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Battery tech

Hello all.

Just read from autobloggreen about some new battery manufacturer called "Planar Energy". (http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/27/planar-energy-to-begin-small-scale-...)

They seem to have tech for pretty good Wh/kg batteries. From one of their pdf (http://www.planarenergy.com/Press%20Releases/Technology%20Review_%20Safe...)

"One of them combines lithium manganese oxide with other ions, and operates at about three to five volts with a charge capacity of 200 milliamp hours per gram."

Calculating that as 3.5V * 200mAh/g you get 700mWh/g or 700Wh/kg. to put that in right context: Roadster battery: 450kg. Drop 30% off as supporting structure: 315kg battery * 700 = 220.500kWh battery. Nearly four times as much as current tech is. That would allow roadster to go 200 * 4 = 800 miles with one charge.

There are a very good wiki pages about maglev trains and maglev in general. Read them:

Maglev has nothing to do in transforming one source of energy to another in a car. If you move a maglev train it requires power, just like it requires power to move a car. It is not free energy any more than dynamo is in your bike. Same effect maglev trains use to move is used inside electric motor to make things move. It is not magic and nothing weird and definitely doesn't break the law of conservation of energy.

kiekens doesn't understand thermodynamics at all, he is probably some ignorant creationist that has read a lot of creationistic propaganda ignoring all real sources of knowledge, because I have seen his claim about thermodynamics second law proving evolution impossible before. Using that argument no child could grow to adulthood, which they obviously can do (to make it obvious how bad that claim is). This is not a forum for that debate, so I leave it to that, but to you, searcher, would be wise not to hold this person very high respect. Don't trust those kind of people, they are either ignorant or liars or both. Or nutjobs.

searcher, don't consider me as your friend, I'm not. I'm not enemy, nor friend, I'm just person you don't know anything about in the net that happens to write in same forum you do. More like a friendly stranger you see in your local grocery shopping.

This forum is starting to make my head hurt. I think it's getting to the point it might need to a moderated forum but not sure anyone at Tesla has the time or desire to do that.

I would have to agree... it takes a lot of effort to trawl through the noise

timo, very logical statement on the friend thing. I fully agree. Just trying to act in a less antagonistic manner after reviewing some of my own post . I am very cool with your friends statement and absolutely no offense taken. Just trying to lower the antagonism level as I may have a lot of questions to people as i stated, more jaded fromm having been on the website for awhile and have heard my questions and exceptions perhaps too many times. Trying to lower my self admitted arrogance level and really get into posts where immediate but mostly in my case things in the medium to long range can be bounced off each other without involving the egos. Just thowing stuf, ridulous and otherwise and see what sticks. Sometimes it may have to get a little ridculous to some at times to keep a creative discusion going. And not just a series of post of what somebody has read in a techno magazine which is all important but not entirely exclusive for creative conversation. and timo my suggestion for research I hoped you would get into I wanted to submit in nothing but very humble manner so as not to offend you in hope that you would seriouly investigate if you have not already, just did not want to make these suggestions in any way that could be considered angry or arrogant. Thanks for the websites, I will check them out. Was intrigued by one of your posts where you explained what formats things might eventually evole to motors in each wheel etc, etc. Also understood one post someone made the immediate thing for Tesla is to get in the middle of the market and create revenues right now, fully agree here and think their overall strategy is very sound.

What is the fusion thing that BrinH or somebody mentioned that would make plenty of energy available and probably relatively cheap at the same time?

What will be the most probable size and weight of the battery in the "Bluestar" series coming down the pike.

DPF or Dense Plasma Focus, if viable, has around 5MW reactor that could fit in the lawnmower but it needs heavy duty shielding against neutron radiation. Relatively cheap to build, easy to operate, flip a switch and it turns on, flip it again and it is off.

Nobody knows anything about bluestar yet, not even Tesla. Only that it is supposed to be cheaper than Model S.

Thanks timo, fascinating stuff.

Searcher: check the Ford Fusion website, they've been toying with fusion stuff for a couple years now, although I didn't find a lotta hard facts and figures on their website.

You probably mean Focus Fusion, not Ford Fusion. ;)

LPPX has managed to produce fusion in their reactor, but that doesn't yet mean that it is profitable. OTOH it looks like it is only engineering challenge, not scientific anymore, to get it in profitable state. Final goal is aneutronic fusion, but tritium-deuterium (like in tokamak reactors) is also possible.

Whups, thanks for catching that timo.

Didn't know where to post this question{probably nowwhere was best option} but remember I am just the student asking questions. I suppose fusion automatically refers to nuclear? My limited knowledge of lightning tells me it is just a bunch of positively charged particles and negatively charged particles just hanging around and when conditions are right they just come together and "va voom" much eletrical power generated. Can and is this type reaction being replicated in labs or anywhere and can this reaction be controlled and channeled for our elctrical power use? I suppose I have reached the zenith of my naivete [thus far anyway} with this one,ha.

Please don't throw me out of the classroom for the above question,ha.

Fusion involves forcing the cores (nuclei) of atoms together, which they resist strongly by electric repulsion (positive charges). It requires very high heat or pressure; for deuterium, about 100 million degrees. For boron/hydrogen, about a billion degrees. LPPX (LPPhysics.com) is using a very small reactor design which uses magnetic collapse of plasma (plasmoids) to get fusion. It has the advantage of not producing neutron radiation, just straight helium ions (which are channelled to generate electricity directly).
They are currently testing with deuterium, and hope to graduate to boron+hydrogen in the next month or few.

