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Battery tech

Hello all.

Just read from autobloggreen about some new battery manufacturer called "Planar Energy". (

They seem to have tech for pretty good Wh/kg batteries. From one of their pdf (

"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.

I was wondering when the 'capacitance gel' idea would get floated :)

It's scary how often life imitates art, or in this case, life adapting fiction to solve a problem.

Timo, Any late breaking news on long distance battery tech?

News from University of Singapore

Claims for a new electrical storage device claimed to be 4 to 8 times cheaper than li ion batteries ,produce more power and weigh far less.
If true, we have here what's known as the "holy grail."

Yes, just saw that link. 500,000X the energy density per sq. cm. of caps! At about 10% the cost of batteries. Approx 2% of the cost per kwh stored. Extrapolated, reduces a $20K battery pack to $400 (plus housing and electronics, etc.)

Electric storage just got dirt cheap. Charge/discharge etc. supposedly better than LiIon, too.

2000Km batteries, here we come!

Hold your horses, Brian H. 8 times cheaper does not translate to 2%, 10 times cheaper is 10% price, 8 times cheaper is just 12.5%, four is 25%. $20k drops then to $5000-$2500, not $400. I bet batteries get there eventually even without these membranes.

Also there is no mention about energy density, just cost.

This could be great for supercaps though.

You're right to be suspicious about energy density Timo. Otherwise the article would have been talking about use in EVs rather than for grid storage.

Yeah, arithmetic errors, too late at nite? 12-25% the cost per kwh, but the micro- vs tenths of farads ratio suggests large voltage and current, hence charge, improvements. Supposedly can store "more charge", but how much per unit volume matters, not just weight, though that's a biggie.

Especially for electric planes! :)

Ok, I'm a new follower, but interested in the new Model S. However, living in California must be nice and all, but most people live in states with 4 seasons, I happen to be one of them. I live in Wisconsin, and at times it can get to -30 F below zero, and it is typically 0 for the better part of winter. How negatively will this affect battery life, because most batteries typically don't withstand cold temperatures very well d/t basic chemistry, and I couldn't find any info on the website. Hoping to get some feedback.

Thanks, Aaron

It's the difference between Lead Acid (your standard car battery) and Lithium Ion (your typical computer laptop battery).

Li-Ions actually like a constant temperature, or even being on the cool side of things (they generate a bit of heat, as any laptop user will quickly tell you about).

Put it this way: there are Roadsters in Canada doing quite well, and I'm sure you'll agree, we do know about winter up here ;)

AFAIK li-ion batteries actually like the cold for battery life (just not too cold). They do produce a bit less power output while cold, but the energy doesn't dissipate, it's all there even in cold.

That however is quite moot point with Tesla batteries, they have their own climate control so they are in constant temperature all time as long as you are using the car or you have plugged it in.

I'm not sure what happens if you leave the car unplugged for long time in -30F/-34C though. Roadster guide says that you should plug the car in if temperature is below -20C/-4F. That cold might hurt the batteries (liquid electrolyte freezes). There are electrolyte chemistries that withstand temperatures way below anything experienced in face of the Earth, but I don't know the limits of batteries Tesla is using.

In that low temperatures I'd be worried about the LCD diplays too. At least in my current car LCD doesn't work very well in very low temp. But maybe new tech is better. Anyway, better plug in when not in use for a long time so the car don't get too cold.

Anybody: About what would be the range for EV about the size of a Geo-Metro? Or is the deal we have to get up to a certian size of car before we can get decent miles just for commuting to work. Guess this would kind of be a plus that it can be fairly spacious and still be primarilly a commmuter car.

Another question : About how far out are we from 500 mile range EV? That seems to be kind of a majic mark because how many people really want drive more than 500 miles in one day althogh I have done it many times but very tiring.

I still do 750 miles in one day at least 4 times a year (although never more than one day at a time these days), probably wouldn't do more than 500 miles after getting the Model S.

Problem with range is battery weight. You just can't have huge range with safety regulations fulfilled and still lightweight car. Edison VLC (Very Light Car) does great job in that, but it isn't that good example of a real car.

What makes 500 mile car impossible? Nothing really. Just price is impractical. You could make 500 mile battery right now, it would just cost you a lot.

It's my first time to come here. Haha,Nice to meet everybody. I learn from my friends that this forum is very interesting.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
[url=]Diablo 3 Gold[/url]

So Timo what would be your best guess on optimal size/weight of car and optimal range of the all electic commuter car with thought in mind ,in USA at least, the commutes are becoming longer and longer?

Do you see any "breakig of the barrier" on cost of electric batteries anytime soon. If so what likely company/country?
Northwestern university showing a new Li_on design to hold between 5x-10x capacity and 10x the charging rate.
Could you Imagine 1,500 to 3,000 miles on a charge.
Developments like that will absolutely make Tesla the best car on earth!

