Sustainable Aviation Symposium 2016: Would You Believe Eric Darcy Deliberately Blows Up Batteries?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Eric Darcy is NASA’s go-to guy for battery safety.  He is Battery Group Lead for Projects & Integration at NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and consults frequently with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. His talk at the First Sustainable Aviation Symposium was titled, “Passively Thermal Runaway Propagation Resistant Battery Module That Achieves > 190 WH/KG.”  The output may not sound like much, being at the middle-to-high end of lithium battery performance: but the promise of passive thermal runaway resistance is all-important.  Remember, too, that larger output numbers are usually for individual cells.  Putting cells into a battery pack with battery management system (BMS) components, wiring, etc. usually reduces overall performance per weight. A few years ago, Dr. Darcy told …

EAS IX: Short Circuiting Batteries on Purpose

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Recent news from the world of insurance claims adjustors brings us back to ways inspired battery designers might reduce or eliminate certain types of claims, and make electric flight safer. Even when international agreements don’t make progress along those lines. Insurance Claims and international Agreements With recent news of Federal Aviation Administration interest in lithium-ion batteries arising from fires caused by thermal runaways, shipments of large numbers of batteries may be banned.  Claims Journal, an insurance industry news line, quotes Angela Stubblefied, an FAA hazardous materials safety official, as saying, “’We believe the risk is immediate and urgent.’ She cited research showing the batteries can cause explosions and fires capable of destroying a plane. “FAA tests show that even a …

Transformative EV Range Expansion?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

In what may be eventual good news for future electric aviators, the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) will award approximately $36 million to 22 projects to develop transformational electric vehicle (EV) energy storage systems using innovative chemistries, architectures and designs.  ARPA-E also uses the term, “revolutionary.” The series of awards is part of the RANGE program (Robust Affordable Next Generation Energy Storage Systems), intended “to enable a 3X increase in electric vehicle range (from ~80 to ~240 miles per charge) with a simultaneous price reduction of > 1/3 (to ~ $30,000). If successful, these vehicles will provide near cost and range parity to gasoline-powered ICE vehicles, ARPA-E said.” “Transformational” comes straight from the CAFE …

Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells Make Debut

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The U. S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Stanford University have teamed up to create what may be the thinnest of thin solar cells – a peel-and-stick decal. One micron thick, the decal-like  peel-and-stick, or water-assisted transfer printing (WTP), technologies were developed by Stanford researchers and have been used for nanowire based electronics.  Meeting at a conference where both made presentations, Stanford’s Xiaolin Zheng talked about her peel-and-stick technology, and NREL principal scientist Qi Wang spoke on his team’s research in thin-film amorphous solar cells. Zheng realized that the NREL had the type of solar cells needed for her peel-and-stick project, according to the NREL announcement. The NREL press release explains, “The university and NREL showed …