An interesting advance in battery applications

From Stanford University encouraging news, a rechargeable Zinc-air battery would put electric cars into the realm of reasonable practicality, where with lead-acid batteries they are currently not.

Stanford scientists develop high-efficiency zinc-air battery

Stanford University scientists have developed an advanced zinc-air battery with higher catalytic activity and durability than similar batteries made with costly platinum and iridium catalysts. The results, published in the May 7 online edition of the journal Nature Communications, could lead to the development of a low-cost alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries widely used today.

This is a rechargeable zinc-oxide battery in a tri-electrode configuration with cobalt-oxide/carbon nanotube and iron-nickel/layered double hydroxide catalysts for charge and discharge, respectively. Credit: Yanguang Li, Stanford University

“There have been increasing demands for high-performance, inexpensive and safe batteries for portable electronics, electric vehicles and other energy storage applications,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor chemistry at Stanford and lead author of the study. “Metal-air batteries offer a possible low-cost solution.”

According to Dai, most attention has focused on lithium-ion batteries, despite their limited energy density (energy stored per unit volume), high cost and safety problems. “With ample supply of oxygen from the atmosphere, metal-air batteries have drastically higher theoretical energy density than either traditional aqueous batteries or lithium-ion batteries,” he said. “Among them, zinc-air is technically and economically the most viable option.”

Zinc-air batteries combine atmospheric oxygen and zinc metal in a liquid alkaline electrolyte to generate electricity with a byproduct of zinc oxide. When the process is reversed during recharging, oxygen and zinc metal are regenerated.

“Zinc-air batteries are attractive because of the abundance and low cost of zinc metal, as well as the non-flammable nature of aqueous electrolytes, which make the batteries inherently safe to operate,” Dai said. “Primary (non-rechargeable) zinc-air batteries have been commercialized for medical and telecommunication applications with limited power density. However, it remains a grand challenge to develop electrically rechargeable batteries, with the stumbling blocks being the lack of efficient and robust air catalysts, as well as the limited cycle life of the zinc electrodes.”

Active and durable electrocatalysts on the air electrode are required to catalyze the oxygen-reduction reaction during discharge and the oxygen-evolution reaction during recharge. In zinc-air batteries, both catalytic reactions are sluggish, Dai said.

Recently, his group has developed a number of high-performance electrocatalysts made with non-precious metal oxide or nanocrystals hybridized with carbon nanotubes. These catalysts produced higher catalytic activity and durability in alkaline electrolytes than catalysts made with platinum and other precious metals.

“We found that similar catalysts greatly boosted the performance of zinc-air batteries,” Dai said. both primary and rechargeable. “A combination of a cobalt-oxide hybrid air catalyst for oxygen reduction and a nickel-iron hydroxide hybrid air catalyst for oxygen evolution resulted in a record high-energy efficiency for a zinc-air battery, with a high specific energy density more than twice that of lithium-ion technology.”

The novel battery also demonstrated good reversibility and stability over long charge and discharge cycles over several weeks. “This work could be an important step toward developing practical rechargeable zinc-air batteries, even though other challenges relating to the zinc electrode and electrolyte remain to be solved,” Dai added.

###

Other authors of the Nature Communications study are Yanguang Li (lead author), Ming Gong, Yongye Liang, Ju Feng, Ji-Eun Kim, Hailiang Wang, Guosong Hong and Bo Zhang of the Stanford Department of Chemistry.

The study was supported by Intel, a Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project exploratory program and a Stinehart/Reed Award from the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy.

This article was written by Mark Shwartz, Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.

About these ads

102 thoughts on “An interesting advance in battery applications

  1. Years ago there was a company called Air Energy that developed small non rechargeable batteries using zinc. The company went bankrupt.
    This looks interesting because it can be charged..

  2. If this is for real, then go long China, Peru & Australia; short Chile, Australia, China & Argentina. Two of the zinc & lithium producers cancel out. Too bad for Bolivia, which just got started mining its salt flats across the border from Chile.

  3. It’s those “other issues that need to be solved” that have killed the last dozen promising battery
    technologies. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Stanford to ever produce anything
    commercial. These kind of press releases have almost become a standing joke in the battery world.

  4. I’m glad Stanford is doing some real science & engineering instead of pulling the traces of the CACCA band wagon.

  5. When they make one that can deliver 1.21 jiggawatts on demand, I’ll be interested. Until then, I’m holding out for a Mr. Fusion.

  6. @Latitude and a battery is still a battery…

    But this one isn’t just a battery. It’s not carrying its own oxidizer, which is the death knell for energy density. If you can use found O2 from the air then you don’t have to carry your oxidizer. That’s a big enough win that it might make sense.

    That said, arthur4563 is right that
    It’s those “other issues that need to be solved” that have killed the last dozen promising battery
    technologies.

    A W

  7. “could”,”possibly”,”may”,”challenge”. Looks like the same weasel words that cAGW cultists use. As Latitude said,a battery is a battery. And what is this bit about using carbon in it??

  8. Zinc air has a huge safety advantage over Li, because the energy isn’t there without large amounts of O2. They can’t explode like Li batts can.

  9. On an announcement like this there is an old adage in engineering (pick your field): ” If it don’t make it out of the lab within the next couple of years it never will”. Don’t count your chickens yet. Give it some time.

  10. OldWeirdHarold says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm
    They can’t explode like Li batts can.
    ________
    Dang

  11. Better than Batteries…..

    “Forbes magazine,” declared New York Times media reporter David Carr in 2009, “has long been a synonym for riches, success and a belief that business, left to its own devices, will create a better world.” Amid widespread disbelief, Forbes.com is expressing enthusiastic faith in the world-transforming potential of one such device: the “energy catalyzer,” or E-Cat, purported to exploit “low-energy nuclear reactions,” or LENRs, as a gigantic energy-production breakthrough.
    In March, Forbes.com publicized two NASA scientists’ LENR enthusiasm. Now it has published the article “Finally! Independent testing of Rossi’s E-Cat cold fusion device: Maybe the world will change after all.” (At least one LENR proponent actually asserts big differences between LENRs and cold fusion.)
    A team of Italian and Swedish authors describes this testing in the arXiv paper “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder.” They write, “Andrea Rossi claims to have invented an apparatus that can produce much more energy per unit weight of fuel than can be obtained from known chemical processes.” They report that their “independent test” took place in December and March experiments. They claim that “energy was produced in decidedly higher quantities than what may be gained from any conventional source.”

    “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder.”

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1305/1305.3913.pdf

    Brant

  12. Photovoltaics technology and battery technology are two fields that are 99% hype and 1% reality. It’s almost not worth reporting any advances when they are announced. Wait until the new technology has proved itself in the marketplace before getting excited about it.

  13. A combination of a cobalt-oxide hybrid air catalyst for oxygen reduction and a nickel-iron hydroxide hybrid air catalyst for oxygen evolution resulted in a record high-energy efficiency for a zinc-air battery, with a high specific energy density more than twice that of lithium-ion technology.

    A doubling of specific energy density versus the reigning champion lithium ion technology is really quite an achievement. Doing that with abundant metals (Zinc, Cobalt, Nickel, Iron) and O2 from the air reduces materials and development risks, while offering real economic advantages over more esoteric systems.

    I’ve worked a variety of R&D programs in the past, had some ‘losers’… and some ‘winners’. From my perspective, this one is definitely worth putting on the ‘watch list’.
    MtK

  14. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice . . .’
    Apologies to whoever wrote that – a Beach Person [of restricted experience]?
    [See, I'm savvy to modern lingo - I think]

    Is this really a break-through paper?
    Or another ‘I see sunlit uplands ahead (way ahead . . . .)’ job.

    I don’t know, but fear the latter.

    And I would prefer to warm gradually, rather than what I fear is in store for the globe – namely cooling of some sort.

    Auto

  15. e-cat LENR is utter Bullsh*t.

    Here is a description of what happened when a mass of Uranium accidentally went supercritical, during laboratory testing. No heat burns, just mild warming and lethal doses of radiation.

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

    Nuclear fusion, which is what LENR claims, produces around 100 TIMES the amount of damaging neutron radiation as nuclear fission. One of the big unsolved problems with viable nuclear fusion is finding a shielding material which doesn’t crumble into dust from the relentless high energy radiation bombardment.

    If there was any nuclear fusion occurring during e-cat demonstrations, enough to produce the claimed “heat anomalies”, the entire demonstration room, and possibly the city block outside, would be flooded with a lethal quantity of high energy radiation.

    LENR advocates explanation that this is a “new type of fusion” is utter cr@p. If LENR worked, it would just be a different mechanism for squeezing atomic nuclei together close enough to fuse.

    Thankfully it doesn’t work – otherwise their would be a lot of dead gullible people.

  16. Craig Moore says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for the interesting video! The company in the video, Zinc Air Inc, was set up to commercialize the Lawrence Livermore Lab zinc-air fuel cell technology.

