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"Nuclear" battery with six orders of magnitude better power density?

Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by Norbert, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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  2. ra-san

    ra-san Member

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    Medical implants, very small scale robotics and similar embedded devices.
     
  3. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Usually it is better for a technology if it can be used in as many applications as possible, and a more general use benefits each individual application. The article already mentions that such batteries, in general, are not only used for "pace-makers", but also for "space satellites and underwater systems".

    Since the claim is that the batteries are safe, and smaller batteries are desirable in almost any application, I think a sentence or two are missing, which would explain why reducing the size, specifically to below that of an hair, is the only objective the researcher seems to consider worthwhile.

    Meanwhile I was reading elsewhere that these batteries would be too expensive to be used (for example) in cars, due to the scarceness of the material. But then, maybe it should not be used for "underwater systems" either, or even be reserved for medical applications.
     
  4. edo

    edo Member

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    The thing about nuclear batteries to date is that the best ones only use about 8% of the energy and the rest is given off as heat (hopefully, given the alternative!!)

    So with a 185kW peak demand, you would need to find a way to dump 2MW!:eek:
     
  5. NielsChr

    NielsChr Member

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    more important - they need to be rechargable...I dont think the nuclear battery are

    edit: sorry - very old post, didn't see that - ignore my post
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    That would be the aftermarket sound system.
     
  7. Bipo

    Bipo Member

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    1.21 GW!! Plutonium has more "punch" :D

    pZQ27LJ.jpg
     
  8. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    Around a decade ago I was wondering if EV powered by nuclear batteries could be build. Problem was - very low power density.

    But idea of such car is fascinating - batteries will produce electricity regardless if you drive car or not, for decades to come... Nuclear reaction (radioactive decay) could not be stopped, you know.

    I doubt reporter actually meant 6x orders of magnitude of power density increase compared to chemical ones, what he should have wrote is energy density, or more correctly "specific energy" of nuclear batteries is way higher then chemical ones.

    Anyhow, I'm ashamed to admit, when I was thinking about nuclear powered EV I was not thinking how all that excessive heat could be dumped:redface:

    PS. Radiation they produce could be perfectly shielded by sheet of toilet paper. If you use something more substantial, like metallic or plastic battery enclosure - you are safe. So yeah, those batteries are kindof safe.
     
  9. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    A nuclear reaction is a chain reaction that maybe very difficult to keep under control. I wouldn't like a nuclear battery in my car. :scared:
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Maybe it's best as a winter car. ;)
     
  11. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    Those batteries are not based on nuclear chain reaction. They do not have reactors. They are based around radioactive decay of certain radioisotopes...
     
  12. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I wouldn't like a radioactive isotope in my car either. :scared:
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    If I could, I'd put one in my car tomorrow.
     
  14. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    All that heat? Great! I'll take a dozen.
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    You would need batteries or supercapacitors as a buffer for those moments of high power output.
     
  16. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    This one is comercially available today. Bit big for a car though... :)
    10 MW output for 3-4 years, then refuel)
    (Building over ground is 22x16x11 meters, reactor is dug 30 meters below ground about same size).
    Cool for a very large SuperCharger station in regions where solar won't work. Seriously!
    Toshiba 4S - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  17. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    It may be problematic to refer to radioisotope decay power sources as batteries at all, since the only sense in which they can be recharged is to replace the nearly exhausted quantity of radioisotope with a fresh one. I'm pretty sure no one has engineered reversing the radioactive decay when you pump electricity back into one of these! When they speak of power density for an RD power source, they mean the amount of power per unit weight they can deliver for years. I doubt that even the biggest, most expensive RD source used in the most power hungry space probe, produces enough electric power to match what an MS 85 KWH pack delivers when accelerating. There are lots of new battery chemistries and ultra capacitor approaches under development for us to dream of 500mi of range and really fast recharging. Nuclear batteries aren't one of them.
     
  18. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Yes but as far as range extenders are concerned I think I'd rather have a radioisotope decay power source than an ICE or Hydrogen Fuel Cell.

     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That just makes them primary batteries, rather than secondary (rechargeable) batteries.
     
  20. curiousguy

    curiousguy curious member

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    batteries are electrochemical storage devices. i dont see any reference of electrochemistry here. which species gets reduced and/or oxidized?
     

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