Lifetime Batteries?

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

What if your new electric car came with a steel-clad warranty on its lifetime batteries?  Your editor’s father would have asked, “Whose lifetime?” but researchers at Dalhousie University suggest that might become a reality. lIn a paper in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, “Li[Ni0.5Mn0.3Co0.2]O2 as a Superior Alternative to LiFePO4 for Long-Lived Low Voltage Li-Ion Cells,” Jeff Dahn’s research team explains a different approach to battery longevity.  The chemistry is similar to that used in millions of cells, but lowers the amount of carbon to operate at 3.8 Volts rather than 4.2 Volts.  These lower output cells, “Have an energy density that exceeds that of the LFP cells and a cycle-life that greatly exceeds that of the LFP cells …

Gogoro Goes Solid State

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Gogoro, a Taiwan-based scooter and battery system, has added solid state chemistry to its swappable batteries.  This increases the stored energy in each 9 kilogram (19.8 pound) pack from 1.7 kilowatt-hours of the current liquid electrolyte to 2.5 kWhr.  These packs are light enough for a small woman to handle, as shown in Gogoro’s promotional videos. Growing GoStations Swapping batteries on Gogoro’s own scooters is quick and convenient, with over “10,000 battery-swapping GoStations at over 2,300 locations,” by the firm’s own count.  They serve over 450,000 riders with over 340,000 daily swaps.  Powering 95-percent of all electric two-wheel scooters on the island nation, they’ve “hosted” more than 260,000,000 total battery swaps to date.  Gogoro boasts their “Network subscribers have swapped …

Storedot: Silicon and Tin for a Fast Charge

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

Storedot is an Israeli battery company with an appealing sales pitch – their batteries can be fully charged in minutes rather than hours.  To make that happen, they are combining silicon, long considered a necessity for high energy density, and a more humble material – tin. Beside the unique material blend, Storedot is working on a 4680 battery (46 millimeters in diameter, 80 in length) equivalent to what Tesla has announced for use in its cars.  Storedot claims 10 minutes for a full charge on an automobile.  They demonstrated the ability to fully charge an electric scooter in five minutes last year.  Autos could have 200 miles added to their batteries in 10 minutes by 2024, based on Storedot’s timeline. …

Quantumscape Batteries – an Emerging Answer

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Hiding in plain site next to the San Jose, California International Airport, Quantumscape has been quietly developing a solid-state battery now emerging and trending toward mass production.  With backing from Volkswagen, Bill Gates and a founding member of Tesla, the battery company would make big splash if it used a liquid electrolyte.  It doesn’t.  Wired goes a bit dramatic in describing the faults of batteries with liquid electrolytes.  “IF ELECTRIC VEHICLES are ever going to fully supplant gas guzzlers on the world’s roads, they’re going to need an entirely new type of battery. Despite steady improvements over the past decade in the energy density and lifetimes of lithium-ion batteries, the cells in new EVs still lag behind internal combustion engines …

Oxis Batteries to Fly in Two Airplanes

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

While we wait yet another five years for commercial development of each newly announced but promising battery chemistry, one company has its cells ready to fly in Bye Aerospace’s eFlyer 2 and in Texas Aircraft’s Colt S-LSA.  Oxis Energy has managed to leapfrog lithium-ion makers with its lithium-sulfur battery packs packing 400 Watt-hours per kilogram.  Considering the best announced pack-level li-ion performance has been 260 W-hr/kg, the leap is significant. Batteries, for now, are at the heart of electric aircraft.  Until Doc Brown’s Flux Capacitor or a hydrogen fuel cell with Dollar Tree refills comes along, batteries are battling it out for our airborne dollars.  Lithium-ion remains in the forefront, with Tesla staging its shareholders’ meeting and its long-anticipated “Battery …

Supercaps for Supercars – and Sky Taxis?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Your editor has asked for years if batteries in electrically-powered aircraft could be augmented by supercapacitors, devices able to unleash significant amounts of power quickly.  The usual answer is that the added weight of supercaps that could add power on demand would be about that of added batteries to equal the performance. We wrote about the use of super capacitors in KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) used in Formula racers and even at LeMans.  At around the same time, Mazda tucked supercaps under the front wheel well on some models to capture waste energy from braking.  That energy could then power electric systems in the car and even recharge the main battery.  In an explanation and comparison of lithium batteries …

Breakthrough Batteries Two Years Away?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Breakthrough Batteries: Powering the Era of Clean Electrification A paper by Charlie Bloch, James Newcomb, Samhita Shiledar, and Madeline Tyson of the Rocky Mountain Institute describing the near future of battery development predicts and accelerated pace of “the global energy transition” and the growing role of energy storage in “addressing the climate crisis.”  Will these “breakthough batteries” power us into the near future? Their report* notes the economic investment and potential impacts of ongoing research, which to this editor seems minor when compared to the gravity of the ongoing climate crisis.  Researchers estimate “more than $1.4 billion invested in battery technologies in the first half of 2019 alone,” less than 10 percent of the $16 billion spent in 2016 on …

ZeroAvia Counts on Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Tucked away in the quiet little airport at Hollister, California, ZeroAvia has stealthily been developing a hydrogen-powered Piper Malibu, and flying it for the last six months.  It sounds like a regular aircraft taking off and passing overhead, even with its two 130 kilowatt (174.26 horsepower) electric motors. ZeroAvia claims 275 kW (369 hp) for the pair.  From the videos, propeller noise seems to be much the same as a conventional, internal-combustion powered Malibu, but lacks the added noise of the engine.  Piper M-series aircraft are normally powered by a Teledyne Continental Motors TSIO-520BE engine rated at 310 hp (230 kW). Valery Miftakhov, ZeroAvia’s founder and CEO announced, “Right now we have an aircraft that’s six seats and 2 tons …

Venture Capitalists Jump on JoeBen’s Bandwagon

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

People waste billions of hours sitting on roads worldwide each year. We envision a future where commuting by eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) is a safer, faster, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation. We have spent the last ten years developing the technologies that have made our full-scale technical demonstrator possible and are now ready to build a commercial version of the aircraft. We’re excited to have attracted the backing of leaders in auto manufacturing, data intelligence, and transportation sectors. —Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt (Green Car Congress) A Knack for Making and Attracting Money That backing came February 1st in “funding from investors including Intel Capital, Toyota AI Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Capricorn Investment Group, a …

Two “New” Battery Contenders

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

With Tesla’s announcement that its new battery pack for its Rev. 3 Roadster will increase the car’s range to as much as 400 miles (your mileage may vary), two contenders are putting proclaiming equivalent or better performance from their unique technologies.  These companies are relatively new, but have fairly long development histories.  They are both moving toward commercializing what otherwise would be academic demonstrations of their technologies. EnerG2 – Taking Carbon to New Levels A Seattle, Washington-based materials development firm, EnerG2’s Carbon Technology Platform (CTP), is based upon a polymer chemistry foundation, and according to the company, “represents an ability to engineer and synthesize high-performance, uniquely tailored high-purity carbons, at large scale and low cost.”  The company makes CTP materials …