    It is no longer working on that technology and has switched to zinc-iron redox flow batteries! Apparently they couldn’t achieve more than 100 charge cycles from the Livermore zinc-air technology.

  17. OldWeirdHarold says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Zinc air has a huge safety advantage over Li, because the energy isn’t there without large amounts of O2. They can’t explode like Li batts can.

    It probably limits their maximum discharge rate then: not good for traction batteries.

  18. Zinc electrochemistry is prone to the formation of dendrites. There is not much you can do about this.

    Dendrite growth during charging causes short circuits as a tree-like tongue of zinc grows out from the zinc electrode until it contacts the other electrode. Its driven by the polarisation layer on the nascent dendrite. As soon as one starts growing it is a self enhancing problem and higher current density causes the zinc to preferentially plate onto the tip of the nascent dendrite. They also are sharply pointed and can pierce right through macroporous membranes.

    You can control this for a while but not for very long. I doubt they’ve done real lifetime tests (especially with temperature swings) as these are ‘way too time consuming. “Several weeks” doesn’t cut it.

    I am speaking from zinc electrowinning experience, not batteries, but zinc is still zinc.

  19. Code Tech said:
    “When they make one that can deliver 1.21 jiggawatts on demand, I’ll be interested.”

    I’ll be interested when they can make a battery that can deliver 225KW, with a total capacity of 668KW-Hr (300Hp and 20 Gal of gasoline equivalence) and a charging time of 10 minutes or less. At that point the differences between liquid fuel and battery power become invisible to the consumer and to industry. I suspect pure electric cares will not become popular until the performance level approaches that point.

  20. Eric Worrall says:
    May 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm
    “LENR advocates explanation that this is a “new type of fusion” is utter cr@p. If LENR worked, it would just be a different mechanism for squeezing atomic nuclei together close enough to fuse. ”

    No. Most LENR researchers favor this theory at the moment. Widom-Larsen Theory

    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Widom-Larsen.php

    It does not propose fusion of nuclei but the addition of low energy neutrons to nuclei.

  21. Zeke Hausfather says:
    May 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm
    “Erm, EVs on the road today don’t use lead acid batteries. They use various lithium-based chemistry similar to the batteries in your laptop.”

    Do you think Anthony doesn’t know this? The comparison with lead-acid is interesting because Li-Ion batteries in the needed size are too expensive.

  22. Might not explode, but energy is energy. Great amounts of heat is produced by fast release of energy. Probably will burn very well, and very intensely, producing large quantities of perfume like gases.

  23. Eric Worrall says:
    May 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    e-cat LENR is utter Bullsh*t.

    Here is a description of what happened when a mass of Uranium accidentally went supercritical, during laboratory testing. No heat burns, just mild warming and lethal doses of radiation.

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

    So, are you getting most of your E-Cat news from Wikipedia? It appears the LLENR field has its own analog to William Connolley with one Rojelio.

    See http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/05/rossi-vs-wikipedia/

    As for everyone else, check out http://ecat.com/files/Indication-of-anomalous-heat-energy-production-in-a-reactor-device.pdf which should be the same as the arxiv.org link above. Try to come up with an explanation of where the energy released by the reactor came from.

    Anthony’s ban on E-Cat articles stands, he says the “independent” review members were too close to Rossi. I can live with that, but expect me to encourage some discussion on the next Open Thread.

    BTW, Slotin died of neutron radiation, I think I understand what Worrall was trying to say, but I think he’s trying to sensationalize a hazard of nuclear fission and doing an apple vs orange comparison to warn about something that apparently isn’t a hazard with Rossi’s nickel and hydrogen reactor.

    BTW^2: it was a plutonium core, not uranium. And one lethal dose in the short term.

    BTW^3: I likely won’t have much to add to this thread, I don’t like hijacked threads, but I don’t like out-of-hand rejection either.

  24. The Boeing Company has learned a lesson about batteries.
    It seems everyone involved is learning on the fly (make that grounding).

    Here is a quick search result:

    http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=e0168c16-e8dd-46ab-a394-ae4caea5070e

    Excerpt:
    “We are looking for lessons learned, not just for the design and certification of the failed battery, but for knowledge that can be applied to emerging technologies,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in opening the hearing.
    ==========
    The NTSB don’t play games.
    That is why commercial air transport is so safe.
    (it was just an excerpt of what, by now, is going to be a thousand page investigation by the NTSB).

  25. Some key testing was supposed to be done today to validate EESTOR’s ultracapacitor technology. Unfortunately some moisture related issues have surfaced likely due to the large amount of rainfall in the areas which is normally pretty dry. Stay tuned – could be a qucik fix or could be a more difficult endeavour.

    If they can get it to work this technology is much more promising in that it has the potential to deliver high power and high energy density without the use of exotic materials in a formal that should not be limited by usage cycles and allows for rapid charge (5 minutes).

  26. I’m with Latitude, “A battery is still a battery”. There will always be losses putting energy in and getting it back out plus the expense, size, and mass of the battery.

  27. Iron, cobalt, zinc? These are heavy elements compared to Li (20 times). How does the energy density stack up weight-wise (per Kilogram)? A car that adds a ton or so of additional weight on uses a lot of the “extra” energy to accelerate and stop. Also, 6 molar KOH (which they don’t talk about) is not a benevolent chemical:

    A chemical reaction in which an explosive or corrosive gas is released may occur if potassium hydroxide comes into contact with an acid, an ammonium salt or moist air.

    Potassium hydroxide is corrosive and it may cause burns, severe irritation, severe pain, swelling, impaired vision and/or eventually blindness if it comes into contact with an individual’s eyes.

    Potassium hydroxide is not only corrosive, but also extremely toxic so it may cause burns, diarrhea, vomiting, severe stomach pain, shock and/or death if it is ingested.

    May cause an individual to cough, sneeze, develop breathing problems and/or damage the individual’s lungs if it is inhaled–the amount of damage depends on the amount of exposure.

    An individual may develop blisters, burns, severe pain and/or permanent scars if the skin comes into contact with potassium hydroxide.

    http://www.ehow.com/facts_5122638_dangers-potassium-hydroxide.html

    Reads a little bit like some of the warnings on many drugs being advertised of the “can cause cancer or premature death” type. Drive very carefully.

  28. In 1901 Thomas Edison thought he was in the forefront of the electric car battery.
    Edison had a very substantial investment in a battery plant in NJ. (His capital investment alternative was in the phonograph which he minimized as
    a stenographic device with no return on investment).
    History is rife with “potential” battery breakthroughs.

  29. Well someone sent me (and sadly I erased) a (serious) article about a new high energy density battery substitute for powering electronic toys, like ipad/ped/pid/pod/pud gimmics laptops, and other portable electronic equipments.
    The battery substitute is actually a tiny ICE , that is all ceramic, and drives an alternator to generate the electricity. A couple of squirts of butane lighter fluid and it produces orders of magnitude more electricity than any non combustion, internal chemistry battery. Parts of it run a little hot, but being all ceramic, it can stand that, and well known reliable cooling systems, easily deal with the heat.

    I’m guessing they can easily scale up the device to make battery substitutes with plenty of capacity to run an all electric car. That would break the electric car business wide open, and the by products of the battery operation, are harmless products like H2O and CO2.

    So the Stanford zinc-air battery will face stiff competition from ceramic butane powered battery substitutes.

    I’ll have to ask the chap to resend me the paper.

  30. We live in interesting times.

    Basically, if the energy density of the next genertion battery technology can be tripled and production costs reduced by 50% over Lithium Ion batteries, electric cars will replace combustion-engine cars.

    In tandem with this, if Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) can replace natural gas/coal fired power plants, we’ll effectively move from the Carbon Age to a new Thorium Age.

    Jet/tractor/truck fuels and fertilizers can be chemically synthesized using the 900C gas turbine “waste” heat from LFTRs, while LFTRs in close proximity to oceans can use the waste heat to cheaply desalinate sea water and create farmland from deserts.

    All that’s required is the political will to stop wasting limited resources on diffuse, inefficient, intermittent and expensive solar/wind/geothermal/bio-fuels alternative energies and divert these funds to developing/building LFTRs.

    The political, social, environmental and economic repercussions of this transition will be unimaginable and will usher in a Second Renaissance.

    China is already investing heavily in developing LFTRs and should have test reactors running by the end of this decade with a rollout of LFTRs by 2025. China already has centuries-worth of Thorium stockpiled from their Rare-Earth mines.

    Ah, perchance to dream…

  31. HOw long is the recharge time? How does it work in cold climates? Will the battery freeze at -20 deg F? Hot does it handle heat. THe aluminum-r video shown in the above comments leads the viewer to believe that the car runs on water!!!!!

  32. Well if they are cheap and easy to produce for low cost it might be a breakthrough that will make electric vehicles more practical. As I said in the electric car thread right now with the current state of battery technology electric vehicles remain a specialty item. Useful for specific situations but not generally useful.

    If this does truly deliver a cheaper better lasting rechargeable battery then it would expand that specialty category to include a lager pool of people.