BrianH, So will this type of electical production require any great environmental drains. Sorry to be nieve but what kind of inputs to get the outputs. Is it realtively clean and safe etc. Sounds very fascinating, what would be any potentential downsides.

Was also very intrigued by timos info on the energy producing option that could be about the size of a lawnmower.

In other words what you people are telling me is that the whole energy grid can be greatly changed to the planets advantage and of course energy technology for everything cars, homes, industry, and everything is not out of our reach if we as a planet have the resolve to follow though. If so this is very encouraging to me as I had the feeling we were trapped in a situation where the energy was running out and wars etc. would have to be fought for the energy. In spite of all the sometimes kind of rough give and take all you guys have been a great source of information for me and I really appreciate it. Please forgive my tendency to get into off topic thoeries. Just naturally like to try to explore new avenues etc.

Reactor could fit into lawnmower. Shielding would be size of a small room.

timo, Are you talking about the one mentioned above involing the plasma collapse or the one you had mentioned earlier that would fit into lawnmower. Or are you both talking about same thing. Would this be more practical on a large grid basis or a one to a household deal?

The firm site is LPPhysics.com, the booster site is focusfusion.org.
It's the same device. Output is large neighborhood size - 5MW. No waste or radioactivity, insanely cheap (about 1/20 best North American rates and capital costs). Can be installed anywhere that remote supervision and 2-4X/yr. servicing is possible. For large centers, would be "stacked" or built into clusters.

Excellent both for base and peak requirements, as the output can be varied precisely by altering the frequency of "pinches"/second, from, say, 50 - 330.

At full output, fuel used is l lb boron per MW-year. There should be enough on-planet to last till the sun turns red giant, at 10X current planetary electrical demand.

Scientific feasibility should be established within ½ yr. or so, engineering feasibility within 2-4 yrs. Then licensing to manufacturers for mass production world-wide will begin.

Don't invest in windmills. Every green renewable power source will be immediate economic roadkill.

The "lawnmower" comment, btw, refers to just the inner vacuum chamber where fusion occurs. There is also an X-ray capture-and-conversion shell and shielding around it, and a moderately large capacitor bank to control electrical power surges in and out of the device. Total housing about the size of a suburban home garage, including "walk-around" service space.

Just like in fission reactor, actual reactor is only a small part of the whole facility.

Brian H, Thanks much for the information, hope the planet can wade through the politics, special interest groups etc. on this. This sounds very encouraging to me. Now if they can just get production of electic cars for the masses on the fast track, not talking about Tesla exclusively here as they have their own sound plan in place, but all the car makers.

Sincerely appreciate this information, see my post referring to wars averted etc. But of course we get into other special interest groups {General Eisenhower's warning about the military/industrial complex applies here}. Both you guys have a good day.

My thought is that the ace-in-the-hole is the plan to license to all comers, everywhere. That way, anyone having the FF will immediately acquire such a competitive energy-cost advantage that no other jurisdiction will be able to hold off, on pain of rapid economic obsolescence.

I can't wait for lithium air batteries to reach fruition! They are estimated to have five to ten times the capacity of lithium ion batteries. Imagine this-coast to coast road trips on a single charge. I wonder when they will finally be developed.

Ten years?

Twenty years?

Thirty years?

Who knows, but it will be awsome!

Main problem with Li-Air is that those have very very low power density and rather large size (high Wh/kg, low Wh/L). You would need to have very very large battery to have same performance as Roadster has. Or use mix of small set of high-power batteries and Li-Air.

BrianH, Sound great, hope it works out like this.

Low power density huh? Maybe a dump truck full of them could drive across the US non-stop. Of course that would have to be a streamlined dump truck.

If li-air batteries have such low power density, how can it have five to ten times the capacity of li-ion?

Power and energy are two different things. It has huge energy density, but you need to have large battery to simply get power out of it. (picking numbers out of my hat) maybe 500kg battery could give you only 150kW of power, but in same time that battery gives you 2000-4000mile range (if you put it in Roadster).

That's opposite of A123 and Altairnano batteries which have huge power densities but poor energy densities. Using their batteries you get huge power from small pack, but using that small pack you get tiny range.

I don't remember real-life figures right now, but all of the research I have seen indicates that this low power density is a real problem. You would need to use hybrid of small set of very high power batteries, maybe even supercapacitors, and use that battery pack as range extender. A bit like HFC-cars, but Li-air instead of HFC.

timo, I fully respect your knowledge of batteries and can see you point about "the battery is where the action is right now". Was wondering if you ever have thoughts of how they can be improved etc, Do you have patents or patents pending in battery tech. Is it sometimes frustrating to want to see much improved batteries and based on your scientific training of what can and can't be done somewhat again frustrating?

timo, based on your knowledge of batteries. Say if Tesla decided they wanted to deveop a "commuter car" about the size of a four seater Chevy Geo and they chose you to be in charge of development what type battery configuration would you put in, size, range,etc. This of course is a hypothetical but would love to hear your intuitive thoughts on this.

How will the Tesla S battery packs be assembled? The company plans to produce 80-100 of these cars per day. Each car will have a battery pack with close to 6000+ Li cells. These battery packs will have complex liquid cooling systems. Probably made of subassemblies. Everything will have to be tested? How will these processes be automated? Does Tesla have to resources to do this?

I have also been wondering, about the Al body. The presses of the Toyota plant are designed for steel sheets. Same for the welding equipment that is designed for steel. How complex is Al welding to be adapted to the existing plant?