Surfing, Beaches and Sandy Batteries

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

According to scientific history, or perhaps legend, Archimedes had his Eureka moment when settling into his bathtub and seeing the water rise around him.  He came up with his idea that a body’s mass displaced an equal amount of water, something that’s proved to be useful to know. Zachary Favors, a graduate student at the University of California at Riverside, had a similar moment of discovery when leaving the water after surfing near the beaches of San Clemente.  According to the UCR press release, “he picked up some sand, took a close look at it and saw it was made up primarily of quartz, or silicon dioxide.”  This led him to research locations in the United States where sand with …

Cheaper, Lighter, Stronger – But When?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We’d all love to see the battery that’s lighter, stronger, charges like a capacitor and costs next to nothing.  We’d all be driving electric cars and those of us who wanted battery-powered airplanes would be designing the next new wave of flight. Usually, these things are a decade or more away, following excruciating intervals of study, commercialization and usually, much-delayed or postponed production. Dr. Chongwu Zhou, a professor at the University of Southern California’s (USC’s) Viterbi School of Engineering, claims to have such a battery under provisional patent, and potentially available commercially within “two or three years,” according to school press releases. The battery uses porous silicon nanoparticles to replace traditional graphite anodes and provide superior performance – three times as …

Dr. Jaephil Cho’s Powerful Silicon Nanotubes

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Shortly before appearing at the fourth Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium at Rohnert Park, California, Dr. Jaephil Cho was interviewed by Esther Levy of Material Views, an online resource dealing with, as the title implies, high-technology materials.  Dr. Cho, Dean of the new Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy at Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), works with lithium-ion cells, and along with Dr. Yi Cui of Stanford University, is considered among the most forward thinking researchers in the field. Where Dr. Cui’s efforts are related to development of better cathodes, Dr. Cho’s work focuses on improving anode performance. Their efforts have led to an 80-percent improvement in cathode performance, as reported in Dr. Cui’s presentation at EAS III, and …