  33. There hasn’t been any real advance in batteries since Volta and Galvani. But there have been many lies.

    A car battery must permit 300 to 400 miles between charges, and recharging must be possible within 2 minutes. Also, the battery must last for at least 150,000 miles. Any deviation from these criteria vitiates the battery.

  34. In other news, new breakthrough in solar cell efficiency!! Of course it’s a hopelessly expensive multi-junction concentrator, but it makes for great press. Count me firmly in the overhyped camp along with carbon nanotubes and High Tc. Get back to me when you’ve demonstrated something approaching real world usage.

  35. @Gary Pearse 6:22 pm
    How does the energy density stack up weight-wise (per Kilogram)?

    Here is a lovely cross plot of battery technologies with
    Y-Axis = Specific Power Density (log scale) 1 to 100,000 W/kg
    X-Axis = Specific Energy Density (linear scale) 0 to 200 Wh/kg.

    Lithium Ion takes up the outer frontier.

    But Wikipedia reports that Zinc-Air (non-rechargable) batteries can have a
    Specific Energy Density of 400 Wh/kg (1.7 MJ/kg)
    and a theoretical maximum of 1370 Wh/kg (4.9 MJ/kg)
    With a Power Density of 100 W/kg.
    For the same power, That makes Zinc-Air (non-rechargable)
    3 times better on a per kg basis than Li-Ion
    and because of the density of Zinc, maybe 10 times better in volume.
    I’m impressed. Using oxygen in the air as the anode pays off!

    This chart from Wikipedia Energy Density

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Energy_density.svg

    Shows energy volume density (MJ/liter) vs energy Density (MJ/kg)
    Note Li-ion hugging the origin in the lower left.
    Zinc-Air NNE of it a small bit.
    The rest of the points are combustion with oxygen (not included in the reaction mass).
    Hydrogen in the lower right, Anthacite near top, Gasoline near center.

    Still, Zinc-Air could store 7 MJ/liter (1.9 KWH / liter) while
    gasoline will store 35 MJ/liter (9.7 KWH/ liter).
    Impressive if the rechargable can do as well.

    On a weight basis, however, Zinc-Air (400 Wh/kg = 1.4 MJ/kg)
    Is only about 1/32nd of Gasoline’s 12800 Wh/kg = 46 MJ/kg

    Finally, what will be Zinc-Air’s recharging time? Probably no better than its maximum discharge rate of 100 W/kg….. 4 hours?

  36. George Daddis says:
    May 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    In 1901 Thomas Edison thought he was in the forefront of the electric car battery.
    Edison had a very substantial investment in a battery plant in NJ. (His capital investment alternative was in the phonograph which he minimized as
    a stenographic device with no return on investment).
    History is rife with “potential” battery breakthroughs.

    That was Edison’s nickel-iron battery. A new company is making them, they’re
    good for off grid homes, a friend has a big solar PV setup and is looking at
    using these, a friend of his already is.

    Info:

    http://ironedison.com/

    Commercial source of nickel-iron batteries

    http://www.nickel-iron-battery.com/

    Mentions the Edison Battery Storage Co in East Orange, NJ. 1903 to 1972

    http://paloalto.patch.com/groups/schools/p/stanford-scientists-dramatically-improve-edison-s-nic9d3312b2d8

    Press release hype about 1000X speedup in charging and discharging. Is there anything nanomaterials can’t do?

  37. Until this sort of battery is good enough for 200 laps at Darrington in a stock Sprint Cup NASCAR vehicle averaging 198 mph, with a battery pack swap out (in under 30 seconds) only every 26 to 28 laps, it has no commercial potential. Harumph.

  38. Just what will charge all these futuristic batteries anyway, let alone produce them ?

    We’ve already got energy storage in fossil fuel/nuclear fuel.
    Why work backwards ?

  39. Jeremy Das says:
    May 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    It does sound promising, although zinc-air battery development has been going on for as long as I’ve been working in the business, more than three decades. From the article:

    The batteries are designed for more than 5,000 – 10,000 charge cycles and a useful life exceeding ten years.

    They have not tested them for 10 years or this would have been mentioned.

    On the other hand they are using nickel-zinc, and nickel is a good depolariser. It can sit on the end of the dendrite and make hydrogen instead of zinc (assuming an aqueous system). So it does sound plausible. I certainly wish them well, but I think sodium-sulfur would be a better direction to take for low cost bulk load leveling.

  40. Gary Pearse says:
    May 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm
    Iron, cobalt, zinc? These are heavy elements compared to Li (20 times). How does the energy density stack up weight-wise (per Kilogram)? A car that adds a ton or so of additional weight on uses a lot of the “extra” energy to accelerate and stop.

    Electric cars get that energy back during regenerative braking.

  41. Let’s end the subsidies and let the rich hobbyist types be the ones to test these things for us. If they work, great. If they don’t, they’ll only have wasted their own money.

  42. “The NTSB don’t play games.
    That is why commercial air transport is so safe.”

    Neither do insurance companies nor customers.
    Airlines hate crashes, it’s very bad for business.
    The NTSB is actually a subsidy to airlines, otherwise they’d have to pay for crash investigations themselvesl

  43. Once electric cars get the cost/milage issues worked out, I envision all electric cars will run on uniform multiple battery packs that are simply changed out robotically at charging stations.

    Your depleted batteries packs are then re-charged for future customers.

    90% of the time, you’ll simply recharge your battery packs at home and you’ll be good for next day’s driving needs.

    I’m sure it’s theoretically possible to eventually develop fast-charging batteries but that technology doesn’t exist yet.

  44. IIRC there is also a gentleman by the name of Cui at Stanford working on a variety of cutting edge battery tech. As previously noted don’t count on seeing it in your next smartphone.

    On the Boeing battery issue, my personal opinion is that their BMS SW was not properly set up, but it is difficult to be certain since the data required from the accidents was destroyed in the accidents. The reason I say this is because BMS SW changes re the charging ceiling and floor are deliberately mentioned as one of the corrective changes post accident, the other changes all address propagation of a failure. The Boeing and Thales battery system engineers are probably fairly well convinced of the truth but since it is not likely scientifically (engineering) provable to be the causal factor it won’t ever be disclosed. I don’t think GS Yuasa had anything to do with what went wrong as far as I can tell. Or I could just be blowing in the wind.
    For whatever reason people seem to believe that Li-ion tech is magical and new, but it isn’t. Companies are out there and know how to use it, but the knowledge isn’t common place. NASA has a large battery conference in Huntsville, Al every year and these types of failures are discussed in serious engineering depth fairly regularly. Failures can be caused by all sorts of things. Dendrite growth puncturing the separator or microscopic debris falling into the can during the rolling of the edges- undetectable until failure. General abuse of the cell causes premature dendrite growth causing cell overheating leading to thermal runaway. Modern battery control systems are capable of monitoring and protecting against most of these types of failures by observing anomalies in charge/discharge characteristics and cell load balancing.
    As far as the NTSB is concerned they have a page with decent info on the accident and the investigation. However my review of their material leads me to believe that the qualification of these types of battery systems in air transportation is not up to par yet.
    Just my 2 cents.

  45. “cool, now wait 20 years for it to get out of the “lab” …”

    True word… why not give them to Boeing instead, they will test them for us! Or stick these in to the mobile phones designed for the elderly – if they blow up in their face, well, the rest of us are warned!

  46. I’ve used the existing, non-rechargable zinc-air batteries and they have different load characteristics then other batteries. Not sure why these would be better then the current batteries in that regard.

  47. Eric Worrall says:
    May 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    e-cat LENR is utter Bullsh*t.

    Here is a description of what happened when a mass of Uranium accidentally went supercritical, during laboratory testing. No heat burns, just mild warming and lethal doses of radiation.
    ——-
    There is an interesting video from NASA about new methods for fast testing of different combinations of LENR materials.

    As was mentioned above LENR reactions probably don’t have anything to do with fusion. What we probably see is injection of “neutrons”/protons into the nucleus of certain materials. The result will be transmutation of the base element into another element. The amount of energy produced after adding a number of protons/”neutrons” to to Ni will be essentially the same as fusing hydrogen directly but there will be no emission of neutrons and no long term activation of the “fuel”. Looking at for example Ni we have the following stable isotopes:

    Isotope Abundance
    58Ni 68.0769 (89)
    60Ni 26.2231 (77)
    61Ni 1.1399 (6)
    62Ni 3.6345 (17)
    64Ni 0.9256 (9)

    If we assume there is a method of generating and injecting “neutrons” into nickel we could be able to start from 58Ni ->59Ni (quasi stable 100kyr)->60Ni->61Ni->62Ni -> 63Ni(quasi stable 100 yr decays to 63Cu)->64Ni->65Ni(decays to 65Cu 2.5h)->66Ni(decays to 66Cu) .
    The series above would essentially correspond to the fusion of eight protons if one looks at a neutron as a proton + electron + energy. The “neutron” isn’t necessarily a real neutron, it could also be some kind of strange short lived “resonance” where a proton robs an electron from the Ni atom and gets screened (essentially neutral)

  48. Let’s say a battery does get found that does work for a car comparable with liquid fuel. Which kind of grid is going to sustain millions of commuters charging their vehicles at practically the same time? (mostly the time of highest demand already, afternoon/evening)

  49. … some glitch happened continued:
    If screened protons/”neutrons” can be produced efficiently a number of materials could possibly be used in a similar mannar to Ni. The classical material was Palladium … it is very similar to Ni but more expensive. Transmuting Pd would produce Silver (Ag). I think Tungsten (W) also looks very similar ti Ni and Pd from the isotope point of view. The end result would be Rhenium (Re)
    We live in extremely interesting times but notice that this is plain speculation. I think the NASA link is an interesting indication that many groups really see anomalous behavior.

