ORNL Makes It Two for Two

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced that their researchers have built and demonstrated a high-voltage (5 V) lithium, solid-state battery with a usable life of more than 10,000 cycles, at the end which test the battery retains more that 90-percent of its original capacity.  That makes two such claims in a week, with ORNL’s battery comparable to that developed by Nanyang Technology University (NTU) and reported on in this blog last week. ORNL points out that, “For a given size of battery, the energy stored in a battery is proportional to its voltage. Conventional lithium-ion batteries use organic liquid electrolytes that have a maximum operating voltage of 4.3 V. Operating a battery above this limit causes short cycle life and …

2X Solid State Batteries?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Applied Materials, located in Sunnyvale, California, designs and makes equipment used in the manufacture of computer chips and other miniature electronic devices.  Your editor worked there on assignment from his engineering firm for six months 15 years ago, documenting and verifying the equipment and control systems for their newest facility.  Even then, miniature was wild understatement, with the company crafting machinery that could produce 0.18 µm lines in silicon chips.  In the last two decades, line widths have shrunk to 0.03 µm, and the number of elements on chips has increased proportionally.  This makes nano manufacturing a highly precise endeavor, and one which seems to defy credulity with lower costs for the ever-increasing number of chips being made. It’s this …

Batteries, Fuel Cells – or Something Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We’re coming to a parting of the ways in energy storage development for electric cars.  Or we may be coming to a joining of technologies in new and previously unimagined ways.  One side, led by Elon Musk and his Tesla Empire, promotes battery power and development.  Yet, in Tesla’s home state of California, government and private investments in hydrogen vehicles is growing.   Several Asian and European automakers are bringing out fuel cell powered vehicles in the face of low numbers of existing fueling stations.  For all the promotion from either side, future “green” cars may become too expensive for private ownership, and various approaches to providing personal mobility may replace the traditional owner-driver model.  Regardless of the outcomes or market …

24 Hours of LeMans – Hybrids, KERS and High Speeds

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The 24 Hours of LeMans is the quintessential motorsports event every year, pitting the top automobile racing teams in the world against the endurance trial of completing a full day’s run at “full chat,” as the British used to say, overcoming weather, wear and tear, and competing drivers. Traditionally populated with internal-combustion gasoline engine powered racers in many sizes and classifications, the race has seen inroads with turbo-diesels, hybrids, and hints there may be soon full electric competitors.  The most advanced class this year comprised a collection of formerly exotic technologies, with a variety of approaches to going fast. The race’s official web site explains, “The LM P1 class (Le Mans Prototype 1) welcomes machines at the leading edge of …