This New Battery is a Game Changer

Lighter Cheaper More Powerful Battery Changes Renewable Economics
Guest essay by Roger E. Sowell, Esq. Marina del Rey, California

It is not often on SLB that I use the phrase “game-changer.”  Most things progress, if they progress at all, in small increments.  This time, though, is one of those that deserves the phrase game-changer.

The innovation is the low-cost, light-weight but powerful battery developed by Nobel prize-winner Alan Heeger, PhD of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).  The company is Biosolar .  see link to http://www.biosolar.com

The battery is suitable for mobile and stationary applications such as cars, trucks, grid stabilization, home power storage, and others.   The innovation is the use of the Nobel prize-winning plastic-that-acts-like-a-metal, haologenated polyacetylene.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2000: Conductive Polymers (see link) is lengthy but has this to say about the discovery:

” In 1977, however, Shirakawa, MacDiarmid and Heeger discovered that oxidation with chlorine, bromine or iodine vapour made polyacetylene films 10^9 times more conductive than they were originally.  Treatment with halogen was called “doping” by analogy with the doping of semiconductors. The “doped” form of polyacetylene had a conductivity of 10^5  Siemens per meter, which was higher than that of any previously known polymer. As a comparison, teflon has a conductivity of 10^–16 S m–1 and silver and copper 10^8  S m–1.”

The battery, which is now patent-pending at the US and other patent offices, is expected to cost less than $100 per kWh (about one-fourth that of the best batteries today), to weigh less and therefore provide longer range to cars, to have a greater power density (power to weight ratio), have a faster charging time and much longer life.    Another substantial positive is the material itself, made from common acetylene.  There are no rare earths to mine and extract, no toxic residues.  The halogen dopants are also common, cheap, and abundant.

This battery, which continues the use of lithium for the anode, is likely a primary contribution to the Tesla company’s announcement this week of a new mid-price all-electric car.

The renewable energy field, especially those technologies that have variable output due to changes in the wind or sunshine, will benefit greatly from a low-cost high-density battery.   A wind energy project would not be limited to selling power at low prices, currently 3 cents per kWh, but instead selling the power as would a gas-fired power plant, on demand and reliably at the market price.


 

Added by Anthony:

From the Bisosolar website:

Breaking the $100/kWh Cost Barrier to Mass Market Adoption
Materials account for more than 70% of the cost of a battery. In particular, the cathode material makes up 20-35% of the total materials costs. Therefore, lowering the cost of the cathode is an effective way to lowering the total battery cost. The estimated raw materials cost of our cathode is similar to that of inexpensive plastics, with a very high possible energy density of 1,000 Wh/kg.

Our Super Cathode can be used to manufacture a super battery that is 2 times higher capacity than the batteries currently used in a Tesla Model S, at 4 times less cost.

Processing materials and time are additional cost drivers. Our cathode can be processed from water and eco-friendly solvents, which (i) eliminates the use of costly and toxic solvents, (ii) eliminates high temperature drying processes, and (iii) speeds up the production throughput.

Many analysts in the electric vehicle and solar industry consider $100 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to be the “holy grail” price threshold. In the case of electric vehicles, $100/kWh will make them undeniably cost-competitive with gas-powered vehicles. And in the case of solar, it will finally be cost effective to store daytime solar electricity for nighttime use and be less reliant on, or completely independent of, the power grid.

Our current estimate of the cost of a full battery using our Super Cathode with a conventional graphite anode is approximately $54/kWh.

Compared to Existing Batteries Based on internal experimental data, other published data, and a calculation model adopted from the Energy Laboratory of Samsung Electronics, we have estimated the energy density and energy costs of a complete super battery that uses our Super Cathode technology.

The BioSolar Super Cathode can be combined with conventional anodes to create different battery configurations to meet specific application or market requirements. Due to the overall low cost, high energy, long life and rapid charge features of our cathode, the resulting battery will be inherently lower cost, higher energy, longer life and faster charging.

chart-biosolar-battey

 

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327 thoughts on “This New Battery is a Game Changer

      • The new battery is a game changer. But !

        The battery is NOT new, and the game has not changed.

        Fracking IS a game changer..

        G

      • It raises a flag. Let’s say a conventional battery costs 100 quatloos. Materials, they say, are >70% of battery cost. Say 75%, which should be on the safe side. So materials are 75 quatloos, manufacturing 25 quatloos. They further say the cathode is 20–35% of the total battery material cost. Let’s say we save the larger number, 35%. Thirty five % of 75 = 26 quatloos saved at most by cutting cathode costs. Seventy five quatloos material minus the 26 saved is 49 quatloos for materials, plus the manufacturing cost of 25 quatloos = 74 quatloos total cost. That’s a reduction of 26%, not a reduction of “four times.” It’s barely a reduction by one fourth.

      • I think this stupidity is universal for germanic languages. I am a Swedish speaking retired journalist and I have always flipped my lid when somebody turned in a text with the words “fyra gånger mindre” which means as you can guess “four times less”. Or someting like that. Worst is I think is “dubbelt mindre” which in English would be “double less” but I have not seen that in English. But in Swedish it is used in parallell with “hälften mindre” (half less) making it equal to “double less”.

        But perhaps it´s not only speakers of germanic languages who are afflicted with this nonsense because the same thing is going on in Finnish wich is a Fenno-Ugric language with an otherwise very logic structure.

      • @ jorgekafkazar
        As I understand the statement, that is only for the materials that go into the battery itself. They also say that processing (manufacturing) costs would be lower. Water instead of expensive toxic materials. So, initial cost saving in purchasing processing materials and, if you’ve ever had to deal with handling, storage and disposal of hazardous materials, you will appreciate the cost savings in using water instead. Their estimate of cost reduction has to include those elements as well.

      • Thats compared to the tesla battery, of which the “tesla tax” make up half of the cost! :)

      • Jorgekafkazar: The cost comparison they quote are per watt hour. Your calculations were just for initial costs. To duplicate their math you’d have to average those costs out over the life of the battery and the amount of energy storage provided by the battery across that lifespan.