  50. Quinn says:
    May 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm
    “Photovoltaics technology and battery technology are two fields that are 99% hype and 1% reality. It’s almost not worth reporting any advances when they are announced. Wait until the new technology has proved itself in the marketplace before getting excited about it.”

    The release could be shorter: “We think this just might work. Send us big grants to study it in more detail to see if it can ever be commercial.”

  51. Who’s up for some exciting, earth shattering news? On 24th April, Zenn Motor Company issued a press release with the news it had entered into an agreement with EEStor, Inc. of Cedar Park, Texas (“EEStor”) providing for the testing of recently produced layers of its electrical energy storage units by an independent testing laboratory that has been selected upon consultation between EEStor and ZENN.

    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/zenn-motor-company-announces-agreement-with-eestor-for-testing-tsx-venture-znn-1782629.htm

    Under the agreement, testing was to be completed and reported on by May 27, 2013. Testing will include capacitance over a range of voltages as well as dissipation factor, layer thickness, dielectric layer thickness, resistance, capacitor area, energy density and leakage current. ZENN will be provided full access to the independent testing experts as well as the certification report.

    As part of the agreement, ZENN has agreed to invest an initial US$50,000 in common stock of EEStor and an additional US$100,000 in its discretion if it is satisfied with the results of the independent testing.

    Later:

    http://theeestory.ning.com/profiles/blogs/is-the-eestor-testing-going-to-be-genuinely-independent

    Today: 0740 GMT
    No news that I can find so far, however Natasha Vandesluis, the Chief Financial Officer, who issued the press release should be contactable later today. nvandesluis@zenncars.com

  52. Eric Worrall [May 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm] says:

    Here is a description of what happened when a mass of Uranium accidentally went supercritical, during laboratory testing. No heat burns, just mild warming and lethal doses of radiation.

    That was one of the Demon Core incidents involving the same exact sample, and indeed it was Plutonium. Picture a sphere of Pu of sufficient mass to sustain a neutron chain reaction cut into two hemispheres which are “safe”, well sub-critical anyway. What is stunning today is to realize how risky the methods were employed back then when handling these isotopes. In one case only the tip of a screwdriver separating the halves and the “oops” moment. They were brave, I’ll say that for them.

    That particular core was spent on the 23 KT Crossroads “Able” shot dropped from a B-29 over Bikini Atoll July 1, 1946, immortalized in photos and video for all eternity. In the lagoon were 95 ships including surrendered German and Japanese. This was the air detonation and did not cause the damage one might expect. The second blast “Baker” occurred underwater and is noted for the huge geyser with greater damage to the fleet and gets a lot more airplay in movies and documentaries. That linked Wikipedia page concerning “Crossroads” is a pretty good read, pulling together years of information (and some controversy) about something that was difficult to research in the past, to say the least. What is particularly good is the astounding amount of careful Science and measurements detailing each and every facet. A clear contrast to what passes for Science with these modern AGW madmen.

    Eyes Wide Open [May 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm] says:

    Some key testing was supposed to be done today to validate EESTOR’s ultracapacitor technology.

    Is this related to that student awarded some prize for a “breakthrough” with a super-capacitor allowing phones and other things to be charged almost instantly?

    To paraphrase Geena Davis in ‘The Fly’ … be skeptical, be very skeptical

    Rich Lambert [May 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm] says:

    I’m with Latitude, “A battery is still a battery”. There will always be losses putting energy in and getting it back out plus the expense, size, and mass of the battery.

    This is such an important point, and it needs to be explained to the vast majority of young’ins who would buy battery operated replacements for every single thing in their house because it is chic or trendy, while mistakenly telling everyone they are green and efficient.

    Batteries get you coming and going because some energy is spent charging and discharging. We can for the sake of argument dismiss everything else (cost, dangerous chemicals, disposal, capacity, weight, etc) and simply concentrate on that physics problem. Ask your trendy friends if they would use a bank if they were charged some money each time they make a deposit and a withdrawal. If that were the case it would not really be a bank at all but a convenience like paypal or a travelers check, only worse. Now you may want to pay for that convenience which is fine, however all the crap about efficiency and greenie saving the planet must be flushed down the toilet because you are accepting the use of more net energy, not less.

    Everytime I see a greenie using wireless mouse and keyboard I like to shove this inconvenient truth down their pompous piehole. There are times wireless, and consequently a battery is necessary and cannot be avoided. Pacemakers would be difficult if tethered. :-) However the truth of the matter is that someone who professes green dreams should be avoiding using batteries whenever possible because in almost every instance it wastes more energy than if it were not using one. Add in those other factors about cost and hazardous materials and disposal and batteries become as eco-unfriendly as possible.

  53. Ric Werme

    Try to come up with an explanation of where the energy released by the reactor came from.

    Say what. No, it’s Rossi’s job to do so.

  54. HI,

    Nothing new under the sun!

    I remember reading a great article about electric cars in good old Analog magazine back in the ’70s. The author went through the complete gamut of types of batteries, lithium, zinc sodium etc, including the Ford work on sodium sulpher, and he drew attention to the recharge problem with Zinc air, (fir tree crystals shorting the plates).

    He also drew attention to the problem of scale. One electric car recharging station is possible, the power to recharge millions of electric vehicles simultaneuosly is impossible. Just consider a surburban recharge station. He suggested an American motorist would not want to wait more than a few minutes for a charge, say 10 minutes. Say a full recharge of a 40Kw/h battery, that is 50 Kw/hr in 10 min, that is an equivalent of 300 Kw’hr supply. Say there are 10 recharge bays, That equates approx to 3 GW supply to a suburban street, You would need to build a power generation station in the back lot of the filling station, as the local suply and cabling will not hack it, For a time I worked in a 4m^2 aircraft modelling wind tunnel. That had a 2000 hp electric motor to shift the air. We had to call up the CEGB control room before we could power the wind tinnel up, to ensure we did not pull the 50Hz below the legal limit, i.e. there was enough capacity available.

    He had an interesting idea to overcome this. He proposed that the zinc air battery was made into a removable rectangular block, that fitted into vehicles on a drawer system. Normal petrol filling stations would also have a zinc air battery exchange bay where you would drive your car in, and the old battery would be robotically exchanged for a fresh one No recharge time, time to “refill”, a few seconds, before you are on your way. The exhausted batteries would be collected, fresh ones fitted to the exchange machine. The exhausted batteries would be taken to a rework plant where new zinc electrodes would be fitted.

    cheers

    P

  55. Quinn says:
    May 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Photovoltaics technology and battery technology are two fields that are 99% hype and 1% reality. It’s almost not worth reporting any advances when they are announced. Wait until the new technology has proved itself in the marketplace before getting excited about it.

    Precisely… When Texas Instruments puts it up for sale to the manufacturers, THEN it is a viable product.

  56. Power to the People.

    http://www.rexresearch.com/maxwell.htm

    ……

    http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/022502.htm

    Dear John,
    “You confuse COP with efficiency, and they are two quite different things. Even many of the textbooks confuse these terms quite often.
    …..
    “So the trick is to get the active environment to give you a “free wind” so you can have something approaching a windmill. Or as close to that as you can get.

    “Fortunately, in electrodynamics there are many “free winds” one can make with ease. The simplest one is to just make a common dipole. Lee and Yang received a Nobel Prize in 1957 for their work in broken symmetry and the weak interaction. One of the broken symmetries that was proven was that of opposite charges — such as are on the ends of a dipole.

    “The very words “broken symmetry” in power systems implies that something virtual has become observable. In other words, the charges of the dipole continually absorb virtual photons from the seething vacuum (that is proven and well-known, and one does not have to prove it again). The spin of the charges then coherently integrates that absorbed virtual energy into real, observable EM energy. The dipole thus pours out EM energy in all directions at the speed of light. Let it alone and don’t destroy it, and it will pour out that energy indefinitely. The dipoles in the original matter in the universe have been doing that for some 14 billion years or so. We used that fact of broken symmetry of opposite charges, together with the known clustering of virtual charges of opposite sign around any “isolated” observable charge, to treat the observable charge as a set of composite dipoles. Hence this finally explained the long-vexing source charge problem: how does a charge just sit there an pour out energy in all directions at the speed of light, establishing its associated fields and potentials and all that energy in them? We explained that in 2000, after a couple or three years work on it.

