Breakthrough Batteries Two Years Away?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Breakthrough Batteries: Powering the Era of Clean Electrification A paper by Charlie Bloch, James Newcomb, Samhita Shiledar, and Madeline Tyson of the Rocky Mountain Institute describing the near future of battery development predicts and accelerated pace of “the global energy transition” and the growing role of energy storage in “addressing the climate crisis.”  Will these “breakthough batteries” power us into the near future? Their report* notes the economic investment and potential impacts of ongoing research, which to this editor seems minor when compared to the gravity of the ongoing climate crisis.  Researchers estimate “more than $1.4 billion invested in battery technologies in the first half of 2019 alone,” less than 10 percent of the $16 billion spent in 2016 on …

Cheaper, Lighter, Stronger – But When?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We’d all love to see the battery that’s lighter, stronger, charges like a capacitor and costs next to nothing.  We’d all be driving electric cars and those of us who wanted battery-powered airplanes would be designing the next new wave of flight. Usually, these things are a decade or more away, following excruciating intervals of study, commercialization and usually, much-delayed or postponed production. Dr. Chongwu Zhou, a professor at the University of Southern California’s (USC’s) Viterbi School of Engineering, claims to have such a battery under provisional patent, and potentially available commercially within “two or three years,” according to school press releases. The battery uses porous silicon nanoparticles to replace traditional graphite anodes and provide superior performance – three times as …