        Personally i think they’re way of calculating costs is a bit disingenuous and overstates the savings. A consumer isn’t concerned with costs per Watt/hour, they are concerned with how much money is going to come out of their pockets. If the initial costs of the vehicle are only reduced by a quarter, there will be much less interest than if they are reduced by a factor of 4.

        Most people only keep cars for 3 to 5 years. So the battery lasts 7 years now instead of 5…so what? I’m probably not going to have the car any more by then anyway. Has no bearing on my costs.

        Yes, if the batter is more efficient and takes less time to charge, that may make it more practical for everyday use than the cars available now, and that will certainly entice a few people to invest in them that have been reluctant due to range and recharge time issues, but that still isn’t a cost thing.

        This may very well be a huge breakthrough and may make the electric car industry actually viable, but calculating the cost savings in the way they do in this article is misleading at best.

        The bottom line is going to be when customers look at the sticker price. Will this make EVs initial costs low enough that they can compete against traditional gasoline powered vehicles WITHOUT heavy government subsidies? I have my doubts.

      • And offtopic when did science and enlightenment put People in prison or burn them on poles publicy? What is happening now is not science or the enlightenment. Its ideology or religion?

    • I pretty much had to stop reading for a moment at that point. One of my pet peeves is describing a fraction as a multiple. Hyperbole defined.

    • One thing that retailers always get right is how they advertise sale prices. They’ll say 75% off, they won’t say 4X less.

      When something is available for 4X less, I’m never quite sure what they really mean. For price P, P – 4P is -3P. Of course, they don’t mean a negative price, so do they mean 1/3 P? Probably not. In this case I guess it’s 1/4P. So I guess “4X less” must mean that is a reciprocal operator. Whereas “4X more” means P + 4P, i.e. 5 times the price, 4X less must mean – oh dear – 1/5 the price.

      • When something is available for 4X less, I’m never quite sure what they really mean.

        Oh come on! Of course 4x less is the same as 25% left. Nobody ever (except when explaining their pet peeve) gets that wrong.

      • I know what you mean in trying to understand such things — the other day I ran into Penney’s department store expecting to see something exciting when I saw a sign outside that said, “Ladies underwear — half off”.

      • > Of course 4x less is the same as 25% left.

        Can you write that as an equation, please?

        > Nobody ever (except when explaining their pet peeve) gets that wrong.

        Of course. It’s just that this is the best post for this rant in years. I’m proud to see so many others agree!

      • A local code standard for property line adjustment says “The adjustment will result in less than a 200% change in the size of a lot or parcel”.

        What they want that to mean that the parcel that gets bigger can, at most, double in size; and the one that gets smaller can’t reduce to less than half of the original size.

        What I get to do is triple the size of parcel that gets bigger, and the parcel that gets smaller can be reduced as far as the owner wants.

        After the first couple of times they (the planners) quit arguing intent and accepted true meaning. Language counts; math is a language.

      • By defining 4X less as “Buy it next week and it will be 4 times the price of Today’s sale”;

        ($Next week)/($Today’s) = 4;

        By defining 25% Left as “Buy it today and it will be 25% of what will you will would pay next week”;

        (%Today’s)/($Next week) = 25% = 0.25 = 1/4 => 4 = ($Next week)/($Today)

      • DonM wrote:

        > the above is the (half ass) equation that you you asked for.

        Thanks, I hope everyone sees that “4X less” (more generally, xX less?) is more idiom than than math.

      • @Ric Werme – ‘Can you write that as an equation, please?’

        Here’s a go:

        4 x (new_price) = (old_price)
        therefore:
        (old_price)/(new_price) = 4 x

        QED ;-)

    • +1

      Indeed. But to someone writing marketing tripe “four-times” sounds better than “one-quarter.”

      • Same reasoning. In fact, there was an argument about that use on WUWT some years ago. It is more marketing hype than semantically accurate and requires extra mental gymnastics to convert to an objective meaning – for instance does “4 X less” leave one quarter or one fifth behind? The common understanding is that really if you added 300% TO the remainder of “400%” less you would once again have the original amount. But popular usage “evolves” and these days comes out of the marketing media more than ever. So, despite it sounding like incipient formation of a black hole, you see it used anyway.

      • Don, you would be missing 2 important characteristics of the equation: 400% of what parameter? & Lower than what initial state?

    • You can’t know the cost until you have actually developed (built) the product at some level of manufactured volume.

      G

      • While selling them into a market against competitors.

        OK, their price claim is unproven and most probably nonsense.

        But if the battery can do what they say in operational service life (i.e. more unproven claims) they’d have a winner, and enable viable and possibly even economic renewable supply, of electrons day and night. As you say, we won’t know until its in service, in installations, and doing so for years, with high capacity and low material attrition compared to all competitors.

        The most important thing is that such technologies stand on their own feet and on their own technical and market demand and merits, and not get a cent of public support or subsidy, as then they have the incentive to innovate to get it right, and scale efficiently, and to get rich and prosper because it works economically, competitively, rather than attempting to lever and rort money from the public wallet with untruth and deception.

    • My browser keeps telling me that WUWT has a programming error.

      I have had six would be posts discombobulated so far this morning and fail to post.

      G

    • One fourth the price seems supportable.

      The $200 per kwh battery has less than half the energy capacity as I read it. The cost for the lithium cathode is say on the high side $140 (70%) times 35% or $49.

      So first because of the energy density alone the saving is $102 because you are getting more than twice the energy out of a kilogram of materials.

      Then lithium costs in bulk about $95 per kilogram and plastic a couple bucks a kilogram. If the cathode is a half kilogram then the kilogram battery would have about $47.50 in lithium which would be replaced by about a dollars worth of plastic. Thus the lowest price for the new battery would be about $50.50. Perhaps the other $3.50 is in processing the plastic or different proportions of material or both.

      If true does sound like a game changer. You can probably put a battery in a car of an established weight and get twice the distance and have it cost half as much in total giving you 4 times the performance per dollar. Or you could put a battery in that weighed half as much that cost one 4th the price and have the same range.

      • On the math. While it is nice to see equations on the order of Cathodecost=.7*Batterycost and all form of careful consideration, the presentation is already normed to kWH so there is no $102 savings as you imagine. If you need X kWH to run a Tesla the relative cost could be calculated as 54/200=.27 which could be expressed as 27%.