    “A simple “free energy system” can be built for a dollar. Just place a charged capacitor (or electret) across a permanent magnet so that the E-field is perpendicular to the H-field of the magnet. That silly thing will sit there and pour out Poynting energy flow S = E x H, so long as you just let it alone. Wait one year, and it will have changed the energy density of a volume of space a light year in radius (reaching out beyond the solar system).

    “In solving the dipole and source charge problems, it was found that the energy input comes from the time domain into 3-space via the negative charge, and exits 3-space back to the time domain via the positive charge.

    “In electrical engineering, it is recognized that the source charge pours out the energy to create all its associated fields, but until 2000 there has been no explanation as to what furnished the input energy. In effect, electrical engineering and classical electrodynamicists for more than a century have assumed that every charge in the universe is a perpetual motion machine of the worst kind, creating energy out of nothing.

    “There is no problem at all in extracting all the energy one wishes from the active vacuum, anywhere in the universe, at any time. Just make a dipole.

    “The problem is in (1) catching some of that freely gushing EM energy in a circuit containing a load, and (2) dissipating the caught and collected EM energy in that load to power it, without using half the caught energy to destroy the source dipole(s).

    “That is the ONLY real energy problem on the planet, and always has been.

    “It is ironic that the National Academy of Science, the National Science Foundation, the great national test labs, the universities, and the private research institutes are not working on the sole energy problem at all.

    Hope this helps.”

    Tom Bearden”
    =====================

    http://www.free-energy-info.co.uk/PJKbook.pdf

    “The fact of the matter is, that we are sitting in a vast field of energy which we can’t see. This is the equivalent of the situation for the crystal set shown above, except that the energy field we are in is very, very much more powerful than the radio waves from a radio transmitter. The problem is, how to tap the energy which is freely available all around us, and get it to do useful work for us. It can definitely be done, but it is not easy to do.”
    ….
    “So, how do you alter the natural state of the energy in our environment? Actually, quite easily. All that is needed is a positive charge and a negative charge, reasonably near each other. A battery will do the trick, as will a generator, as will an aerial and earth, as will an electrostatic device like a Wimshurst machine. When you generate a Plus and a Minus, the quantum foam is affected. Now, instead of entirely random plus and minus charged particles appearing everywhere, the Plus which you created gets surrounded by a sphere of minus charge particles popping into existence all around it. Also, the Minus which you created, gets surrounded by a spherical-shaped cloud of plus-charge particles popping into existence all around it. The technical term for this situation is “broken symmetry” which is just a fancy way of saying that the charge distribution of the quantum foam is no longer evenly distributed or “symmetrical”. In passing, the fancy technical name for your Plus and Minus near each other, is a “dipole” which is just a techno-babble way of saying “two poles: a plus and a minus” – isn’t jargon wonderful?
    “So, just to get it straight in your mind, when you make a battery, the chemical action inside the battery creates a Plus terminal and a Minus terminal. Those poles actually distort the universe around your battery, and causes vast streams of energy to radiate out in every direction from each pole of the battery. Why doesn’t the battery run down? Because the energy is flowing from the environment and not from the battery. If you were taught basic physics or electrical theory, you will probably have been told that the battery used to power any circuit, supplies a stream of electrons which flows around the circuit. Sorry Chief – it just ain’t like that at all. What really happens is that the battery forms a “dipole” which nudges the local environment into an unbalanced state which pours out energy in every direction, and some of that energy from the environment flows around the circuit attached to the battery. The energy does not come from the battery.
    “Well then, why does the battery run down, if no energy is being drawn from it to power the circuit? Ah, that is the really silly thing that we do. We create a closed-loop circuit (because that’s what we have always done) where the current flows around the circuit, reaches the other battery terminal and immediately destroys the battery’s “dipole”. Everything stops dead in it’s tracks. The environment becomes symmetrical again, the massive amount of readily available free-energy just disappears and you are back to where you started from. But, do not despair, our trusty battery immediately creates the Plus and Minus terminals again and the process starts all over again. This happens so rapidly that we don’t see the breaks in the operation of the circuit and it is the continual recreation of the dipole which causes the battery to run down and lose it’s power. Let me say it again, the battery does not supply the current that powers the circuit, it never has and it never will – the current flows into the circuit from the surrounding environment.
    “What we really need, is a method of pulling off the power flowing in from the environment, without continually destroying the dipole which pushes the environment into supplying the power. That is the tricky bit, but it has been done. If you can do that, then you tap into an unlimited stream of inexhaustible energy, with no need to provide any input energy to keep the flow of energy going. In passing, if you want to check out the details of all of this, Lee and Yang were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1957 for this theory which was proved by experiment in that same year. This eBook includes circuits and devices which manage to tap this energy successfully.”

    =============

    http://www.brucedepalma.com/

    =====

    Anyone here who can solve the problem to build something easily replicable for the common man?

    So we no longer need be in thrall to vested interests monopolising our energy supply and at the mercy of crazed greenie useful idiots penalising us with draconian taxes and restrictions to our freedoms.

  57. Here – says any competent EE department could build one:

    “So we have used a deliberately ASYMMETRICAL system to freely potentialize the pinned electrons in the external circuit, in total violation to standard electrical engineering SYMMETRIC-ONLY usage. And then we have switched away the very small VOLTAGE source dipole, by reconstituting the open external circuit into a closed-circuit system that then DISSIPATES the collected energy to (1) power the loads and losses, and (2) kill its own dipolarity.

    “Any competent EE department or physics department can readily build and demonstrate this system, if they but put their minds to it.

    “And it means that, by MERELY CHANGING AND UPGRADING THE HORRIBLY MUTILATED AND ANTIQUE OLD SELF-SYMMETRIZING HEAVISIDE-LORENTZ SYMMETRIZED MODEL, TO A MUCH MORE MODERN DELIBERATELY-ASYMMETRIC OVERALL SYSTEM USAGE, one can solve the world energy crisis easily and forever. One easily cleans up the biosphere now, because there need be no coal burning, diesel fuel burning, etc. Our cars can be electric and powered by very small VOLTAGE sources (“batteries”), that need hardly furnish any CURRENT at all.”

    And that page gives a short history of how Maxwell’s assymetrical equations via Tesla’s work got mangled, in a letter to the New Scientist.

    “Slightly re-edited 12 Sept. 2010

    Dear New Scientist:

    Yes, there are some subjects I would very much like to see you include and discuss in New Scientist in the future. E.g., in the energy field, you are way behind and way off-track. As an example, consider the standard electrical engineering, which handles and develops most all our electrical power systems.

    In 1892, there were no electrical engineers at all, because it (electrical engineering) had not been born yet — but technical engineers were now needed to design, build, work on, and maintain the new AC power systems etc. given us by Nikola Tesla. Maxwell was already dead (he died in 1879), and everyone hated quaternions. There were only about three dozen PHYSICISTS on earth who understood something of electrodynamics, and that was it. To provide the new Tesla AC power technology, which was to be taught in our universities and called “electrical engineering”, Lorentz was preparing the equations for the mathematical model to be used. He was using Heaviside’s original vector equations, which were still ASYMMETRIC and thus included asymmetric Maxwellian systems.

    Tesla had discovered in the late 1880s and early 1890s how to build ASYMMETRIC systems which could take and use all the EM energy one wished, from the “active medium” (Tesla’s term) and without consuming fuel. And Tesla was briefing technical societies to that effect. (See rigorous proof that Tesla could have given us free EM energy from the seething active medium: See T. W. Barrett, “Tesla’s Nonlinear Oscillator-Shuttle-Circuit (OSC) Theory,” Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie, 16(1), 1991, p. 23-41. Barrett rigorously shows that EM expressed in quaternions allows shuttling and storage of potentials in circuits, and dissipation of the energy in those regions desired. The quaternion electrodynamics also allows additional EM functioning of a circuit that a conventional EM analysis using the symmetrized Heaviside-Lorentz vector equations cannot reveal. Barrett shows that Tesla’s patented circuits did exactly this]

    We also strongly note that Barrett is a very noted (though quiet) electrodynamicist and one of the cofounders of ultrawideband radar, along with Harmuth.

    All this was known to the ruthless financier J. P. Morgan, still angry and smarting at his own backing of Edison and DC power systems being soundly defeated by Tesla’s much more practical AC power systems. So he was already setting up the total suppression of Tesla, by first breaking his backer Westinghouse (which he did) and then deliberately breaking Tesla (which he did also).

    Morgan had already had his technical advisors check the work of Tesla, and they found that Tesla’s confounded “energy freely from the active medium” systems (asymmetric systems) were for real.

