DailyDirt: All Electric Vehicles

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Electric vehicles are gaining some increasing acceptance on the roads, as some drivers realize that the vast majority of their trips are less than a 40-mile roundtrip. The "range anxiety" factor is still a concern for a lot of people, but there might be some alternatives to the existing rechargeable batteries in use today. Here are just a few examples of possible solutions to improve the energy storage capacity in electric cars. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

Filed Under: aluminum-air battery, battery, electric vehicles, energy storage, ev, nanoflowcell, nanogenerators, nanotube, range anxiety, thermopower wave
Companies: alcoa, phinergy, quant, tesla


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 6:15pm

    that aluminum battery sounds like an easy swap to replace a bunch of aluminum plates... why couldn't you do it yourself in your garage? There are no liquids to spill, so it sounds safer than gasoline to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael J. Evans, 8 Sep 2014 @ 8:20pm

      Re:

      I'm guessing it's something to do with hot swapping in a /seriously charged/ set of plates in to a new Leiden jar.

      I'd like the robot to do the job please.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 9 Sep 2014 @ 3:36am

    nanoFLOWCELL's Dubious Claims, and Cleverly Shifting the Goalposts Back and Forth.

    The particular system described is one of a flow battery backstopping a high-performance ultra-capacitor. The characteristic of a capacitor is that it can release all of its energy more or less instantaneously, and it can do so billions of times without any degradation. One of the classic high-voltage capacitor circuits is the photographer's electronic flash. Capacitors are used in the regenerative braking systems in Formula 1 racing cars. The Chinese have used ultra-capacitors to power buses, recharging the capacitors at each bus stop, and saving the expense of stringing continuous wires along the bus's route. The idea of using an ultra-capacitor to avoid needless strain on the battery is, in itself, a sound one.

    The problem arises with the other half of the nanoFLOWCELL system, a Flow Battery. A flow battery is simply a fuel cell in which the active chemicals are dissolved in an inert fluid-- typically water-- and can therefore be delivered from holding tanks. This allows a wider range of active chemicals than those which are customarily used in fuel cells, but the catch is that you need a lot of water to make various metal oxides, metal sulfates, etc., behave as fluids, and flow-batteries generally do not have very high energy densities. There are applications where this does not matter, but an electric automobile is probably not one of them.
    I am informed that the nanoFLOWCELL company involved has not filed any patents, or disclosed the chemical composition of its energy-storage fluids. I am also informed that the proprietor has a dubious reputation for making claims which evaporate in thin air.

    One persistent problem about electric cars is the way in which their promoters conflate instantaneous power and long term energy. The true claim that a car can go two hundred miles an hour (for a minute or so), and can go a thousand miles (at five miles an hour, or so), is glossed into an unstated claim that the car has sufficient performance for ordinary commuting, which unstated claim may very well be untrue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_battery

    http://www.kitco.com/ind/Albrecht/2014-03-06-Flow-Ce ll-Batteries-A-Substitute-For-Lithium-Ion.html?sitetype=fullsite

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_( photography)#Electronic_flash

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Eugene_Edgerton

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AddaBoy, 10 Sep 2014 @ 8:36am

    EV CarShare

    I came back from China where they have electric vehicle car share with enormous vending machines for EVs...they are basing it off bike share to get around the short term pitfalls of EVs. It has expanded to Shanghaiand will be spreading to other cities. You can see it here in this video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiEJPbxL2hI

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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