        So all this parsing of proportions of battery cost is not related to the language of the article and charts which state that the “energy cost”, NOT the “cathode cost”, is 27% of existing technology. Of course the whole thing could be an optimistic fib (or stock pumping). And it is confusing that they join energy density and the cost per energy unit in a single phrase. But assuming for the sake of mathematical argument that this isn’t grandstanding, what double the energy density really means is that the battery that would cost 27% of current state of the art technology and would weigh half as much — perhaps giving an unspecified performance enhancement in terms of miles/kWH that could be calculated in energy savings to further diminish the 27% figure, or could allow the same car to carry twice the kWH and thus extend range. (albeit the cost savings per car would not be as much – i don’t know that there is a unit of measure that would could describe the value of additional range – perhaps the opportunity cost of stopping to charge).

        one caveat is that the measurement of energy density, as far as i can tell, makes no reference to the traditional density measurment of specific gravity, so i’m unclear what the actual physical size of the battery would permit the inclusion of the greater kWH capacity in a largely similiar body configuration.

        So I think this is interesting, maybe exciting, but it is a question of bringing the technology to market and showing that it works and it lasts. Fracking of course has passed that test so it can be called a game changer in the real world. It gave us the 2nd Obama presidency, I reckon, so I could perhaps wish it hadn’t been quite so effective . . .

        I would celebrate a battery techology that was the equivalent of fracking but this has a long way to go. Fracking was adopted in the face of skepticism without subsidy I don’t mind X-prizes for milestones but god forbid we subsidize widespread adoption, which would indicate just the opposite.No game changer, just a shell game.

      • Absolutely correct; they just forgot to mix in some buckyballs and a room-temperature superconducting powder, all mixed in polywater under cold-fusion conditions to compactify the excess low-density polyacetylene into a six-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifold…

      • and maybe i have to temper the notion of exciting expressed in reply only a post above. if i read this 1984 syllabus from nature correctly, the anticipated energy density at the time was 250 Wh / per hectogram (don’t ask me why they chose that unit) which equates to 2500 Wh or 2.5 kWh per kilogram. The achievement cited here is about a fifth of the theoretical energy density cited in 1984 (should i be suspicious that it was 1984, but i digress). . .

        so its taken 30 years to get to one fifth of that theoretical limit. on the other hand being double the energy density of the current best technology at 27% of the cost with more readily available material might still look like something. if this is a feat they can reliably repeated in widescale manufacturing, maybe that was 30 years well spent. Although it certainly is not a technology that yielded quickly and easily to crossing the theory practice divide, especially given that the period has been characterized by an intense focus on battery technology.

        I’ll believe it when I see it in production without subsidy (can you say A123?!).

  1. My first thought is, what’s the catch. There is always a catch when it comes to batteries.

    [Until the catch breaks, and the lid to the battery falls off. 8<) .mod]

    • Catch is it costs 4 time less to produce but because the tech is new will cost 4 time as much to purchase

      • Let’s hope it’s not as illusory as fusion of various types.

        If this is a genuine innovation it’s to be welcomed as the Achilles heel of reneable energy is its intermittency hence the need to store its energy in times of plenty in some sort of battery

        We will have to see how costs work out. Like most things, as technology develops it will become cheaper.

        Tonyb

    • I agree with you Brian what else is going on? Why have an attorney announce a ‘game changer’ technology and reference a 1977 Nobel Prize as authority for the breakthrough? Hope it is so…. but do there remain issues? It won’t do to have Teslas blazing down the highway like a Christmas gift hoverboard.

      • Biosolar did not “have an attorney announce a game changer”. I have zero connection to Biosolar, and zero connection with any of the parties involved.

        I am merely a bystander, who happens to be a science and technology attorney and chemical engineer. I also make speeches and write on energy matters.

      • Hopefully they have something tangible and aren’t just another Steorn
        or what it is fast becoming apparent that LENR might be

      • The US is well below 48% now, around 30% for 2015 for coal in our electric mix down from 48% 10 years ago.

    • what’s the catch
      =============
      “We believe that by integrating our Super Cathode with conventional anodes, a complete lithium-ion battery can be built that is lower cost, higher capacity, faster charging and longer life.”

      the catch appears to be “We believe”. Why not “We have shown”?

    • The catch is they don’t exist yet and you can’t buy them. This article should have been in Popular Mechanics along side the flying car.

      • The vast majority of airplanes today are “flying cars”. (For the most part, they are equipped with wheels.)

        The exceptions are “flying boats”. (See: Seaplanes.)

    • Flammability I would guess. Lots of energy, low mass, increased potential for loud sounds and fire. Lithium batteries are notorious for the magnitude of problems when they fail. These carry more energy, so if it is released instantaneously it would be interesting.

      • Not a problem for cars when you consider the petrol/gas alternative. Additional fire risk in houses isn’t so cool though.

      • Rob JM, batteries are a different beast than petrol. It the case of batteries, the reductant and the oxidant are of necessity in very close proximity. All that is needed to cause havoc is an internal electrical short.

        In fact, it could be argued that the chemical fuel equivalent of a high capacity battery is closer to gunpowder than to gasoline, since a tank of gasoline is essentially inert unless substantial oxygen is also present.

    • Catch as catch can. Sounds plausible. Hope for a good die roll. Hope everyone makes their saving throw. So we wait and see.

    • Note they talk about energy density as kW/kg? What about kW/liter? It’s not just the weight that matters, it’s the size as well. If you’re half the weight for the same capacity, but 10X the size, then you’re not really a usable battery for vehicles – too much space occupied for the energy storage.

  2. Great news, hopefully an inexpensive way for us to prepare for the upcoming power outages, but lets not forget that batteries are not energy, they have to be filled with it from somewhere, which will still be mainly fossil fuels.

    • The battery part has always been the weak link for small-scale wind. I have a home close to Lake Michigan with sufficient wind to be useful. If you could cut the cost of storage in half it starts to get interesting.