    As a result, Morgan’s tech advisors did a group analysis on the Heaviside equations and showed that the Heaviside equations were still ASYMMETRICAL — and thus they still contained some of those confounded Tesla “free excess energy from the active medium” (i.e., asymmetric) systems. At Morgan’s bidding, Lorentz was then elicited to eliminate those “free energy from the active medium” systems from this new-fangled electrical engineering that was being formed.

    Lorentz was a great scientist, but he was also noted for stealing and publishing other scientists’ work and taking credit for it. [For an expose, see J. D. Jackson and L. B. Okun, “Historical roots of gauge invariance,” Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol. 73, July 2001, p. 663-680. Jackson and Okun discuss roots and history of gauge invariance, verify that Ludwig Lorenz (without the ‘t’) first symmetrically regauged Maxwell’s equations, although it has been misattributed to H. A. Lorentz (with the ‘t’) as being first. This is an excellent coverage of the history of who did what and when, and who got credit for it. Lorentz stole work by Lorenz (without the “t”) and published it as his own, and thereby ARBITRARILY SYMMETRIZED the resulting EE model and theory using the “Heaviside-Lorentz” modified SYMMETRICAL equations.

    Hence before the very birth of EE, the model and subject were already deliberately mutilated and crippled to prevent free energy from the vacuum systems — i.e., such systems as now have been rigorously developed and demonstrated by Klimov et al. and validated by both the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Recoverable Energy Laboratory. The work of Klimov et al. is rigorously published in leading physics and nanocrystalline journals, and it is now accepted in both fields — and INDEPENDENTLY verified by those two great national labs.

    Therefore we never have to “prove” it again, as it has been scientifically and experimentally proven for all time.

    But from its very birth, the severely crippled electrical engineering model has allowed only SELF-SYMMETRIZING EM systems to be conceived, built, deployed, and used by our electrical engineers.”

    Continued on:

    http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/030110.htm

    Any electrical engineers here? Does this make sense?

  58. The current Zinc-Air batteries on the market are “button” or “coin” sized. This makes me wonder if this type of battery can even be scaled up to large format for a vehicle.

  59. Myrrh says:
    May 31, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Power to the People.

    “A simple “free energy system” can be built for a dollar. Just place a charged capacitor (or electret) across a permanent magnet so that the E-field is perpendicular to the H-field of the magnet. That silly thing will sit there and pour out Poynting energy flow S = E x H, so long as you just let it alone. Wait one year, and it will have changed the energy density of a volume of space a light year in radius (reaching out beyond the solar system).

    “The problem is in (1) catching some of that freely gushing EM energy in a circuit containing a load, and (2) dissipating the caught and collected EM energy in that load to power it, without using half the caught energy to destroy the source dipole(s).

    I thought free energy systems were on the (in)famous WUWT banned list that includes HAARP, chemtrails, and all that other stuff….

    > Any electrical engineers here? Does this make sense?

    Not to me – EM (electromagnetic energy) is generally very easy to collect.

    I’ll stop for a minute walking into work. It’s a clear day and some of my longwave IR will radiate in a hemisphere with a wavefront that moves at the speed of light and will change the energy density of a hemisphere a light minute in radius. Sorry, I don’t have a spare year.

    I appreciate that some people think that Rossi belongs on that list too, at least we’ll have the answer about him in the next year or two.

  60. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Some good news on battery development.
    “The results, published in the May 7 online edition of the journal Nature Communications, could lead to the development of a low-cost alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries widely used today.”
    Most people forget about the “low-cost alternative” requirement. They care little about the cost and try to make it salable with outrageously high subsidies. The electric car is a prime example. Without enormous subsidies only a handful of people with money to burn would drive one. The only way they can get rid of them is with huge subsidies. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/05/31/cheap-leases-offered-to-spur-electric-car-sales/

  61. All that guff just to say ‘ can we have some more research funding please’ in that whiney, nasal pleading tone so typical of academic researchers.

  62. What next. A hydrogen air battery? Recharge at home using electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen, then burn the hydrogen to power your car and produce water as a by product. No need for any exotic battery. Only need a tank to hold the hydrogen. The bigger the tank, the greater the range. Short on hydrogen? Stop by the filling station for a quick charge, without any of the recharge delays of chemical batteries.

  63. From Stanford University encouraging news, a rechargeable Zinc-air battery would put electric cars into the realm of reasonable practicality, where with lead-acid batteries they are currently not.

    They’re also not with potato and lemon batteries.

  64. Ric Werme says:
    May 31, 2013 at 5:14 am
    Myrrh says:
    May 31, 2013 at 2:33 am

    I thought free energy systems were on the (in)famous WUWT banned list that includes HAARP, chemtrails, and all that other stuff….

    So no discussions on solar panels and wind turnbines?

    > Any electrical engineers here? Does this make sense?

    Not to me – EM (electromagnetic energy) is generally very easy to collect.

    The problem here is that only half the potential energy is being collected, and, electrical engineers are erroneously taught that they are creating that energy mechanically.

    http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/030706.htm

    “The conventional EEs were and are trained in a symmetrical theory which only prescribes Lorentz-symmetrical circuits. They were and are taught to build circuits where the source dipole inside the generator is left wired into the source generator’s own external circuit as a load while current is flowing. The result is to equalize the back emf (translation force field that must be opposed by all current pumped back through the generator) and the forward emf (translation force field that pushes the current to flow through the external circuit and thus enables powering the external circuit’s loads and losses.

    “This inane practice thus produces only circuits and electrical power systems that use precisely half their freely collected potential energy from the vacuum, to do naught but destroy the source dipolarity that is furnishing the energy flow from the vacuum in the first place, quite freely.

    “Electrical engineers and electrical engineering do not calculate the EM field in space, though all purport to do so, and they are not even taught what powers the electrical circuit itself. They are erroneously taught that cranking the shaft of the generator produces mechanical energy that eventually gets transduced into the Poynting energy flowing along the conductors of the external circuit, through surrounding space, and getting diverged into the circuit to potentialize the charges q.

    “Electrical engineers falsely assume an inert vacuum and a flat spacetime. When the Lorentz condition is violated, or the energy density in the circuit changes, this is not true. Rigorous proof that eliminating the arbitrary Lorentz condition provides systems having free additional energy currents from the vacuum is given by M. W. Evans et al., “Classical Electrodynamics without the Lorentz Condition: Extracting Energy from the Vacuum,” Physica Scripta, Vol. 61, 2000, p. 513-517.

    “After the rise of particle physics, special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, quantum field theory, gauge field theory etc., most of modern physics was born. Along the way the errors in CEM/EE were noted now and then by various scientists, including some Nobelists and other eminent scientists. In 1957, the prediction and proof of broken symmetry in physics electrified all physics and resulted in the prompt award of the Nobel Prize to Lee and Yang for predicting it.”

    More on the Nobel Prize winners and assymetry and what we’re left with, none of it assimilated into the mainstream education of electrical engineers, why not?

    http://www.cheniere.org/references/brokensymmetry.htm

    “Broken Symmetry
    For the open-minded reader, let me explain what broken symmetry means, and what the broken symmetry of a dipole means with respect to powering any dipolar EM circuit.

    “The strong prediction of broken symmetry by Lee and Yang and its experimental proof by Wu et al. in 1957, initiated a great revolution across physics and won a nearly instant Nobel Prize in December 1957 for Lee and Yang.

    One of the broken symmetries proven by Wu et al. and published in 1957 is the broken symmetry of opposite charges, as on the ends of a dipole.

    “That asymmetry is used by charges and dipoles for extracting and pouring out Electromagnetic energy from the vacuum, yet not one current Electrical Engineering or classical electromagnetics textbook mentions the energy implications of dipolar asymmetry. Nor do they mention that every charge and dipole freely pours out real observable EM energy continuously, with no observable energy input.

    “Thus the textbooks implicitly assume that all EM fields, potentials, and energy are freely created out of nothing at all by their associated source charges.

    “Either the conservation of energy law is falsified, or the source charge must be receiving the necessary energy input in virtual state form from the active vacuum.

    “Broken symmetry essentially means that something virtual (shadowy, but real in a special sense and widely used in physics; it has real physical consequences, since it creates all the forces of nature) has become observable (real in the ordinary everyday sense that it can be detected, measured, observed, and used.). The broken symmetry of the end charges of a dipole rigorously means that, once the charges are forcibly separated to form that dipole, the dipole (its end charges) continuously absorbs virtual (fleeting) photons from the seething vacuum, coherently integrates these “photon pieces” into real observable photons, and re-emits the resulting real EM energy in the form of real observable photons in all directions at the speed of light.

    “That is not this author’s work; that is particle physics as justified by the award of two Nobel Prizes. It isn’t even in the electrical engineering model, so no objection based on standard classical EM and electrical engineering concepts has any validity at all.”

    My bold.

