Two “New” Battery Contenders

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With Tesla’s announcement that its new battery pack for its Rev. 3 Roadster will increase the car’s range to as much as 400 miles (your mileage may vary), two contenders are putting proclaiming equivalent or better performance from their unique technologies.  These companies are relatively new, but have fairly long development histories.  They are both moving toward commercializing what otherwise would be academic demonstrations of their technologies. EnerG2 – Taking Carbon to New Levels A Seattle, Washington-based materials development firm, EnerG2’s Carbon Technology Platform (CTP), is based upon a polymer chemistry foundation, and according to the company, “represents an ability to engineer and synthesize high-performance, uniquely tailored high-purity carbons, at large scale and low cost.”  The company makes CTP materials …

Hybrid Hopes or Hype?

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

Batteries are achieving increasingly high capacities and outputs, though at a frustratingly slow pace, especially for those of us who want that much hoped-for lightweight power pack that will make the electric backpack helicopter of our dreams a practical reality.  For cars, a viable and attractive alternative to pure battery use in hybrid propulsion is described in an Earth2Tech entry supplied by Dr. Seeley.  That entry describes a three-step approach to making ultracapacitors and batteries into friendly allies in propusion. First, ultracaps should not compete with batteries, but enhance them. “Second, get creative to bring costs down quickly. Third, embrace the niche.” The big problem with batteries is being able to take in or put out large amounts of power …

Half a World Apart, United in Their Research

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

Dr. Yi Cui, a winner of the 2004 MIT Technology Review World Top 100 Young Innovator Award (among other notable awards), and Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University, was a distinguished presenter at the CAFE Foundation’s Third Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium last April. He talked about the structure and manufacturing of lithium-ion cells, and the material limitations placed on the performance of those cells. His breakthrough in using nanowires in the cathode promises an 80-percent gain in the cell’s charge-holding ability, equivalent to ten years of the normal cell improvement of eight percent per year. The good news was somewhat of a letdown for many, who were hoping to hear of a total …