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Battery breakthrough could cut recharging to seconds
Old 03-12-2009, 08:04 AM   #1
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Battery breakthrough could cut recharging to seconds

Now, here's a potential huge breakthrough for portable electronic devices and electric cars: "Scientists at MIT have developed a new design for lithium batteries that could cut recharge times down to seconds."

Battery breakthrough could cut recharging to seconds - vnunet.com
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:33 AM   #2
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I hope it's true and it's going to be in my next car.

The oil nations and companies should be worry.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:06 AM   #3
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For a car battery, even if the battery is capable of accepting that much power that quickly, that would be a ton of juice to be moving.
That kind of amperage is dangerous. As long as it can be done safely, that is awesome. But for now, I will be happy with my EV that takes a few hours to charge.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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The brief article did not discuss efficiency. Quick charge implies high current, and high current implies waste. Unless they also found a way to keep the battery cool under charge, we could be looking at efficiency way below 50%.

Sam
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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The brief article did not discuss efficiency. Quick charge implies high current, and high current implies waste. Unless they also found a way to keep the battery cool under charge, we could be looking at efficiency way below 50%.

Sam
I'm not an expert in this area but, besides, current, doesn't efficiency also involve the battery design? MIT says their design has a fast ion-conducting surface, so the same amount of current results in much faster ion transfer than with a conventional battery. Or, from a different perspective, much of the inefficient work done by the current that would otherwise go to heat would go to ion conduction.

Update: Here's a link that throws cold water on the idea:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03...y_bubble_stab/

However, this link also says the following:

"Still, fast-charging electric cars is big news, right?
Well, no actually - li-titanate batteries, offering electrocars which can top off in a few minutes, have been around for a while and such vehicles are nearing the market."

What

Here's the link they cite:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07...arge_supercar/

Bring it on!
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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For a car battery, even if the battery is capable of accepting that much power that quickly, that would be a ton of juice to be moving.
That kind of amperage is dangerous. As long as it can be done safely, that is awesome. But for now, I will be happy with my EV that takes a few hours to charge.
The charging current is easily controlled. The battery's ability to accept large current without overheating is very beneficial, for quick charge. The battery's ability to dump large current without internal damage is good for acceleration. In an automotive application.
Now this newfangled battery's efficiency in terms of kilowatthours per pound would be nice to know.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:43 AM   #7
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That kind of amperage is dangerous.
OTOH gasoline is pretty dangerous too.

I sometimes imagine what it would be like if electric cars had become the norm, and someone suggested we go to gasoline.

"What, you mean we take this highly combustible liquid, and truck it around the country and pump it into tanks, and let consumers slosh it into their cars' tanks? And there are explosions inside the engine? Wow, wouldn't it explode if you were in an accident?"
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
For a car battery, even if the battery is capable of accepting that much power that quickly, that would be a ton of juice to be moving.
That kind of amperage is dangerous. As long as it can be done safely, that is awesome. But for now, I will be happy with my EV that takes a few hours to charge.
I think TromboneAl nicely debunked the "dangerous" part ... Still, you
need something capable of providing that kind of amperage (the amps
to charge that big a battery that quickly).

Quote:
The oil nations and companies should be worry.
The main problem with lithium-ion batteries in cars (at least
according the new Sec of Energy, on Charlie Rose) is having them last
through enough recharge/discharge cycles to last the life of the car.
Otherwise, owners face a major battery-replacement expense, never
mind all that potential waste (I assume/hope the lithium gets recycled
somehow).
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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Don't get me wrong, I love the idea.
However, if you are charging a 35KW battery pack in 3 minutes, isn't that a huge amount of amps?
I'm getting an EV myself in a few months, but it is a normal rated plug-in that I can plug into a standard outlet.
Don't you currently need special safety equipment when dealing with amperage of that level?
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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"What, you mean we take this highly combustible liquid, and truck it around the country and pump it into tanks, and let consumers slosh it into their cars' tanks? And there are explosions inside the engine? Wow, wouldn't it explode if you were in an accident?"
You said it, Al. I always find it amusing when certain tunnels, bridges have warnings against transporting propane. So a little class-B van with a 13lbs propane tank must make a long detour. Of course, most people just ignore the warning and go right through.

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Old 03-12-2009, 06:04 PM   #11
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Don't get me wrong, I love the idea.
However, if you are charging a 35KW battery pack in 3 minutes, isn't that a huge amount of amps?
According to the link I posted, the Lightning fast-charge car needs three-phase industrial power. This is in Britain, and they claim that you are never more than 15 minutes from such power, if they can get the contracts to transform the stations into charging stations. My guess is that the size of the market would be enough to induce industrial users to become the next generation gas stations.

And, if you can't find the industrial power, it becomes the same as the plug type electric cars, just plug them in overnight.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:37 PM   #12
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Awesome, options are always good.
I suspect capacitors could be of great help with this as well.
As long as a safe way to transfer that amount of juice can be done, this could be a HUGE step forward.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:36 PM   #13
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For a car battery, even if the battery is capable of accepting that much power that quickly, that would be a ton of juice to be moving.
That kind of amperage is dangerous. As long as it can be done safely, that is awesome. But for now, I will be happy with my EV that takes a few hours to charge.

