Solar Impulse 2 Batteries – Better than We Thought

Dean Sigler Batteries, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

What happened to Solar Impulse 2’s batteries on those long five days and nights over the Pacific?  It took months of enforced downtime in Hawaii to have new batteries made, sent from Korea, installed, tested, and flown again.  Could the plane have completed the flight on the original batteries? Kokam, manufacturer of the airplane’s cells, has released new information that provides details of the drive system and relieves a few lingering anxieties.  An over-riding concern was that batteries overheated on the Japan to Hawaii part of the mission, topping out at 50 degrees Centigrade (122 degrees Fahrenheit) – above their design temperature.  Your editor has thought deeply about what Andre’ Borschberg must have gone through every day of the five …

Kreisel Brothers – Austrian Entrepreneurs

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

We keep hoping for the long-awaited 10X, or even 5X battery that would make electric aviation “pop” in a significant way.  The Kreisel brothers in Austria are not developing new batteries or chemistries, but through careful design and manufacturing techniques, manage to reduce weight in their battery packages – one example being the two “ultra-lightweight battery units” they supply for PC-Aero’s Elektra One.  With a total weight of “just 64 kilograms,” (140.8 pounds), the packs “provide [an] efficient and reliable energy supply for a range of 400 kilometers (248 miles)… a flight duration of three hours [and a] speed of 160 kilometers per hour (99.2 mph).” Each pack stores 5.8 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy, or 5.52 kw-hr./kg.  That’s roughly an …

Recycling Lithium Batteries and Adding Seeds and Pine Resin – Better than Mining?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Recycling is good.  Those empty beverage cans we turn in at the supermarket come back to us, newly reformed and filled with our favorite drinks – all at about 1/10th the energy cost of making the cans from fresh bauxite and generating all the electricity necessary for new aluminum stock.  Besides, aluminum ore is a limited resource, and finding and mining fresh supplies is ever harder and more expensive. Lithium is an even more severe problem.  Used rechargeable batteries other scarce minerals such as cobalt, manganese and lithium-based electrolytes.  Most of the world’s supply of lithium seems to be in places not necessarily allied with U. S. interests.  Battery University says 70-percent of the world’s supply is in Bolivia, Argentina, …