Really Cool Battery News from NREL – Really

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Plaid Fire Car fires are scary.  Airplane fires are even more so, since you can’t just pull over and hop out.  Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and NASA, and in England and France may have come up with a way to stop electric car fires.  Owners of petrol-powered autos will have to continue to check for leaking flammable fluids, greasy engines, and sources of the 140,000 car fires in the US alone every year. There aren’t that many electric car fires, but they make the news.  One in particular, a brand new, low-mileage Tesla S Plaid, melted down after self-igniting.  Reportedly, the $130,000 car briefly trapped the owner inside. The Verge reports, “Luckily, the driver escaped alive. …

Dendrites Grow Like Kudzu

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Getting your fiber is a good idea for digestion and general health, but what if those fibers get you first?  Or at least destroy your battery?  This is the situation as described by a report from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in which the writer tells us that dendrites are hairy little lithium fibers that “sprout from the surface of the lithium electrode and spread like kudzu across the electrolyte until they reach the other electrode.” These 3D reconstructions show how dendritic structures that can short-circuit a battery form deep within a lithium electrode, break through the surface and spread across the electrolyte. Besides resembling a fast-growing invasive plant, the dendrite bridge across …