    From my first post on this:

    “The energy does not come from the battery.
    “Well then, why does the battery run down, if no energy is being drawn from it to power the circuit? Ah, that is the really silly thing that we do. We create a closed-loop circuit (because that’s what we have always done) where the current flows around the circuit, reaches the other battery terminal and immediately destroys the battery’s “dipole”. Everything stops dead in it’s tracks. The environment becomes symmetrical again, the massive amount of readily available free-energy just disappears and you are back to where you started from. But, do not despair, our trusty battery immediately creates the Plus and Minus terminals again and the process starts all over again. This happens so rapidly that we don’t see the breaks in the operation of the circuit and it is the continual recreation of the dipole which causes the battery to run down and lose it’s power. Let me say it again, the battery does not supply the current that powers the circuit, it never has and it never will – the current flows into the circuit from the surrounding environment.
    “What we really need, is a method of pulling off the power flowing in from the environment, without continually destroying the dipole which pushes the environment into supplying the power. That is the tricky bit, but it has been done. ”

    What is it that is done in batteries to shut down the dipole?

    Why can’t we just stop doing it?

  65. Oops sorry, the bold should have stopped after:

    “One of the broken symmetries proven by Wu et al. and published in 1957 is the broken symmetry of opposite charges, as on the ends of a dipole.

  66. I would like to fill in a little history by remembering the late Stanley Garth Whitworth-Williams-Foxcroft of Johannesburg, South Africa, an orphan raised by a physicist at Wits university. He invented a zinc air battery and after demonstrating a +1000 km drive on a single charge in a Bentley sedan, sold the patent in 1953 for 15m Pounds to the largest lead acid batter company in the world at the time. They promptly filed it under ‘G’ and made sure it never saw the light of day.

    When he passed away a short number of years ago he was working on an engine that used electrical power to create hydrogen in a closed cycle hydrogen engine. He had a working 135 HP single cylinder unit he could easily carry with his own nonagenarian hands. I asked him why bother and he asked if I had seen the size of a 135 HP electric motor. Good point.

  67. “””””…..said Hongjie Dai, a professor chemistry at Stanford and lead author of the study. “Metal-air batteries offer a possible low-cost solution.”……”””””

    Not quite a true statement.

    “””””…..said Hongjie Dai, a professor chemistry at Stanford and lead author of the study. “Metal-air batteries possibly offer a low-cost solution.”…..””””

    There, now it’s fixed.

  68. Blade says:

    May 31, 2013 at 1:09 am

    “””””…..Everytime I see a greenie using wireless mouse and keyboard I like to shove this inconvenient truth down their pompous piehole. There are times wireless, and consequently a battery is necessary and cannot be avoided. Pacemakers would be difficult if tethered. :-) However the truth of the matter is that someone who professes green dreams should be avoiding using batteries whenever possible because in almost every instance it wastes more energy than if it were not using one. Add in those other factors about cost and hazardous materials and disposal and batteries become as eco-unfriendly as possible……”””””

    Shows how much YOU know about mice, including wireless mice.

    There simply is no such thing, as a wireless mouse that was designed for any green reason. The entire motivation for wireless mice, or wireless keyboards, is ERGONOMICS.

    Wired keyboards, and specially wired mice are ergonomically destructive. The cable forces a user hand position that leads often to crippling repetitive stress wrist problems, that can be career ending.

    I personally know two brilliant graduates of leading technical institutions; one male, one female, who became crippled to the point of having to exit their chosen professions as design engineers, by ergonomically bad keyboards and wired mice. And I designed the optics in probably one half of all the mice still living alongside computers on this planet; over two billion of them at last count.

    None of them were green projects. Certainly, battery life was a key factor; (a) it leads to less frequent need for replacement, and use of a smaller battery, allows the industrial designer, to make an even more ergo safe design.

    I cut the optical system of the very first laser mouse down from a 35 mm cube of volume (more a rat, than a mouse) down to smaller than a sugar cube, 8mm on a side, in the replacement model, and infinitely better performing as well.

  69. “””””…..Tsk Tsk says:

    May 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    In other news, new breakthrough in solar cell efficiency!! Of course it’s a hopelessly expensive multi-junction concentrator, but it makes for great press. Count me firmly in the overhyped camp along with carbon nanotubes and High Tc. Get back to me when you’ve demonstrated something approaching real world usage……”””””

    Not so fask Tsk.

    For starters, there has been no perceptible increase in PV cell efficiency, in the last 12 months. I attended the latest solar symposium at UC Davis, earlier this month, and Lawrence L. Kazmerski of NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado, reported the same 43.5% efficiency for a triple junction cell, as was the record announced at last year’s solar symposium, at UC Merced.

    The thing about solar energy, is that it is free (to some people; those being the people who own land.

    What is NOT free about solar energy, is the gathering of it. You get about 1 KW/m^2 at air mass 1.5, that is /m^2 normal to the sun vector. So the money is in the land, not the solar cells. So triple junction cells in cheap steerable optical collection arrays, offer considerable advantage over acres of cheap low efficiency solar cells. UC Merced is at the forefront of efficient optical concentrator development. Professor Roland Winston, who heads up their program, is probably the world’s leading authority, on high efficiency non-imaging optics. That is efficiency in achieving solar flux concentration limited only by the second law of thermodynamics. Winston et al, actually made a solid optical concentrator made out of a YAG crystal, that achieved a W/m^2 level, that is higher than the sun.
    (by virtue of the fact that there is an N^2 factor missing from the Stefan-Boltzmann equation). That high density, is only available inside the crystal; you can’t get it out into the air. Yes cooling was a problem, but they were able to tweak the system, by concentrating the full moon instead of the sun.

  70. Myrrh,
    TAANSTAAFL
    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Yes the time/space field is absolutely full of energy. So is a teaspoon full of water. enough to destroy a large city. Getting that energy to do work is a different matter altogether. Contrary to anything from New Scientist, there is no Grand conspiracy to Suppress The Truth. There’s only the hard facts of physics. Work can only be done by energy flowing from place to place, and that can only happen when the potentials differ.

    Honestly, there’s too much money on the table to keep free energy secret.. Energy systems are a multi-trillion dollar industry where gaining a single percentage point of efficiency can mean literally unimaginable wealth. The idea that a biased educational system could keep literally tens of thousands of Electrical Engineers from seeing the truth is laughable.

  71. Danby says:
    May 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm
    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Yes the time/space field is absolutely full of energy. So is a teaspoon full of water. enough to destroy a large city. Getting that energy to do work is a different matter altogether. Contrary to anything from New Scientist, there is no Grand conspiracy to Suppress The Truth. There’s only the hard facts of physics. Work can only be done by energy flowing from place to place, and that can only happen when the potentials differ.

    Hence my questions.

    What is it that is done in batteries to shut down the dipole?

    Why can’t we just stop doing it?

    Honestly, there’s too much money on the table to keep free energy secret.. Energy systems are a multi-trillion dollar industry where gaining a single percentage point of efficiency can mean literally unimaginable wealth. The idea that a biased educational system could keep literally tens of thousands of Electrical Engineers from seeing the truth is laughable.

    It’s precisely because as it stands this is a license to print money industry… These corporations do not want us to have ‘free’ energy on tap as it were.

    Maxwell’s original equations are not taught. Tesla’s work was destroyed. I can only suggest that you read more about how the bankers and corporations got to monopolise the growing industries in the US at the turn of the new energy age, this was at the very beginning of the electrical industry. Before tv..

    When farmers in the US had their own wind power to run their radios and Ford was not only running his cars on hemp, was building them out of it.. The original denims were made from hemp, soft and very hard wearing, used for sail cloth and rope and paper and food and etc etc, the infant oil industry and the pharmatceuticals developing new materials and Hearst demonised it by first giving it a name change together with a huge ad campaign showing young white girls ruined by black men in sleazy surroundings.. And they didn’t stop there – they got it banned all over the world.

    A bit of your history to get you going: http://rense.com/general67/FORD.HTM
    And a bit more history of hemp: http://drlwilson.com/Articles/hemp.htm

    Until you have some idea of the power of these growing industries in influencing the markets to suit themselves and creating monopolies, like the pharmaceutical companies even now getting herbs banned from common sales, you are going to find it hard to grasp the problem here.

    Morgan was supporting DC current production and Tesla’s was not only better in travelling distances, but his genius could pull it out of the air on the spot.. There’s quite a lot on the ac/dc wars but the original Maxwell equations were ‘too difficult’, and seen as a bigger threat to monopoly control, and so were buried and Tesla broken.

    You must be used to by now all the disinformation promoted as “science” in AGW.., the same people are in control of this as they won the monopoly wars against rivals in the same industries and against alternative products in the last century. That’s how they built up their power base, which has now conned even people who can otherwise think rationally into believing a trace gas which is practically 100% hole in the atmosphere with zilch heat capacity, which means it can neither trap nor store heat, is a great thermal blanket and has super powers to raise global temperatures – and conned them into not seeing how absurd this is by instigating arguments about how many degrees..

  72. And the last time I checked the petrol (Gas) in my tank is a chemical.
    The ‘problem’ of practical energy storage has already been solved.

