Bosch Builds e-Kart with Monster Torque

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Robert Bosch GmbH has developed an “e-kart” producing 20 kilowatts from two motor-generators, and 300 Newton-meters (221 foot-pounds) of torque, a number Bosch refers to as “sporting.” It would be nice to know how much this cart weighs, but Autoweek relates, “The only thing Bosch isn’t saying for now is just how long the e-kart can run on that battery, assuming 10/10ths driving, and how much the battery and powertrain weigh.” Otherwise, we know the e-Kart goes from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in under five seconds and can squeal its tires “with just a tap of the pedal.”  A guesstimate of 400 pounds for the total vehicle and driver weight would probably not be too far off the mark, making the acceleration figures seem reasonable. A collaboration of Bosch, FIA Electric, the New Energy Commission, and the German Motorsport Association (DMSB), the e-Kart was presented as part of a Formula E display on May 21, 2016.  …

ORNL and Solid Power Sign Lithium-Sulfur Agreement

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Solid-state batteries are becoming the next big thing in energy storage, with the promise of low volatility, high energy density and lower-cost manufacturing.  With academia, industry and government collaborating on the next wave of development, we may see progress in this realm. Recently, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Solid Power Inc. of Louisville, Colo., signed an exclusive agreement licensing lithium-sulfur materials for next-generation batteries. A team of current and former ORNL researchers including Chengdu Liang, Nancy Dudney, Adam Rondinone, Jong Keum, Jane Howe, Wujun Fu, Ezhiylmurugan Rangasamy, Zhan Lin and Zengcai Liu developed the technology.  This included designing and testing an all-solid lithium-sulfur battery “with approximately four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies.”  It featured a “new Oak Ridge-designed sulfur-rich cathode and a lithium anode with a solid electrolyte material, also developed at ORNL.” Oak Ridge has also licensed a method of forming lithium-containing electrolytes using wet chemical synthesis, which may comprise β-Li3PS4 or Li4P2S7. Reportedly, Solid …

First Seeo, Now Sakti3

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Bosch’s acquisition of Seeo Inc. is followed within seven weeks by news that an innovator in another area has acquired a battery developer. announced that “Dyson, the U.K. company famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners, has acquired Michigan-based solid-state battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million and announced plans to build an important $1 billion battery factory to mass produce the next generation battery technology.” The report noted this was the second recent purchase of a promising start-up company by a larger, richer firm.  Bosch acquired Seeo Inc. to benefit from its solid-state technology, which like most solid-state batteries would, among other benefits, reduce or eliminate fire hazards – something brought to the fore by recent FAA rulings on shipping of lithium batteries. Sakti3 has announced a solid-state cell with 400 Watt-hours per kilogram energy density, roughly twice that of most competitors, including Tesla’s – reputed to be around 230 Wh/kg. Although Sakti3 founder and CEO Ann Marie Sastry joins Dyson as …

Combining the Best Features of Balsa Wood, Ceramics and NERF®

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

California Institute of Technology (CalTech) floats this imaginary trial balloon to elicit interest in a new material developed by materials scientist Julia Greer and her colleagues.  “Imagine a balloon that could float without using any lighter-than-air gas. Instead, it could simply have all of its air sucked out while maintaining its filled shape. Such a vacuum balloon, which could help ease the world’s current shortage of helium, can only be made if a new material existed that was strong enough to sustain the pressure generated by forcing out all that air while still being lightweight and flexible.” Not only are the scientists achieving the strong, lightweight part of the equation, they are “on the path” to making their new material “non-breakable” and able to return to its original size and shape when squished. As described in her talk shown above, she and her group turned to architectural solutions, only making their bridge-like trusses at the nano scale – where things …

Fastest Electric Vehicle Design at EAS VI

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, has made the following announcement: “The Chief designer of the F-22 Raptor has prepared another spectacular design: The World’s Fastest Electric Vehicle. This new aircraft design will be presented along with the other outstanding talks at next week’s CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium, April 27, 28 in Santa Rosa, California (Sonoma Wine Country). This symposium, dedicated to the burgeoning new domain of emission-free flight, now has representatives from Boeing, Bosch, IBM, Honda, Nortrhop-Grumman, Japan Air Lines, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Aerovironment, FAA, Cummins, Cessna, Lycoming and many other companies enrolled to participate.” The high-speed electric may be a response to Ivo Boscarol’s pledge to put up $100,000 of his Pipistrel G-4 winnings at last year’s Green Flight Challenge for the first supersonic electric aircraft. Program Details can be found here. There is still time to pre-register online here.