Archive for the ‘Batteries’ Category

Green blob [credit: storybird.com]


The Manhattan Institute reckons: ‘By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.’

Before then, all that future waste has to be manufactured, largely from mined materials. Is the world ready for this?
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You think those baby unicorns grow on trees? Better think again, says Michael Walsh @ The Pipeline.

“Green” energy, in fact, comes with a very high price tag as this report from the Manhattan Institute makes clear.

As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy.

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Tesla plant [image credit: Steve Jurvetson @ Wikipedia]


H/T TechXplore

But Plan B includes putting heavy batteries in already heavy trucks, making them too heavy for hauling goods — or reducing their payloads. But at least the fact that there aren’t going to be anywhere near enough batteries to replace all fuel-powered vehicles with expensive EVs is out in the open, leaving climate obsessives with yet another headache. Wade through the usual paranoid propaganda to see how big the problem is.
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We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly, claims The Conversation.

Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels, contributing 16 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up the Earth’s atmosphere and cause changes to the climate.

It also pollutes the air, threatening health and costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

At the same time, electric vehicles are getting cheaper, and vehicle range and the availability of charging stations are improving.

This is exciting for many because it seems to suggest an easy and convenient answer to the problem of transportation emissions: if everyone swapped their fossil-fuelled vehicle for an electric equivalent, we could all keep driving, safe in the knowledge that we are no longer killing the planet by doing so—and all while enjoying a new car that is quiet, cheap to power and fun to drive.

Everybody wins, right? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be that simple.

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Experimental E-plane [image credit: Siemens]


If only batteries could lose some of their heavy weight during flight, matching the reductions achieved by burning fuel, he might be onto something. But as they can’t, this looks like more pie in the sky.
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Exclusive: Acting Liberal Democrat leader calls for green short haul flights to be UK’s next “moon landing mission”, reports i-news.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is calling for all domestic flights to be zero carbon by 2030, arguing the target must become the UK’s new “moon landing mission”.

Commercial planes run mainly on fossil fuels, and engineers are struggling to design a zero carbon passenger jet to replace them.

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VW ID.3 [image credit: Alexander Migl @ Wikipedia]


The car is about the same size as VW’s Golf model but weighs 200 kilograms more due to the battery, which has an 8 year guarantee. What is guaranteed is not clear. List prices for most versions are well in excess of 30,000 euros, but subsidies are on offer. Don’t all rush at once…
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Volkswagen ID.3 latest news

Even before the Volkswagen ID.3 goes on sale, it has managed to pick up an award – from carwow!

The ID.3 collected the Most Wanted award at the 2019 carwow Car of the Year awards, says Green Car Congress.

This award is given to the brand that has the most-read news story here on carwow – and the ID.3 scooped that accolade by some margin.

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Hydrogen-powered London bus


More hopeless than hope. But for those who want to put a lot of time, effort and money into looking for ‘solutions’ to the non-problem of supposedly human-caused climate change, it’s a topic for discussion. It may have some specific uses, but cost and practicality seem to be strongly against it as a general replacement for traditional fuels.
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Can hydrogen – a relatively clean source of fuel – help power the economy of the future? – asks the BBC.

In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future.

But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype?

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Avinor’s electric plane [image credit: inhabitat.com]


More ‘net zero’ tomfoolery. Batteries are heavy and unlike fuel don’t allow the plane to lose weight during flight, meaning harder landings or lower carrying capacity. Meanwhile biofuel still emits carbon dioxide, which is supposed to be what the climate obsession is about.
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today announced a dual boost to the UK’s nascent low carbon aviation sector, confirming the formation of a new ‘Jet Zero Council’ and the award of fresh funding for green fuel specialist Velocsys, reports BusinessGreen.

Shapps used his appearance at the daily coronavirus press conference to announce the moves, which he said would support the government’s vision of a “greener transport future”.

Building on the recent confirmation the government is to invest £2bn in new active transport infrastructure, Shapps said the challenge was “to make transport – currently our biggest emitter of greenhouse gases – part of the solution, not the problem”.

He added that decarbonisation was particularly difficult for an aviation industry that has faced an “impossible few months” as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

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Not the latest model


Obviously bribery is thought to be the only way, short of coercion, to appeal to reluctant drivers who see clearly enough the various disadvantages and high cost of EVs they were never asked if they wanted to buy. Under cover of the virus situation they plan to pour more public money down their ideological drain to appease the greenblob.
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It has been reported that Boris Johnson is considering launching a car scrappage scheme to boost the automotive industry, says The Shropshire Star.

Motoring and environmental groups have welcomed the prospect of a new car scrappage scheme encouraging motorists to switch to electric vehicles.

