Safe Rechargeable Solid State Batteries

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

If the man responsible for co-invention of the lithium-ion battery says he has found ways to make it better while eliminating its less desirable characteristics – we will listen.  94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, says as much.  He and researchers including Maria Helena Braga, claim to have created “A low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge.”  Their findings can be found in the journal, Energy & Environmental Science. Non-combustibility is a big sales point for those worried about having their vape pipe vaporize their underwear, or having a …

Solid State Electrolyte – a Safer, More Powerful Alternative

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Making batteries smaller, lighter, and more powerful is an ongoing trend, supposedly climbing at eight percent per year in terms of energy density (energy stored per unit of weight).  Even this blog is guilty of sometimes unrequited enthusiasm for some new developments that appear to be an “answer” for aircraft use. Getting a battery that double or quintuples energy density would be ideal for aircraft, but seems to be a labor worthy of Sisyphus (you could look it up).  As constantly noted here, batteries have three major components, the anode, or negative electrode; the cathode, or positive electrode; and the electrolyte, usually a liquid that allows the flow of ions between electrodes.  That electrolyte is subject to overheating and on …

BASF NiMH Battery Rebirth?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

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 …

Dr. Cui’s Pomegranate-inspired Battery Bears Fruit

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Yi Cui seems to get inspiration from food.  A few years ago, his research team came up with a “yolk-shell structure” that helped contain the high amount of lithium that silicon anodes were able to absorb.  That battery design promised much, and an embellishment of that design seems to hold even greater promise. His newest effort, working at Stanford University with the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, features an electrode “designed like a pomegranate – with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seed in a tough carbon rind.”  This approach, according to its inventors, overcomes several remaining obstacles to the use of silicon in a new generation of lithium-ion batteries. Yi said the battery’s efficiency and longevity are promising.  …