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New Battery Technology...

Just when Energy Storage was starting to look like it was one of those problems that are simply "too hard" comes news of something of a breakthrough.

A rechargeable battery that can be recharged to 80% of its capacity in just one minute Shocked - now 60x faster charging would be pretty amazing on its own, but there's more.
After 1000 charge/discharge cycles todays mobile phone, computer, etc, LiIon batteries have lost almost all their capacity. The new one has only lost 1% of its capacity - its still like new! These things should last a *very* long time.
And they hold a bit more power too ("higher energy density").
First commercial applications in early 2006. This doesn't seem like pie-in-the-sky.
Just don't expect them to be cheap - well certainly not to start with...


Wow Smile

This is an area where I think some people might miss just how important the effect could be.

Just by being a bit denser, and a lot more able to quickly store energy might mean a huge increase in the vialbity of electric cars Smile

Blimey, amazing

Looks interesting: I wonder how it is on environmental impact during manufacture? As long as that's good, I'll be looking for these in the shops. That is, I would if I ever went to the shops...

If they're as good as Toshiba seem to think, then you won't have to go looking for them; they'll turn up in all sorts of things. Battery tech is the limiting factor in an awful lot of modern gadgetry. Mobile phone companies, etc will be desperate to get hold of these things.

Yes, I think it sounds pretty revolutionary.
As with every technology, it will be expensive to begin with, and so initially only relevant to the highest performance applications. I'd expect to see small ones in phones and computers well before they are used in bulk in electric vehicles. But they are talking about "automotive applications" and hybrids.
Its the combination of fast charge AND long life that I believe to be significant.
[i]I wonder if they are hinting at electric vehicle brakes? Shocked (All dougal's rights reserved if not!)
These would need to be able to absorb a lot of energy during a few seconds of decelleration. And presumably return it to electric assist motor(s) (the "brakes"?) to get the vehicle moving again. Todays electric hybrids use electric "engine braking" but still have normal large energy shedding brakes.
Having "electric brakes" would mean that the battery pack only needs to be sized to be able to hold the maximum kinetic energy of the vehicle. OK, I realise about *potential* energy and alpine passes - but think of city buses, or tube trains...

The long life means that whatever the energy investment in manufacture (and I doubt its massively more than today's Li Ion batteries), the working life (during which that capital can be amortised) looks like it could be 50 times longer than today's rechargeables.
It looks to me like a technology that could have a broad and deep impact.

Between recharging on breaking and the decrease in weight for power, it sounds like electric vehicals would double their range, combine that with much faster recharge and long term reliablity and it strikes me you could have electric cars that strongly compete with petrol Smile

Of course you still have to consider efficiency, the energy still has to be generated.

jema wrote:
... it strikes me you could have electric cars that strongly compete with petrol Smile
Of course you still have to consider efficiency, the energy still has to be generated.

Much more strongly, thats for sure. My thinking is that it'll be a while before these things could be properly cheap, and so I'm wondering where would you get the greatest advantage for the smallest quantity of batteries...
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