      • “If you cut the cost of storage” is one thing; energy density of that storage is key to practical deployment on a large scale. I live in sunny Phoenix and there would be a great benefit to a technology like this if also paired to cars when in parking lots. Either the lots could have solar panels covering them and keeping cars parked underneath fully charged, or flexible solar panels embedded onto future car hoods could power a separate A/C unit so that you don’t burn your butt when getting into your car.

        I’ve always said that renewable energy is a novelty unless and until cheap, high-capacity, large-scale storage of their energy generated can be made available.

      • I have summered in Phoenix my self and know, first hand, just how hot the Steering Wheel (Searing Wheel) can get I the afternoons. Most of the indigenous Phoenix inhabitants tend to have their windows highly tinted just to combat the relentless sun.

      • Adding solar cells to your cars hood, would provide enough power to run the fan continuously, but not the AC. Even covering the entire car wouldn’t be enough for that.

      • They are saying that wind power companies will be able to store energy to be released later when the wind dies. That means two conversions, from wind-generated electricity to chemical battery and back to electricity before it goes to the consumer. I wonder what that does to the overall efficiency.

        One should not forget that electric cars spend a lot of their charge on heating the passengers in the winter and cooling passengers in the summer.

        Also, batteries tend not to like very hot weather and do not work well at very cold temperatures, in which case power needs to go to heat the battery in the winter. And the charging time will never match the time it takes to fuel a car with gasoline.

      • MarkW April 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        They can use DC if it’s just to turn a compressor and fans Mark, the fanbelt that mechanically drives compressors now in conventional power trains is not an alternating fan belt.

        It also doesn’t have to operate continuously, if it operates on full blast for a minute prior to your getting into the car the requirement for a pre-cooled car is mostly met, the aircon in the hybrids I’ve driven is impressively chilly and fast operating.

        Plus there’s this, which Toyota they bought in from 2011:

        “Located on top of the rear roof portion, of properly equipped Toyota Prius vehicles, is actually a rear solar panel. This unique solar panel uses those countless hours of being parked outside and collects sun rays to power a ventilation system inside of the vehicle.”

        http://www.allannott.com/blog/use-toyota-prius-solar-panel-roof/

        It works, it may not make the interior like a fridge but it does make it much cooler than it otherwise would be when you get in and it keeps cooling fast from there.

        Frankly if these sorts of hybrids had a higher capacity cheaper and longer-lasting in service battery tech (and the lithium system they also introduced in 2011 is brilliant, btw) they would be hands-down the car and power plant to buy. They’re already much cheaper to run than a standard car, they just aren’t cheaper to buy … yet.

        But even that changed fast (i.e. already occurred), as other(much heavier and thus less fuel efficient conventional car models which have been converted to a hybrid power train, are in fact cheaper to run and cost about the same to buy as the conventional model and have the same acceleration power, or generally better power.

        The technology is mature and price is competitive and will on;y get better from here, add better higher energy density lighter cheaper battery tech, and the whole thing becomes extremely attractive, and will out-compete conventional power train cars.

      • The price is only competitive because other people are picking up half to 3/4ths the cost.

        As to your comment, all you did is prove my point. That the surface area of the car is only sufficient to run a fan, not the entire AC.

      • BUT Unmentionable, the fact that you are driving a “Hybrid” indicates you are still driving a car that uses Fossil Fuel once the battery has been exhausted (currently averaging about 35 – 40 miles for most affordable EV’s).
        The longest range EV’s are
        Tesla S 208 – 265mi $91k
        Toyota RAV4 103mi $60K (won’t commute from My house to San Francisco and back on a single charge) (Discontinued)
        Fiat 500E 87mi $35K
        Nissan Leaf 84mi $32K
        Chevy Spark 82mi $28K
        Honda Fit 82mi $38K
        Ford Focus 76mi $36K
        Smart (dumb) 68mi $26k
        Mitsu MiEV 62mi $25K
        Scion IQ EV 48mi (Unavailable to the public)
        So far the only one that can truly travel without still needing Fossil Fuel in Tesla at $91,000
        The affordable ones are unusable for commuting to and from work unless you live less than 15 miles from work and then go straight home after work.

      • If you WANT/NEED to travel more than 60 miles on a charge then Electric is truly uneconomical.
        If you bought a Tesla for the 260 mile range you would spend $90,000
        If you bought the average car and drove it for 100,000 miles
        The car would cost $20,000
        Your average mileage would be 20MPG
        100,000mi /20MPG = 5000 gal
        5000 gal X $4 per = $20,000

        Car $20,000
        Fuel $20,000
        Total cost $40,000

        vs

        260 mile Tesla $90,000
        Replacement Battery $44,000

    • Did you notice they also filed patent application in China and S. Korea. Expect China to manufacture knock-offs and capture the market from Bio-Solar. Although this won’t stop interim price gains for Bio.

      • Re. knockoffs. I agree with the diagnosis — presuming always that the thing actually works (mostly) as well and as inexpensively as the ad says it does. (We’ll find out about that, soon enough.)

        From a demographic point of view, that would mean cheaper, more reliable and efficient power made far more widely available. The US might get unfairly partially cut out (robbed blind, if you will). But affluence would increase, especially at the marginal level. That could save and prolong a huge number of lives (the lives that could be saved, globally, during winter months are the least of it).

        Interestingly, it might also pull at least some of the current madcap schemes’ nuts out of the fire. Make them at least marginally viable (as opposed to worse than a total loss).

        That’s assuming the thing works. That has yet to bee seen. I have been pessimistic about battery tech. But I’m more than willing to have been wrong.

    • They’re down 96% from 2011 and down over 99% from the peak in 2008. They are what would be called a “penny stock” that carries high risk. An entire day’s trading volume of 245K shares at 0.145/share is only $35,525. If true, opportunities like this would mean untold wealth just like those lucky few who got in on the ground floor of other high-flying stocks. But I need more convincing first — and a few extra thousand dollars I can easily part with.

  3. Fire. When you put a polymer inside a hot running cell there is a fire risk. And lithium already wants to burn. Lithium batteries today are fire traps…. with out the polymer incendiary fuel.

