotes Wolfgang Bernhart, a partner at Rolan Berger Strategy Consultants, that battery prices are already much lower than previous predictions would have indicated, possibly as low as $250 per kilowatt hour.  His analysis credited economies of scale for this …

An American ReVolt

Dean Sigler Uncategorized Leave a Comment

ReVolt Technologies LLC, a Swiss battery company founded in 2004 as a spin-off of SINTEF, Norway, is moving its headquarters to Portland, Oregon. Initially targeting the consumer electronics market with their zinc/air battery (compare to the lithium/air batteries IBM is researching – see “Big Blue and Blue Sky Thinking” October 25, 2009) in a grant request to the U. S. Department of Energy for $30 million for research on making large format versions of the battery for vehicles.  The company has an alliance with chemical giant BASF. ReVolt claims the following advantages over lithium batteries: A theoretical potential of up to 4 times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries at a comparable or lower production cost. Extended battery life due …