The AA described it as “fantastic” while Greenpeace said it would be “moving in the right direction”.

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Hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai [image credit: Nikkei Asian Review]


A tank of hydrogen is obviously lighter than an equivalent fixed-weight battery pack, and filling up is much quicker than any recharge, but in many ways hydrogen cars struggle to compete, according to The Conversation. Very few manufacturers are interested in them any more, and list prices look higher even than EVs.
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Hydrogen has long been touted as the future for passenger cars.

The hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which simply runs on pressurised hydrogen from a fuelling station, produces zero carbon emissions from its exhaust.

It can be filled as quickly as a fossil-fuel equivalent and offers a similar driving distance to petrol.

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Image credit: MIT


Who wants to buy a secondhand EV after reading this? Maybe sellers should have to get a test certificate stating how much life there is left in the battery.
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Modeling study shows battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations. — Technology.org reporting.

As electric vehicles rapidly grow in popularity worldwide [Talkshop comment – do they?], there will soon be a wave of used batteries whose performance is no longer sufficient for vehicles that need reliable acceleration and range.

But a new study shows that these batteries could still have a useful and profitable second life as backup storage for grid-scale solar photovoltaic installations, where they could perform for more than a decade in this less demanding role.

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How many were aware of the likely costs compared to fuel powered vehicles, before answering the questions? Improving urban air quality is no doubt a sound idea, but attempting to link EVs to climate – not so much.
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A quarter of people say they will become an EV driver in the next five years, according to a new survey, reports Energy Live News.

Coronavirus is convincing people to buy electric vehicles (EVs) with 45% of UK drivers claiming they would consider swapping their current car for an EV in the wake of the pandemic.

That’s according to a new poll conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, which reports the current lockdowns around the world and the radical improvement on air pollution as a result of the demobilisation of transport have a positive impact on people’s awareness of the benefits to the environment.

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It turns out that a method based on reacting to internal resistance during fast recharges should be less damaging to the battery. However, this suggests not-so-fast mid-journey recharge times.
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Commercial fast-charging stations subject electric car batteries to high temperatures and high resistance that can cause them to crack, leak, and lose their storage capacity, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in a new open-access study published in the journal Energy Storage.

To remedy this, the researchers have developed a method for charging at lower temperatures with less risk of catastrophic damage and loss of storage capacity, reports Green Car Congress.

In order to make EVs more competitive with combustion engine vehicles, development of an effective fast charging technique is inevitable. However, improper employment of fast charging can damage the battery and bring safety hazards. Herein, industry based along with our proposed internal resistance (IR) based fast charging techniques were performed on commercial Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical batteries. To further investigate the fast charging impact and electrode degradation mechanisms, electrochemical analysis and material characterization techniques including EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), GITT (galvanostatic intermittent titration technique), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), and XRD (X-ray diffraction) were implemented.

—Sebastian et al.

Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Cengiz Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, led a group that charged one set of discharged Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, found in Tesla cars, using the same industry fast-charging method as fast chargers found along freeways.

They also charged a set using a new fast-charging algorithm based on the battery’s internal resistance, which interferes with the flow of electrons. The internal resistance of a battery fluctuates according to temperature, charge state, battery age, and other factors. High internal resistance can cause problems during charging.

The UC Riverside Battery Team charging method is an adaptive system that learns from the battery by checking the battery’s internal resistance during charging. It rests when internal resistance kicks in to eliminate loss of charge capacity.

For the first 13 charging cycles, the battery storage capacities for both charging techniques remained similar. After that, however, the industry fast-charging technique caused capacity to fade much faster—after 40 charging cycles the batteries kept only 60% of their storage capacity.

Batteries charged using the internal resistance charging method retained more than 80% capacity after the 40th cycle.

Full report here.

EC Power’s All-Climate Battery


This type of battery, adopted by BMW among others, will be used in runabout vehicles at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing. Its self-heating feature means it can perform well in sub-zero conditions, unlike most Li-ion batteries. One report says it’s ‘only 1.5 percent heavier and costs 0.04 percent more than a conventional lithium-ion battery’.

A lithium-ion battery that is safe, has high power and can last for 1 million miles has been developed by a team in Penn State’s Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center, reports TechXplore.

Electric vehicle batteries typically require a tradeoff between safety and energy density. If the battery has high energy and power density, which is required for uphill driving or merging on the freeway, then there is a chance the battery can catch fire or explode in the wrong conditions.

But materials that have low energy/power density, and therefore high safety, tend to have poor performance. There is no material that satisfies both. For that reason, battery engineers opt for performance over safety.

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Follow that termite!