      • when there is a battery fire like this of this size. you should act quickly!! tell everyone around the fire to get out their water bottles and dump their soda pop and water on the battery to cool it off. if you can quench the flames and cool the battery pack down enuff to pick it up off of the carpet and then carry it to the lavatory and put it in the sink or urinal and continue dumping water on it until cool. shorting the battery by wetting it is not important. getting the battery cool again is the only way to stop the thermal runaway. the electrolyte is not toxic. you cannot suppress the flames by smothering it. only dunking in water will put out the fire. act fast!!!

    • I was going to same something similar when I saw your post.

      I’ll just add that at that energy density discharge heating is real concern for fire hazards. Also even if the fire hazard is nil, the heating cycles of a battery with that energy density will likely have a short life span. Read “short” as you wish.

    • Paul

      I’m not saying that you’re wrong about the science in your post. However, putting 20 gallons of petrol in a metal tank and strapping to the underside of of a vehicle which you then drive around at anything up to 200 mph is an equal hazard. The whole matter boils down to managing the risk. With petrol and cars that risk has been almost completely managed away – let’s face it, Hollywood produces more exploding cars than the motor industry,

      IF (I stress that because it seems to be a very big if at the moment) this technology works, the risks you outline will need to be managed away and I’m certain that they can be, just as the petrol tank risk has been.

      • The Ford Mustang used to have a steel gas tank that actually was the floor of the trunk.

        So the top of the tank, and the bottom of the trunk was the one sheet of metal.

        So if you threw a bunch of wet clothes or surfing/diving gear and stuff in you trunk, eventually you would have a rusty gas tank (at least the outside on top.

        I once rode with someone in such a Mustang, one evening, and in the dark of night we stopped at a gas station to fill up and soon after that on the freeway, we smelled a strong gas smell. Puled into another gas station with lights to investigate, and discovered the trunk sloshing with gasoline. The tank top had rusted to the point where it suddenly collapsed in parts, leaving holes and the gas sloshed out with cornering.

        Don’t remember how we got home after that.

        G

  4. How will this battery fare at ver high/low temperatures? IIRC Polyethylene is brittle at very low temps. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • If they are being used as storage for solar power generators, then most of these will be in warm places.

      • Even warm places can get cold during a winter’s night, unless some form of heat is provided.

    • I think the article quoted said “polyacetylene films” NOT polyethylene. I do not the know thw physical property-temp relationships of polyactylene.

  5. I’ve read about several battery “game changers” over the last 10 years. Not one of them actually came to market. Wake me up when these so-called revolutionary batteries can be purchased.

    • I have read about game changing new battery technologies since the 80’s.
      That’s 35 years!

  6. So where is the snag ? There’s always a snag, Maybe it sets on fire unexpectedly (and downs an aeroplane – we’ve had that), or it self-discharges in a matter of hours, or it explodes in a car crash, or it suffers rapid and irreversible chemical change of some sort during it’s (short) lifetime,

    Why am I thinking like that? Well the first thing I spotted is that this material has been known about since 1977, so why has it taken 40 years to come – nearly – to market ? There must be a reason for that, and therein probably lies a tale.

  7. A break-tru in battery technology has hitherto been as illusive as fusion power.

    I have no doubt it we will eventually see it, but this was anything but convincing!

  8. I was looking at the stock, trading at 14cents, near all time lows… Why is there no one to buy if the technology is so great? We are definitely missing something…

  9. Like alexwade said above, I’ll believe it when I can buy one for a reasonable price and use it in a variety of weather extremes.

    These “break through” battery articles are a dime a dozen.

    • Reminds me of the flying cars featured on the cover of Popular Mechanics every year or so since the Pleistocene

    • There’s prolly a new law there: any new technology insufficiently developed is indistinguishable from a scam.

  10. It’s early days, but I’m excited as a scientist. As a human, the awful downside (there’s always at least one) is that if this really delivers then the UK will become a sea of giant windmills interrupted by ever smaller patches of beautiful nature. Remember Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” – ‘They opened up a tree museum, a dollar and a half just to see ‘em’. Prophetic?

    • Actually, I believe in Joni’s version it was just 25 cents to see them. The buck and a half came from a later version.

      Inflation, don’t you know. ^¿^

  11. Taking this news at face value, this is great news!
    I hope to see it implemented commercially soon. The famous science fiction writer Robert Heinlein foresaw changes to almost every area of society if decent batteries were developed, admittedly, not all of them good. He called his fictional ones ‘Shipstones’ if I recall correctly.
    I’ve never been against renewables or batteries for their own sake, but only for their being abused in the service of economic insanity by the hard-of-thinking.
    Should this pan out, it’ll produce a great rise in the standard of living for all of us and for the poor of this world.

  12. The battery is suitable for … trucks

    How many truck owners want a truck that can go, max, about 200 miles on one charge and can haul very little?

    How many SUV owners use their vehicle to go up into the mountains or out on backroads far from charging facilities?

    How many people can afford to own a ~ $35,000 base price (for the new “mid-range” electric car) second car that is dedicated to around-town driving? Not many people want to own ONLY an around-town vehicle. There are family vacations…. trips to visit friends far away…. emergencies…. . That there ARE such people is not the point: there are not enough to make this a large-market share product — ever (unless there is a MAJOR tech breakthrough — and that could happen, but it is not even on the horizon).

    There is a market, but the electric vehicle market will remain a small, niche, market, lithium battery improvement notwithstanding.

    ******************************************************

    A wind energy project would not be limited to selling power at low prices, currently 3 cents per kWh, but instead selling the power as would a gas-fired power plant, on demand and reliably at the market price.

    This is completely unsupported by the facts about wind turbine technology and power generation. It is merely grandiose puffery, designed to fool the uninformed. “Would not be…” — when technology has advanced FAR beyond anything mentioned in this article.

    **************************************************

    In short: This article is good news for those who already use electric vehicles. It will, however, gain almost no market share.

    ****************************************************
    GO, INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE!

    FREEDOM ROCKS!

    Yes! That is what gasoline-powered vehicles give us: freedom from having to rent a truck for hauling or towing … freedom from having to rent a car or an SUV that can drive a long ways or can take us up into the mountains ….. freedom from the electric grid (most people do not have the option to use personal solar power to run their cars)…. freedom to GO — whenever we want to!

