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 …

Battery 500 Consortium – A Budget Program with Potentially Big Payback

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The federal government is creating yet another round of incentives to “spark” development of “significantly smaller, lighter and less expensive batteries.” A consortium of researchers led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will receive up to $10 million a year over five years to perk up battery performance, with the goal of creating a 500 Watt-hour per kilogram battery pack, about three times that of currently available commercial offerings.  The new batteries should be “reliable, safe and less expensive,” according to consortium director and PNNL materials scientist Jun Liu.  Research will come from partners nation-wide, including: Brookhaven National Laboratory Idaho National Laboratory SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Binghamton University (State University of New York) Stanford University University of California, San Diego …

Formula Sun Gran Prix Shines

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The recent solar-powered race at Circuit of the Americas in Texas hosted 12 teams and an array of configurations and design approaches for an endurance contest that saw Oregon State University’s Phoenix circling the track 193 times for a victory.  Phoenix won a squeaker, followed closely by Illinois State with 192 laps and Iowa State with 191 laps. Although not racing the fastest car, Oregon State’s team was most persistent, drivers sometimes putting in four hours at a stretch in the heat-soaked cockpit.  The fastest lap went to Iowa State’s Cory Anderson (4 minutes, 42.289 seconds), while OSU’s best was 5:26.565. Phoenix ran its 661 miles over three days, the object being to travel as far as possible in that time …

Going Over to the Dark Side

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The University of Texas at Austin’s press release spells out the quantum-like behavior of photons striking solar cells, and provides some insight into why obtaining higher efficiencies so far has perplexed researchers. “AUSTIN, Texas — The efficiency of conventional solar cells could be significantly increased, according to new research on the mechanisms of solar energy conversion led by chemist Xiaoyang Zhu at The University of Texas at Austin. “Zhu and his team have discovered that it’s possible to double the number of electrons harvested from one photon of sunlight using an organic plastic semiconductor material. “’Plastic semiconductor solar cell production has great advantages, one of which is low cost,’ said Zhu, a professor of chemistry. ‘Combined with the vast capabilities …