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Should we have an "X Prize" for batteries?

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Andy t, May 12, 2015.

  1. Andy t

    Andy t Member

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    X Prize
    If there is so much money to be made from a new battery/capacitor that will do alot more than today's battery's can do for [ cars, home storage, and Mobile devices ] Etc

    Someone should launch an X Prize to get the public people involed and see what they can come up with. You never know who could make the next big technical brake though in battery. It could be A grope of lads from down the road that hit the nail on the head.

    If anyone did launch a X Prize what do you think the rules would be.???

    Andy
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Mod note: modified the title to better match the actual thread content.
     
  3. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Don't need to. There is SO much development and interest in new battery technology at the moment. The stakes are so high already. X Prizes are more suited for those unexplored areas that no one is yet spending much time and/or money.
     
  4. Andy t

    Andy t Member

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    Well it may look like someone may have the brake through we have been waiting for.
    He is days away from developing a electric storage in the form of a supacapasitor . He is working on a 1 megafarad capasitor at Edison labs in Canada that will only be as thick as A3 book size 30mm thick. See link.
    How in miles would you get from a 1 megafarad capasitor and how many 1 megafarad capasitor would you need for a 1000 mile trip

    1 MegaFarad Supercapacitor - Nearly There - YouTube
     
  5. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    A megafarad super capacitor is getting up to real energy storage levels. Now, can someone clue me in to how one goes about throttling the energy discharge of a capacitor to such a rate that it can be of use in a system like an EV automobile...or boat, submarine, airplane....?
     
  6. schueppert

    schueppert Member

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    Umm...Ohm's Law.
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    You mean, then, you just call on the # of volts desired? Does it really work that way in the real world?
     
  8. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    For low currents, basically, yes. You use a potentiometer to dial in a variable amount of resistance in series with the thing you're controlling. The voltage drop across both the pot and the load totals to the voltage across the capacitor.

    However I think you have to be a lot smarter than that in something like a car. Otherwise the resistor/pot will get very hot. At this point I'm out of my depth, I'm a software guy. But it's basically the job that the power management module in the Model S does.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    You don't use a pot - that burns off energy. You use a switching power supply.
     
  10. Danal

    Danal electricmotorglider.com

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    X prizes are to create motivation for individuals or groups who can fund some amount of development, and then need the prize when they pass a certain hurdle, to progress further down that road. They encourage break through research in areas that are not well funded by some other mechanism.

    For rechargeable batteries an X Prize would change nothing. The 'prize' is already BILLIONS. If a group of lads is capable of winning a battery X prize, they should be out there working RIGHT NOW. The presence/absence of such a prize would not, IMHO, cause the number of people working on this to change, nor increase the likelihood of a breakthrough.
     
  11. schueppert

    schueppert Member

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    Actually you use a variable frequency drive. Super capacitors operate at a voltage of about 3v. So you can imagine assembling many of these in series/parallel to form a pack operating at say 600V rather like the Tesla pack works today with lithium cells. You then connect the output of the pack to the variable frequency drive. As you vary the drive frequency, controlled indirectly by the throttle, the impedance of the load changes which controls the rate of discharge from the pack.

    Super capacitors are awesome in terms of power density, not so much for energy density. An 85 kWH super capacitor pack would be much larger and heavier than the current pack, but would probably last 100 years and the acceleration would be off the charts!
     
  12. Andy t

    Andy t Member

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    #12 Andy t, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    You can adjust duty cycle instead of frequency.
     
  14. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I don't think an 85kWh super capacitor pack of the kind "Andy t" has been championing would be anywhere near the size or weight of our battery packs, so, given their attributes:
    * longevity
    * capability of instantaneous power translating into acceleration
    *ability to cycle between duty cycle or frequency for optimal characterization

    What's not to like? As long as it works.........
     
  15. schueppert

    schueppert Member

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    As I said, the problem is an 85 kWh super capacitor pack using current technology would be bigger and heavier than a lithium battery pack. You might imagine super capacitors would benefit from the same miniaturization as other solid state electronics, but that really isn't the case. As you make them smaller the electric field increases leading to breakdown.
    '
     
  16. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Actually no, they wouldn't last. Supercaps just suck at lasting. They age faster than LiIon chemistry. They degrade even faster when used.

    Top of the line supecaps are currently around 10Wh/kg and 14Wh/l. They state 10y life (30% decrease in capacity and 100% increase in ESR). This ESR increase (doubling of internal resistance) is the real problem. Oh, don't ask the price.
     
  17. schueppert

    schueppert Member

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    Sure, they state 10 year life. But that's at 1,000,000 cycles. They don't provide any data on the relationship between cycles and life years, but it seems reasonable to assume that if you only cycle it once a day then the life would be a lot longer and the capacity reduction much smaller.
     
  18. Andy t

    Andy t Member

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