    (No — using gas does not make us dependent on Middle East oil. That is a green-tech-pushed myth.)

    ****************************

    (And, yes, I’m for freedom of choice: have fun, electric car people! Enjoy your ride.)

      • But the Tech, If affirmed, could be utilized in a Plug In Hybrid that gets more than 35 miles before the Gas Engine kicks in. As a Hybrid it would become a Vast Improvement. As touted, you could effective double the battery capacity and thereby the mileage making that 230 mile ranged Tesla S a 460 mile car with a battery that still costs half normal. What is needed would be the development of Solar PV paint that would coat the entire auto surface and recharge on the fly. Perhaps a 2 battery system where one is recharged as the other is used and swaps on the fly.

      • Even if the entire surface of your car were covered with 100% efficient solar panels, it would provide only about 5% of the energy needed for cruising at highway speeds.

      • As an addendum to MarkW’s point. The 2nd law of thermodynamics restricts single stage photo-voltaic cells to a maximum of about 20% efficiency, so there is that as well.

      • As an addendum to MarkW’s point. The 2nd law of thermodynamics restricts the efficiency of single stage Photovoltaic cells to no more than about 20%, so there is that as well.

      • Bryan A April 8, 2016 at 12:36 pm

        Brian, as you can see, most people in here don’t even have a clue what a hybrid drive train, is or how it operates, in practice, hence you get people referring to them as “electric cars”. People don’t know what they don’t know but some also don’t even want it to change.

        Nevertheless when Suzuki makes a 130hp hybrid-electric GSX-R750 at the rear wheel, they’ll have nailed the holy grail, as having driven hybrid-electrics for years I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one. The bottom-end DC stomp would be ridiculously strong, it would accelerate even better than the conventional bike … just needs lighter and higher capacity batteries for widespread use in motorbikes. ;-)

    • The article appears to be written by someone who has VERY little actual driving experience (or who is aiming the article at a low-experience driver). The electric car industry talks about a 200 mile “tipping point” – that is, that the average customer is too nervous to buy a short-range car, but at 200 – YAY, we will buy your car!

      Range is a naïve way to think about driving. In rush-hour, a 30 mile freeway commute can take over an hour…. and all the while that battery is draining…. and there are accidents that back up traffic…. and on a long journey (a WHOLE 150 miles, say (lol)), road projects often cause delays. All the while, the battery is draining away.

      An experienced driver knows these things.

      200 mile range is barely a meaningful fact, much less a persuasive one.

      • Except you don’t idle electric motors, so when you ain’t moving, you’re probably only running the lights and radio.

      • And heater or air conditioner. In a vehicle with a heat engine, there’s plenty of waste heat for the passenger compartment, that’s not the case with electric vehicles. You Californians may do okay, us New Englanders turn up the heat and wear ski parkas.

      • The lights and the radio, yes. And the heater or AC. In an electric car those can be huge power drains. And maybe the windshield wipers. And did you have anything plugged into the cigarette lighter? GPS? Phone? The kids’ handheld game?

        Get caught in a traffic jam while driving a Tesla and you better kiss all that good bye, or you just might run out of juice before you get wherever you where going. And no pulling into a handy gas station for a quick fill up if you notice you don’t quite have enough.

        Personally I’d rather put my trust in a hybrid. Most of the benefits of both gas and electric, and few of the drawbacks.

      • Defroster? Rear window de-fogger?

        Aaaaa — THE ELECTRIC CAR IS A DEATH TRAP.

        #(:))

        (okay, a bit exaggerated, but, if that article wasn’t exaggeration I don’t know what is, lol)

        [Your mileage may vary. Tax, tag, and title license not included. Not all models in stock. Dealer may hold manufacturer’s rebate. .mod]

      • Janice, you are right about the fallacy of range logged in miles. When you are driving a car, there are two regimes: Too cold and too hot. And cars made of metal and glass traveling through a current of fresh air are among the most thermally inefficient devices conceived by the mind of man or woman.

        Internal combustion engines thoughtfully provide a source of waste heat to take care of the too cold situation. Electric cars, not so. Too hot requires constant air conditioning. Even when your electric chariot is sitting motionless in a traffic jam.

        Promoters of electric cars pretend that their cars only exist in a thermally perfect world, requiring neither heating or air conditioning. I would submit that these two factors need to be considered in practical use models, which makes their actual useful range dependent on the weather, or dare I say it, climate, just like their solar panel and windmill brethren.

        [With no running lights, no headlights, no windshield wipers or glass defoggers running. No radio, no cell phone or Apples plugged with teen-age riders busily burning their batteries texting. 8<) .mod]

      • Dear Mod. SO good to see you again — love your fun annotations! And, thank you, so much, for all your work keeping WUWT the great science truth site it is.

        Nice comment, Markopanama. “Solar and Windmill Brethren” — love it.

        “We MUST use FREE — HEAR ME NOW — FREE!!! — solar and wind energy….. it is susTAINABLE!! Do I need to SHOUT it?

        Sustainable!

        Will the ushers please come forward to take the offering.”

      • Markopanama, cars leak air like a sieve as a safety feature, to make sure that leaking engine fumes can’t kill the passengers. (Not much or problem in modern cars, but the regulations are still in place.)
        Pure electric cars presumably won’t have that problem and can be made more air tight.

      • Janice: But, but…isn’t that about 320 kms? See, the number is bigger.
        Do I need a sarc?

      • UK Department for Transport, fuel consumption data:

        Standard 2011 Prius 2-door model = 3.90 L/100 km

        It has a fuel capacity of 11.9 Gal, or 45 liters.

        (45 / 3.90) * 100 = 1,153.8 km = 716.9 miles

        So a range of up to 700 miles is implied for the 2011 Prius hybrid model.

        And this website give the more conservative range for a Prius:

        http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/prius/2011/features-specs/

        “… RANGE IN MILES (CTY/HWY) 606.9/571.2 mi …”

        You can talk about 200 mile ranges all you want Janice, but it just reveals you have no experience of the technology or of the subject of their spectacular range performance, of what you want to call an “electric car”.