Posted: February 25, 2020 by oldbrew in Batteries, Carbon cycle, Emissions, research
Tags: , ,

Termite mound in Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]


So termites could lead us to the solution to…
CO2-generating termites? The wizardry of would-be planet savers – or could it be the sharpness of opportunists? – never ceases to amaze.

Hidden metal deposits needed to transition the world to low emission technologies can be discovered using metallic blue crusts in soils and on termite mounds as signposts, according to new research from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

CSIRO’s study in the southern Pilbara region of WA used new advances in sample analysis to show how metallic blue crusts, known as manganese crusts, display unique zinc signatures that indicate the presence of other base metals in the surrounding area, reports Technology.org.

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Typical electric car set-up


Expensive energy-intensive processes are needed to make a key battery ingredient for electric vehicles. How does this make any sense at all? They talk about the factories needed ‘to meet homegrown demand’ – but where is it?

As Europe looks to declare its tech independence by becoming a leader in next-generation batteries, it will have to start by making its own graphite, says TechXplore.

The problem is, nearly all of it now comes from Asia, mainly China.

So France’s Carbone Savoie and Germany’s SGL Carbon, the only European firms deemed capable of taking up the challenge, have been corralled into an ambitious battery alliance launched by Brussels last year.

“Thank you for bringing us on board this ‘Airbus for batteries,’ though to be honest, we weren’t even on the passenger list,” Carbone Savoie’s chairman Bruno Gastinne told France’s deputy finance minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Thursday.

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Image Credit: freepik.com

Electrek reports:

IONITY, a European EV charging network owned by BMW, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and VW Group (with Audi and Porsche) has announced that prices will be going up over 500% starting January 31 as they transition to a pay-per-kWh system.

Previously, IONITY charged a flat, fixed rate of €8 for a DCFC charging session. This was a good deal if you showed up with an empty battery and filled most of the way. If you arrived with, say, 10% battery remaining, and added 60 kWh during your charging session, then you’d get away with paying about €0.13 per kWh. For context, in France, electricity costs about €0.19 per kWh at home, and €0.24 per kWh at Tesla Superchargers. In Germany, you pay €0.30 per kWh at home, and €0.33 at Tesla Superchargers in Germany.

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Salar de Atacama, Chile [image credit: Francesco Mocellin @ Wikipedia]


Wikipedia says: ‘Salar de Atacama is the world’s largest and purest active source of lithium, containing 27% of the world’s lithium reserve base…Extraction of lithium-rich brines is causing conflict with water use by local communities and is damaging the ecosystem, including the Andean flamingo.’ Do self-styled planet savers approve of this?

Global demand for lithium is expected to triple in six years.

But mining companies are increasingly coming into conflict with indigenous communities who are worried about the future of their ecosystems, says DW.com.

In the middle of the world’s driest desert is a vast expanse of turquoise basins, each one like a colossal swimming pool, up to 20 times the size of a football field.

The pools are filled with a salty brine pumped up from ancient reservoirs under the desert. It also contains lithium carbonate, the raw material for a light, silvery metal that happens to be a component of the batteries now used by virtually all computers, phones and electric cars.

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Typical electric car set-up


Welcome to the EU’s plan to strong-arm its way to victory in the electric car game, in the name of imaginary climate benefits. What happens if the manufacturers all start posting heavy losses due to poor EV sales, as a result of this coercion, is not yet clear. As the article says, tens of billions of euros are at stake.

Long-awaited light-duty vehicle emission rules will hit light-duty vehicle makers working in EU member countries on January 1, and automakers will soon have to deal with the consequences, says OilPrice.com.

Vehicle manufacturers will have to sell many more hybrid and electric vehicles or pay costly fines, a situation similar to China’s rules.

For automakers with product lineups with few EV offerings, they’ll need to sell lots of conventional cars and trucks, and use the profits to pay the fines.

Industry analysts expect plug-in hybrid, battery electric vehicle, and hybrid vehicle sales to soar in the near future.

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Experimental Aluminium-Air power cell

The military developed and used ALuminium-Air power cell tech decades ago. New discoveries and advances in electrolyte mean it might become viable for commercial and domestic use. The Daily Mail has this:

Two years ago, Jackson claims, motor manufacturers lobbied the Foreign Office to bar him from a prestigious conference for European businesses and governments at the British embassy in Paris, which was supposed to agree a blueprint for ensuring all new cars are electric by 2040. The bid to exclude him failed. Now, with the signing of the Austin deal, it seems he is finally on the road to success.

He has also secured a £108,000 grant for further research from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a partner of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. His technology has been validated by two French universities.

He says: ‘It has been a tough battle but I’m finally making progress. From every logical standpoint, this is the way to go.’

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