Two New and Unique Energy Storage Solutions

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries of various brands provide energy for Teslas, Leafs, and Bolts, but continue to disappoint by stalled energy density, power density, and safety concerns.  Two relative newcomers to the field might have answers to these concerns.  Unlike many other newcomers, production might be less than five years away. Enovix Corp. Ken Rentmeester, a good friend and retired chemical engineer, volunteers in the local TeenFlight program run by Dick VanGrunsven.  He shared his copy of the IEEE Spectrum containing an article about a new battery company that may have some answers to problems common to lithium batteries. The company’s claims for their Enovix battery are impressive.  “Patented 3D cell architecture, a patented 100% silicon anode, photolithography, and wafer …

Solar Impulse Makes It to New York Early

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

It’s hard to believe that the Solar Impulse has been on its Cross America tour since May 3, but its early touchdown at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport late Saturday night was cause for elation on at least two counts. First, as the Solar Impulse team points out, “For the first time a plane capable of flying day and night powered exclusively by solar energy has crossed the USA from the West to the East Coasts without using a single drop of fuel.”  As we love to point out, though, it’s not the first time a solar-powered airplane has made the trip.  Eric Raymond did it in 21 hops in 1990 in Sunseeker 1, using the technology …

Hey, My Car Needs a Jump Start. May I Borrow Your Cell Phone?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Seriously, think of a battery in your cell phone that could jump start a car, and then be recharged “in the blink of an eye.”  That’s exactly what mechanical science and engineering professor William P. King and his team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign claim to have created. The most powerful microbatteries ever documented “outpower even the best supercapacitors” and could be in cell phones and small portable devices in the next few years. “This is a whole new way to think about batteries,” King said. “A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought. In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has …