Improve on the Battery

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ShockBoy, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. ShockBoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 27, 2009
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    In Electronics, only the battery has not been improved on; why? Are we still in the dark ages?
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    They're making improvements all of the time.

    Have you seen or heard about AGM batteries?
     
  3. radiohead

    Active Member

    May 28, 2009
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    NiMH batteries are much better than NiCd ones, for example.
     
  4. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    The LiFePO4 battery wasn't around 10 years ago. Even 5 years ago, you couldn't buy them.

    John
     
  5. ShockBoy

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    Oct 27, 2009
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    All of these batteries us electro-chemical means, and is basically the same technology as our grandfathers.
     
  6. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    All the way back to 1800 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaic_pile

    We still use the same AC electricity discovered and commercialized back in the 1800's, too.

    The internal electrochemical reaction is a significant part of the definition of a "battery".
     
  7. jpanhalt

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    How do you define "battery?" I thought a battery was defined as electrochemical. Remember too, there are "super" capacitors.

    John
     
  8. Duane P Wetick

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    Apr 23, 2009
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    Thomas Edison's original lead acid cell design is still being put into new cars today, so you can see that it is a time tested design with only small improvements being made over time; maintenance free claims, starved electrolytes, etc. My benchmark for new battery designs is $1.00 /Amp-Hour of cost, and few new (high power) designs can meet this goal. Battery technology has stayed on the back burner for years because it did not have to change to meet new transportation designs...until now. Now that electric vehicles are being looked at seriously as viable transportation modes, new battery designs must be developed. Battery technology needs improved on all sides.
    It will indeed be a long development road however.

    Cheers, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  9. jpanhalt

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    Just goes to show, if you do it right the first time, you don't have to keep fixing it. Wish Microsoft would follow that philosophy with Windows. :D

    John
     
  10. beenthere

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    Hear, hear.
     
  11. russ_hensel

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    Jan 11, 2009
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    As I understand it we are still using maxwell's equations, and the same old electrons that were around a billion years ago. That is old stuff.
     
  12. ShockBoy

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    Oct 27, 2009
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    Electricity storage is how I believe a 'battery' is defined, electrochemical is the means of the storage.
    Could someone explain to me the 'super' capacitor? I understand they are used for the starting of electric vehicles, quick release of a massive amount of power.
     
  13. jpanhalt

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    How do you distinguish between a battery, a common capacitor, or even inductor in your definition? How about a fuel cell vs. a battery?

    These discussions go nowhere, unless all parties use the same definitions. At this point, I think there is little value in reviewing those definitions.

    The simple fact is, there have been enormous advances in electrochemical storage technology, fuel cells, and capacitors.

    John
     
  14. ShockBoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 27, 2009
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    I see your point.
    Let's pretend for a moment. I'm in the future, going to purchase a 'battery'.
    Walk into the retail establishment and approach the battery dept. As I look around I have choices between electrochemical, capacitor, inductor, and fuel cell type batteries.
    If the definition of a battery is that it HAS to be electrochemical, then any new technology in future types of batteries can not refer to itself as a battery.

    My point to this thread was to get input about battery technology and to discuss batteries in general. Also I am curious as to why in this modern day and age we are still using 200 year old technology( slightly improved on in the recent past few years).
     
  15. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

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    Chemically, there are only so many combinations that can be made out of the electromotive series that have useful characteristics. We are still dealing with the same atomic elements (excluding those created in nuclear reactions) that were around 200 years ago.

    The choices get smaller yet if you insist on the reactions producing electrical power being reversible, so the battery is no longer a one time use item. There is some word around that the old NiFe cell is getting some attention. T. A. Edison came up with that one, but it only attractive in cold conditions.

    "Battery" make more sense as an electrochemical device. A general category, into which everything will git, is Energy Storage Device (ESD). It can hold fuel cells and ultracapacitors.

    For a bit of perspective, MIT made an ultracapacitor booster for a battery-powered go Kart. The capacity was 220 Farads, very large in terms of capacitance. But, as someone in the article explained, it held about the same total energy as an AA battery (chemistry not described). 20 pounds of capacitor equalling an AA battery makes it an easy decision as to the power source for an Ipod.
     
  16. Paulo540

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    Nov 23, 2009
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    The one thing that bothers me is that it seems the more energy density a battery has, the shorter the working lifespan. This would be a better hurdle to clear in my opinion. As compared to packing more and more into a smaller space.

    But, this is true with everything high performance, really. Just look at drag cars, Yeah you can get 5000 HP but you have to rebuild the engine after less than 5 seconds of use, lol.
     
  17. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    Agreed, and that is where the LiFePO4 (A123) battery fits in. I can't wait to buy them at the grocery store. Today, some people are buying the tools, just to get the batteries. Also, compare the eneloop to standard NiMH batteries. Nothing is perfect, but charge cycles for high energy density batteries are definitely on the upswing.

    John
     
  18. ShockBoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 27, 2009
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  19. beenthere

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    This is interesting to think about. That assumes much heavier conductors to handle the current, and a greatly enlarged power distribution network to handle the extra load.

    Cities like Ft. Lauterdale had (and may still have) banks of turbogenerators to handle afternoon loads that come on when people go home after work and turn on the air conditioning. Electric cars require orders of magnitude more power.

    Something like fuel cell cars would seem to be a more realistic development.
     
  20. Redbelly98

    New Member

    Jan 16, 2010
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    If you don't consider advances in materials technology to qualify as new technology, it is difficult to give you a satisfactory answer.
     
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