  13. What happens when a battery with a lithium cathode and a polyacetylene cell catches fire? Poly. Acetylene.

  14. You have to have something to store, as climanrecon says. Taking solar/wind power from supplemental to primary will take a lot more than batteries. Like 4X the solar panels. For just a days worth, with no carryover for stormy second day. Production/storage for several days gets prohibitive very fast.

  15. If everybody moves to subsidized electric cars. Who is going to pay for road construction and maintenance?

  16. I wonder how many cycles the battery is good for, besides the problems with fire and the fact it improves batteries in vehicles from a toy to marginal.

    • See this:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/08/this-new-battery-is-a-game-changer/#comment-2185728

      People who think that are the people who have never driven one. The people who have driven them, or owned them, know you’re speaking from prejudices, not knowledge.

      I’ve actually asked Taxi drivers how much they drive each day and they universally said about 300 km city driving per 12-hour shift driving either a conventional or hybrid vehicle. (if you don’t believe this just ask them yourself).

      On that basis a Prius hybrid can drive as a city Taxi for up to 40 hours of shift time before needing to refuel.

      In other words it can exhaust three consecutive taxi drivers, first, and drive the equivalent duration of the average working week for most people, before needing a refuel, and has essentially the same (or better) acceleration, cornering, braking and comfort level as any other 4-seat 2-door car on the road today.

      It just uses a whole lot less fuel than a conventional car needs after 40 hours of Taxi operation.

      The current model has a tank size of only 43 liters (down from 45L) and weighs ~1,400 lb and can travel well over 1,000 km without a refuel.

      My sportsbike holds 17L for goodness sake! It has half the cubic capacity of Prius, weighs 420 lb with a full tank and accelerates like a scalded-cat, but has far less power than a Prius and still goes only ~240 km and its dry, and that’s if I’m particularly well-behaved with the throttle.

      By any practical performance measure these cars with batteries in them are in fact a raging technological and efficiency success story. I like them simply because they deliver dazzling efficiency and impressive performance.

      Why people are so prejudiced about them and presume so much is interesting though.

      Whether people want to acknowledge it, or not, there are hybrids around that can sustain 300 km per hour and will blow away most 1970 ‘muscle cars’ on performance, acceleration, cornering, suspension, braking, and especially on range and outright reliability.

      They’re anything but “marginal”.

      • You confuse a hybrid with an EV. They’re not the same thing at all. But given that you think a Prius handles like a sports car…

        My experience with driving a Prius has been it’s one of the most sluggish vehicles I’ve driven in years.

      • No, you’re failing to understand that the biggest beneficiaries of a new battery tech would be hybrids, as they’re much more numerous than EVs, with much better performance and much greater market potential, and easily the biggest market for such batteries.

        As for performance, Prius’s come standard with traction control because when electronically bypassed the Prius just keep spinning its wheels when the foot is planted, so your claim of sluggishness is nonsense. Current the current model accelerates strongly from a stand still, and is just as fast as similar sized 2-door conventional cars and overtakes just as well on the highway.

        But the Prius is not even a performance hybrid, its at the other end of the hybrid spectrum.

      • Apples and Kumquats, Unmentionable. I waw refering to pure battery cars like the Tesla, not hybrids, which do not have the multi-hour recharge problem. A Tesla is a toy.

  17. Hate to be a damp blanket, but so be it. I happen to know a lot about electric energy storage, especially lithium ion batteries, pseudo capacitors, and super capacitors. Have issued patents on improved materials for super caps.
    So was curious.
    1. Why BioSolar? Company was started to develop a plant based rather than petroleum based plastic for solar panels. Public for several years. Not successful, as the current OTCQB quote for BSRC is $0.145. Yup, a classic ‘green’ penny stock.
    2. UCSB sponsored research started July 2014. First joint patent filed 2/2016— for polymer hybrid super caps, NOT batteries. Batteries use either electrochemical redox or intercalation (standard ‘rocking chair’ lithium ion is the latter, lead acid and NiMH are the former). Super caps rely on the formation of a Helmholtz double layer at the interface of an electrolyte and a conducting solid. A capacitor, not a battery. So they apparently have no IPR filed yet on batteries.
    3. They have never made and tested a battery cell. So all their claims about energy density are hypotheticals. Their website claim to longer cycle life is based on ‘stable redox chemistry compared to redox. That is bassackwards; redox usually has lower cycle life for fundamental electrochemical reasons. Maybe there is some not yet patented magic.
    4. Conductive polymer batteries have been researched for a long time. I spent 1/2 hour doing a quick lit scan (abstracts only). Earliest paper found was 1991. Doped polypyrolle, not doped polyacteylene. As of late 2014 (a serious Chinese paper) there were still significant problems with cycle life degradation not solved in the lab. Several conductive polymer pouch cell battery startups in the mid to late 1990s aimed at mobile electronics because of form factor. While I was at MOT we tested every prototype we could get our hands on. All failed.

    Color me more than just skeptical. Penny stock hype based on early lab results and no prototypes is something to stay away from to preserve financial health.

    • I fully agree.

      The technology I am watching is the Aquion saltwater battery. It is in production and already has applications. It is competitive with lead-acid but has much longer service life. It is also non-toxic when it comes time to recycle. Maybe not earth shattering but at least competent.

      • cB, I am watching that one also, for grid scale stuff. Still many questions, but I have not uncovered any obvious show stoppers. Its basically a cost/cycle life question.

    • Supercaps are a bloody clever alternative to batteries for storage of small amounts of energy. Being just a capacitor, they are ‘fully charged’ at whatever voltage they are at, and the voltage is somewhat irrelevant.

      So what can you tell us about their pulsed current delivery capability ? Are they low ESR, and can deliver high pulsed current ?

      Electrolytic capacitors including Tantalums, have very high capacitances, but that often comes with an ESR penalty so you can’t really suck a high current out of them, which is often exactly why you would use a cap in the first place.