Maybe you could get FD to wire in a 220 AMP circuit for you...
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:37 PM   #14
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Remember that rechargeable batteries are already very efficient. So this fast charge thing is really about convenience, being able to charge your car at a station, similar to a fill-up today.

But that creates a problem. One good thing about plug-in hybrids is that you would normally charge at night, when there is plenty of capacity. People "filling up" during peak hours is not going to be good. By the time they charge you an infrastructure and "peak" premium, you might be longing for the gas station.

Lots of AMPS to fill in a few minutes. Back of the envelope:

Telsa does ~ 200 miles on 55KW, let's assume 550V for easy math (~ 400 IIRC). That would be 100A @ 550V for an hour to match 55,000 Whours. Multiply by 60 to get an hour down to a minute, and that is 6000 Amps @ 550V.

Let's see - (googling) 4 AWG wire handles 60A and is .2" Diameter and ~ 8' weighs ~ one pound (w/o insulation). So you are looking at 100 of those wires in each of two (pos/neg) cable, so an 8 foot "hose" would weigh over 200# and be ~ 4" in diameter with insulation. These are rounded down, plus no account for efficiency, so on the low side.

Divide all those by 5 or 10 for a 5 minute or 10 minute "fill up". But, the HEADLINE said "seconds" didn't it

Multiply by 60 for seconds. No way.

Although I see, the article never mentions cars. Sure, this could have all sorts of applications for low power stuff. It would be great to recharge small stuff (cell phones, flash lights, power tools) in a minute.

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Old 03-13-2009, 12:33 AM   #15
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...Divide all those by 5 or 10 for a 5 minute or 10 minute "fill up". But, the HEADLINE said "seconds" didn't it

Multiply by 60 for seconds. No way.

-ERD50
Now I'm sure we can think up some high-tech solution to the handling a monstrous power cable problem. Like the customer uses their back-up camera to back into a charging station fitting that opens up the back of the trunk area to expose some big honking contacts that the recharging station's bus bar then contacts. Then after a safety handshake between processors, kiloamps flow though the busbars for 60 seconds, causing a loud humming, and any loose ferrous metals in the area to be collected, including that weird guy that hangs around there that has a plate in his head. He kisses the trunk lid, and lays there moaning for a minute.

The magnetic field would have wiped the data off of credit cards, but they will all be chipped cards by then. But there goes my cassettes...
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:43 AM   #16
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Lots of AMPS to fill in a few minutes. Back of the envelope:

(snip)

Divide all those by 5 or 10 for a 5 minute or 10 minute "fill up". But, the HEADLINE said "seconds" didn't it

Multiply by 60 for seconds. No way.

Although I see, the article never mentions cars. Sure, this could have all sorts of applications for low power stuff. It would be great to recharge small stuff (cell phones, flash lights, power tools) in a minute.

-ERD50
Love your back of the envelope calculations. You're right, the article was really about low powered electronics. But the other article I posted was about cars, and they did say that it would be about 10 minutes to get a full charge. However, they said most people would opt for an 80% charge in a much shorter time, maybe a couple of minutes -- about how long it would take to gas up.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:19 AM   #17
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Now I'm sure we can think up some high-tech solution to the handling a monstrous power cable problem....
You'er right, I was stuck in the old "filling hose" box. Even simpler than your suggestion, the conductors could be on an arm, and just extend out to meet your charging port. So you would not be lifting, maybe just guiding it on drawer slide-like things. It could even be powered and you just use a joystick.

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But the other article I posted was about cars, and they did say that it would be about 10 minutes to get a full charge. However, they said most people would opt for an 80% charge in a much shorter time, maybe a couple of minutes -- about how long it would take to gas up.
Ahh, "The Register" - had not read them in a while. I miss their "boffins" and other phrases that leave me scratching my head

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:40 AM   #18
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But that creates a problem. One good thing about plug-in hybrids is that you would normally charge at night, when there is plenty of capacity. People "filling up" during peak hours is not going to be good. By the time they charge you an infrastructure and "peak" premium, you might be longing for the gas station.
Good point, but here's why I'm guessing it won't be a problem: In a typical day, most people will drive a distance that is less than the range of their electric car. For example, their trip to work and the store will be less than 40 miles. In that case, most of the charging will be done at night. The "filling stations" will only be used by those on trips, those who have longer commutes, or those whose teenager forgot to plug in the car.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #19
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Good point, but here's why I'm guessing it won't be a problem: In a typical day, most people will drive a distance that is less than the range of their electric car. For example, their trip to work and the store will be less than 40 miles. In that case, most of the charging will be done at night. The "filling stations" will only be used by those on trips, those who have longer commutes, or those whose teenager forgot to plug in the car.
You are right, the majority of people will charge at home most of the time, and the price differences with TOD will encourage that.

Hmmmm, but that makes for a Catch-22. Who is going to put in expensive thousand-amp delivery systems when few will use them?

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:30 AM   #20
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Hmmmm, but that makes for a Catch-22. Who is going to put in expensive thousand-amp delivery systems when few will use them?

-ERD50
True. What comes to mind is the commercial transportation sector that can't wait until night to recharge. I wonder if the commercial sector, trucks, fleets, etc, would support the heavy duty systems in the same way that they supported the diesel stations before they became popular for cars. If so, you would pay a premium to fast-charge a personal auto, or you could slow charge it at home at night.
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