  73. It would be fun to swap my Nissan Leafs battery pack for this theoretical Zinc-air pack which proposes 10x greater energy density. My car would have a range approaching 1,000 miles in the right conditions.
    On a serious note it’s sad to read so many ill informed opinions about this subject on this site.
    First my previous car needed 30~40 minutes to fill it up if you include travelling, queuing, filling paying and in all sorts of garbage weather. £6 fekkin’ a gallon!!
    Why you people don’t know the drilling, transporting and processing every gallon of fuel consumes at least 6.5KWH of energy. My last car consumed about that in 30 miles. The middle man who hates you and supplies the terrorism – is defunct.
    And to the gentleman who says nobody will consider an electric car until it makes at least 300hp. I must remind you of the Tesla Model S, (which is priced against BMW) and over 400hp. Consumer Reports states its definitely the best car they have ever tested.
    Lastly I’ll wrap up with the 787 battery pack and the propensity to overcharge its cells. The modifications made to it have turned it from a death trap into a potential bomb! Mark my words. No surprises if the Tesla CEO avoids flying in that plane.

  74. @Andyj
    And Tesla is also bankrupt, as all the other electric vehicle manufacturers. The last one recently gone is an Israeli one which country pushes them as the next best inventions since sliced bread. If electric vehicles were that great they’d take over the market by storm just on their own merits. But even despite huge governement subsidies (which are one of the reasons you pay 6$ per gallon) they not even make the tiniest dent in regular carsales.

    Let’s just look at reality and not at bogus numbers. The only way an electric vehicle can replace a regular one is by fitting it with a diesel-electric drivetrain. Proven technology, simple and sturdy, powering massive cargofreighters, locomotives etc for decades without a hitch.

  75. In other news on the Alt-energy front

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/business/energy-environment/solar-powers-dark-side.html?_r=3&

    Solar Industry Anxious Over Defective Panels

    “LOS ANGELES — The solar panels covering a vast warehouse roof in the sun-soaked Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they began to fail.
    Coatings that protect the panels disintegrated while other defects caused two fires that took the system offline for two years, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

    It was not an isolated incident. Worldwide, testing labs, developers, financiers and insurers are reporting similar problems and say the $77 billion solar industry is facing a quality crisis just as solar panels are on the verge of widespread adoption….

    The quality concerns have emerged just after a surge in solar construction. In the United States, the Solar Energy Industries Association said that solar panel generating capacity exploded from 83 megawatts in 2003 to 7,266 megawatts in 2012, enough to power more than 1.2 million homes. Nearly half that capacity was installed in 2012 alone, meaning any significant problems may not become apparent for years….”

    Read it all, and keep in mind this the NYT, not exactly a dedicated enemy of the enviros.

  76. george e. smith [May 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm] says:

    Shows how much YOU know about mice, including wireless mice.

    There simply is no such thing, as a wireless mouse that was designed for any green reason. The entire motivation for wireless mice, or wireless keyboards, is ERGONOMICS.

    Yikes! George, my friend, I have been in the personal computer tech game for like 30 years, and big iron another ten. You misunderstand me completely.

    Ergonomics is what you or I think of, and rightly so. But for lefty greenies the thought never crosses their tiny little minds. These hipsters get wireless tech for convenience, ergonomics isn’t even an afterthought. They get this stuff to eliminate wires and clutter and furthermore they actually believe that the missing wires means less energy, not more, which is the very point I am making. Worst of all, they proudly stump for all things green including carbon taxes while they consume extra energy every chance they get.

    I kept it simple because it is simple. When moving from the established infrastructure to any new wireless electrical paradigm, the cost is paid in increased net energy consumption, and batteries are a key part of that because they get you coming and going.

    Furthermore, I actually offer no opinion on this new paradigm. It may make some sense to push the energy generation upstream ( in the case of coal plants and electric vehicles ) or it may make sense to have wireless everything in the home ( more net energy usage but free roaming convenience ), as long as you acknowledge the sacrifice of more energy consumption for the sake of convenience. Please re-read my comment because it honestly went right past you.

    My real point is only to label hypocrites as hypocrites and stick a needle in the pompous gas filled balloons that describe our friendly neighborhood green eco-nuts.

  77. Petrossa,
    You are another fine example of a person who’s fine theories are dashed by the facts.
    .
    If Tesla is bankrupt, explain why their shares (TSLA) have doubled within this past month, the Gov’t loan is paid off early and they are still selling cars like nobodys business. Not to forget Tesla is now working on fast charging stations over ALL the USA, offering free recharging for life!
    .
    That Israeli “Better Place” had no product. No swap stations, no car, nothing to offer me.
    Fuel here in the UK is £6 ($9), not $6 a gallon due wholly to taxes. It’s ALWAYS been high here.
    .
    Diesel electric as you opine is merely a form of continuously variable transmission. Mainly used on back yard goods trains, not the large EU high speed electric rail networks.
    .
    I have been keeping tabs on costs and consumption of my Nissan Leaf. Granted I bought it new at the right price. Running costs here are around 3.3p/mile against 16p/mile. Servicing @7,500miles is rotate tyres, fill bottles.
    No road tax, last car was £197.
    It’s not only proved to be a complete no-brainer; the equipment and ride are Mercedes S class territory. With no exceptions.

  78. Andyj, the only reason Tesla is still here is because of taxpayersmoney.
    “Take that Fiat comparison: In the first quarter of this year, Fiat sold 1 million cars and made a $40 million profit. Tesla sold 4,900 cars and, not counting the sale of regulatory credits under California law, lost $53 million, or more than $10,000 per car.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/teslas-market-value-soars-but-some-see-a-bubble/2013/05/16/7589d84c-bcd1-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html?hpid=z2

    Amazed that you are that gullible.

  79. Petrossa, you’re making the fatal mistake of quoting the Washington post. Fiat have always been a dead duck company selling garbage. It’s recent success has been the foreign redesigned/engineered reborn 500 and it’s still in deep debt:-
    (wiki)
    “In 2010, credit rating agency Fitch cut Fiats debt rating to BB- after it had accumulated a debt of around €9.3 Billion. In 2013, Fiats debt rating was cut again, this time by Moody’s, to Ba3[7] over concerns European demand was lower and debt was falling slower than expected.[8] The Financial Times estimate of Fiats debt at the time was almost €28 billion.[9]”

    Now I suggest you read the Wiki on Tesla motors
    ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors ).
    TSLA was the most shorted stock. many US hating gas-heads have lost out big time. It’s now $97 a share and I’m considering buying an arable mountain in the South of France..
    P.S. Gross profit for Dec 2012 was $30.1M
    .
    You cannot win this one.

  80. Zerohedge are smarting very badly over their great advice. Want another spanking?
    NEVER listen to anyone who uses the word ASS-U-ME!

  81. Finally….
    “TESLA REPAYS DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY LOAN NINE YEARS EARLY
    ONLY AMERICAN CAR COMPANY TO HAVE PAID BACK GOVERNMENT”
    WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2013
    Must go. Just got an email off my car. It’s finished charging. Off on a 100 mile highway run to a friends. I’ll be stopping off half way for a (free) high speed recharge so I might have 15 minutes spare to eat a pie and drink a cup of tea on the way down :)
    Life is tough for stupid people :))

  82. Wikipedia, facts by consensus. Tesla pays 15 million with money it loaned and with some creative bookkeeping suddenly made a profit on cars it loses 10000$ a pop on. Yep. Sounds like green calculations indeed. Way to go. Tesla isn’t going to last 2 years this way. Obama can’t keep on funding them.

  83. ok clever lad.
    Tesla has paid off money it did not have and did not need to. Also loses money on every car they are selling but to break even on this loss they must sell 1/2M cars on your idiot piece about an assumption… Each year on year they show a profit. The share price has quadrupled on your bad news.
    All without taking any other loan or moneys off the state. Seems to you they must be printing money from the losses they are making.
    Give us a break! Please, change your medication or something. The Tesla S is better than the M5 class of car it is up against which cannot and will not offer free fuel for life used interstate.
    .
    p.s. Zinc-air rechargeables will never get any funding from me. That is a quacks dream.

  84. The share price is way below IPO, no way Tesla is going to get enough loading stations placed to support the millions of cars it needs to sell to make a profit, no way no grid no where is going to be able to service millions of cars loading at about the same time no matter which make.

    DOA. But pleasant dreams of nice clean future.

  85. Petrossa,
    from $25 to $97 and some predict in the long run to hit $140+ well after this feeding frenzy on the losers who shorted. Early days yet.
    This car is mooted as “Apple” of this decade.
    You say “no way” yet the Superchargers are in existence and being built right now as you sit there like the three wise monkeys. 25% of the people who drive this car in the USA end up buying it. It’s that good!
    Get your sorry ass in a Leaf and realise as you drive off in your car what a sorry mess you are having to put up with, servicing, consumables, dirt and so much “cost plus”. It’s your call to lose your bigotry.

Comments are closed.