Another new battery tech, this time from Leeds (UK): polymer jelly.

The Leeds-based researchers are promising that their jelly batteries are as safe as polymer batteries, perform like liquid-filled batteries, but are 10 to 20% the price of either.

The secret to their success lies in blending a rubber-like polymer with a conductive, liquid electrolyte into a thin, flexible film of gel that sits between the battery electrodes.

Arg. Forgot the autoclose of tags each paragraph. The last one is part of the cite, too.

Would you believe 40,000 charge cycles? Super-fast charging? Very high energy density?
New cathode from Stanford, no lithium required:
also see:

Now if they can just get an anode ...

But it could be adapted for some of the new LiIon designs, AFAIK. They'd had big advances on the anode side, and were looking for a cathode.

That's high power density, not high energy density. My impression was that this is significantly worse than li-ion for especially specific energy density (because of heavy materials used), and also volumetric energy density is weaker.

It's not clear, but I think they're referring to both power and energy: "This new cathode promises a better solution to both sectors, personal and industrial. The battery can be produced to power small devices, where it completely out classes current lithium batteries."

The original Stanford news release doesn't say much more:

"But energy density really doesn't matter as much when you're talking about storage on the power grid. You could have a battery as big as a house since it doesn't need to be portable. Cost is a greater concern."

The above statement implies that the energy density wouldn't be high. Otherwise, why mention that it doesn't need to be high.

@Brian H
I believe the author of the first citation is confusing two aspects of battery construction, the electrode transfer rate and the energy capacity. The transfer rate determines how long it takes to charge the battery. The work that has been cited elsewhere discusses the breakthrough at the nano-level in the design of battery electrodes. This will facillitate a high transfer rate of energy to and from the battery, reducing the charging time. If you read down through the article, the author eventually mentions the improvement in the anode, but the article is none too clear.

This is still important for it does substantially increase the number of cycles the electrodes can perform-lengthening battery life, and it does increase the transfer rate by a factor of 10-thereby reducing the charging time.

There is another announced breakthrough that would increase the storage capacity of lithium batteries by a factor of 10, but I can't find it!

New Concept on lighter and smaller batteries in liquid form for EV that can be removed and refilled(with new fully charged liquid batteries) after depletion. see link below.

This might be a possible solution to the range and refill limitations for long trip.

Hope Tesla can use new technology on new models.

Smaller & More Powerful Batteries from MIT Team at Yahoo.


~Waymond from Palmdale

@Waymond, in case you start to wonder why so few answers, that has been discussed here over a year ago. Great invention, makes me immediately think about Demolition Man :-)

@jackhub, that Brian H quoted article doesn't use lithium ions as electron vessel, so it can't be used with lithium ion batteries. Chemistry is completely different.

That could make great hybrid battery though (hybrid being FC or traditional ICE with smallish battery). Small capacity battery in those require that they stay useful after many more cycles than BEV batteries. I wish some article gives some hint about how good that energy density is so that we would not need to speculate.

To Timo,
Is the liquid batteries idea possible to use for EV?
When are the discussion dated in this forum? It is hard to search that topic in discussion forum of 8 pages long.

This thread, Timo | June 9, 2011, Brian H | March 6, 2011

Seems that I remembered wrong how long it has been. Feels like old news though... maybe that is some indication how fast things change in world of batteries.

Not much actual discussion, just few comments, but that is the nature of this forum.


There is a video part on "lighter and smaller batteries".

Here is the link again:

You need to view it to understand that this is not the same as the two discussion on June 9 and March 6, 2011.

Here is part of the article from yahoo.

By Bill Weir, C. Michael Kim & David Miller | This Could Be Big – Thu, Dec 1, 2011

"At MIT, Professor Yet-Ming Chiang and his team of researchers are trying to reinvent the rechargeable battery for electric vehicles and and grid storage.

The new lightweight and inexpensive batteries would be half the weight and price of current batteries, and would make refueling as easy as filling a traditional tank with gas. No more waiting overnight for a charge.

The new battery relies on an innovative architecture called a semi-solid flow cell, in which solid particles are suspended in a carrier liquid and pumped through the system. Flow-cell batteries have been around for awhile but they use a liquid fuel that is low in energy density and therefore too large and impractical for cars.

The semi-solid flow battery uses a fuel called "Cambridge Crude" designed at MIT, which is 10 times more energy dense than liquid flow-cell, making it compact and lightweight enough for cars.

These batteries are also well suited for large scale electricity storage because they be easily scaled up at a low cost."

No Demolition Man, .....MAN,


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