Amprius, Airbus, Silicon and Batteries

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Batteries are a tough study.  We see many different roads being traveled in attempts to reach the Nirvana of the lightest, most powerful energy storage cell ever.  We see continuing shortfalls because of the much chemistries that seem never to work out as hoped.  Several recent articles, though, showed links that forced your editor into a deep study of battery developments first heard about a decade ago.  These involved Yi Cui, Stanford professor and battery guru, silicon electrodes, and a new electrolyte that holds thing together.    Presaging recent developments, your editor first heard Yi Cui present at the 2009 CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium.  Then, he predicted, based on the theoretical limits for silicon-based electrodes in batteries, that we would …

Amprius’ Silicon Nanowire Batteries Fly – For 25 Days

Dean Sigler Batteries, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Sunnyvale, California-based Amprius kept a low profile for several years, despite its founder, Yi Cui, being a leading light in battery development.  Their December 4th press release, though, finds the company to be in a more open mood, their advanced lithium-ion cells with 100-percent silicon anodes having flown Airbus’ Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) for over 25 days, “setting a new endurance and altitude record for stratospheric flight.” This milestone represents a great leap forward since Alan Cocconi flew his So Long solar-powered model for 48 hours, the first of many projects of which he would be an integral part, and the first solar airplane to fly overnight.  He worked on the General Motors EV1 and Eric Raymond’s Sunseeker …