If Santa Lived in a Soho Loft and Built Drones

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

There is much happening in electric aviation, including this flying Santa Claus, dangling from what is claimed to be the world’s largest homemade drone. And in this interesting behind-the-scenes video we find that Casey Neitstat either has arms of steel, or a clever harness maker who probably outfits touring companies for Peter Pan stage presentations.  The 16-motor system seems capable of hauling a fairly large human skyward, but some critics think this is a sham of some sort.  Your editor sides with the theory that this is a real drone, since Samsung has seen fit to link its name to the project (and the video evidence seems fairly convincing).  In the interests of full disclosure, though, Casey has pulled some …

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 …

Samsung Almost Doubles Li-Ion Battery Capacity – in the Near Future

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Several sources report on Samsung’s announcement that they have developed a new technology that enables them to coat silicon battery cathodes with high crystal graphene, virtually doubling the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Of course, Samsung relates this immediately to their popular smartphones and tablets, but the significance of this is not lost on electric vehicle designers.  Doubling the range of EVs “without adding a single pound of weight” would be a true game changer.  But don’t get excited too quickly. Silicon electrodes have been a major research effort for people like Dr. Yi Cui, who spoke at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium.  Issue surrounding their successful use have included silicon’s expansion when being charged and contraction when being discharged.  This …

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 …