      G

      • GS, sorry for tardy reply. Was almost done replying on my old iPad when glitched (again). So came to a real computer cause you deserve a real answer before I go to dinner. Stat.
        Supercaps are the highest energy density capacitors by a factor of about 100. But they are still less than garden variety LiIon batteries by a factor of about 10. The difference is power density and cycle life. Supercaps have demonstrated over 1 million full charge discharge cycles at a much less than 1C rate. Best power dense LiIon are 1/5 this power density, with a cycle life of maybe only maybe 100, not 1 million. Horses for courses.
        So for engine start (idle off) and regen braking, super caps are far superior to batteries. Ditto for reactive power correction in AC grids up to about 4MVAR. (Then inertial mass is superior).
        What is particularly interesting for the vehicle future is hybrid hybrids. Take a hybrid vehicle like my Ford Escape, or a Prius, or a Chevy Volt ER. Replace about 1/3 of the battery with super caps. Present volume a bit larger, with my materials a bit smaller. You need to add DC/DC conversion, since otherwise the battery clamps the capacitor. (OK, explanation. Battery voltage declines only a little with charge until the end. How cell phone state of charge indicators work; monitoring voltage. Supercap voltage declines linearly with charge. So, in a simple series or parallel wiring, the battery voltage staying up prevents the super cap from discharging, rendering it mostly useless.) DC/DC electronics are coming down exponentially as frequency is increased by silicon on carbide power transistors. A trick to the gen 4 Toyota Prius my2015. Power conversion electronics are 1/4 of gen 3. Higher frequency, less copper/steel magnetics. Smaller.
        So, I think every vehicle will eventually become a gasoline/electric hybrid, and the energy storage system will be ~1/3 super cap and ~2/3 LiIon battery linked by a solid state DC/DC converter. Just a lowest cost solution to eventually rising oil prices. (Don’t be fooled by the present Saudi price war on US shale oil. Wrote half of a book about that, already. Real pain by 2023-2025).

      • Thanx Ristvan. My kid keeps asking me about stuff like that that I never played around with myself.

        G

      • GS, get ahold of me (I hide in plain sight) and I will send you two explanatory illustrated presentations for your kid. First is a two hour plenary from the 2010 AABC (advanced automotive battery consortium). Second is an update from the 2013 ISDLC (International Symposium on DLC [double layer capacitors, aka supercaps]). I presented there both tutorials and double/single length plenaries until it folded in 2014, as the science had been now fully resolved (by me) and the market path is clear. Settled science, finally, in the literal sense. Regards.

      • Duke Energy is using a hybrid of super capacitors and Aquion batteries for grid stabilization.

        I found the capacitors surprising. I’ve been involved with a number of large uninterruptible power systems (tens of kW). The grid could do literally anything and the equipment behind the ups would be completely unaware of it. We had large banks of lead-acid or ni-cad batteries plus diesel generators and nary a trace of a supercapacitor.

      • cB, you are seeing the simple (via DC/DC) elegant combination of energy dense batteries plus power dense super caps, in real world applications. That is what engineers far smarter than I do with scientific advances (of the minor sort in my issued US, Japan, Korea, Russia, patents).

      • So, in a simple series or parallel wiring, the battery voltage staying up prevents the super cap from discharging, rendering it mostly useless.)

        This doesn’t make sense to me. In order for the battery to prevent the supercap from discharging, it has to be supplying the power. But the whole point of using (super)caps is their fast response time/high power compared to batteries. The ESR of the battery should make it a non-issue over the time scale of interest.

    • Yes, almost certainly 90% hype, and the rest digestive gases. Magic does not happen easily in the well trodden world of batteries.

    • Thank you Rud for your balanced and informative post here. It confirms my gut feeling based on experience in areas I actually know something about that genuine — game changing — breakthroughs are very uncommon and that virtually all technology improvements are small and incremental. Mostly technology based stuff seems to improve exponentially and often, the exponent is pretty small.

      My gut feeling, based on no numbers whatsoever, is that batteries capable of making intermittent power sources practical at grid level probably will happen. But not for 30 or 40 years. (About the time that the general public, even the nut cases, has given up on green power.)

    • Ristvan says,
      “That is bassackwards”
      An amusing word to an excellent post. Thanks. I also am occasionally dyslexic. It is ok as I understand 10 out of 4 people are.

      • David,
        ‘bassackwards’ is a word that has been in common use for at least 40 years, and I expect much longer than that. Google the word and see the number of hits.

  18. Conductive polyacetylene has been around for many, many years. From the end of the wikipedia entry-

    “Polyacetylene has no commercial applications,…Therefore, much attention in recent years has shifted to other conductive polymers for application purposes, e.g. polythiophene and polyaniline.”

    So, despite decades of work, it has not made any commercial inroads. It has been a great research vehicle with which to learn about how to synthesize conductive and semiconducting/luminescent polymers with much better properties than polyacetylene.

    Well known problems have prevented its use-
    “Polyacetylenes suffer from many drawbacks including instability in air and insolubility in solvents making it essentially impossible to process the material… When polyacetylene is exposed to air, oxidation of the backbone by O2 occurs. Infrared spectroscopy shows formation of carbonyl groups, epoxides, and peroxides.”

    Based on this information, the cost estimates claimed by biosolar may be plausible, but until small scale production of battery packs is under way, they are just guesses.

    The energy density comparison is missing critical information. The Tesla battery uses individual standard lithium cells packaged into an array. The packaging of the biosolar battery is not defined. The packaging has a huge impact (factors of 2 or 3) on energy density of the finished device.

    Also, high energy density (by weight or volume) is not an important metric for stationary energy storage systems used for intermittent wind or solar. Number and depth of charge/discharge cycles before end of life, self-discharge rates, and maximum discharge rates while avoiding damage are much more important.

    A low cost, long life battery technology will immediately find application for anyone who lives in a utility distribution area that has adopted time-of-use electricity pricing. Charge the pack at night when prices are low, and discharge for use in-house when grid prices are high during the day. No solar or wind capital equipment needed.

    • Nope. Graphene clumps due to VanderWahl force. The more you shake it, the larger and tighter the clumps. Ma Nature wants to turn graphene back into graphite. Much easier to just start with graphite, like LiIon anodes today.

      • Uh, if you have loose graphene bits in a jar and shake them then sure they will clump together into graphite, but luckily there is a little nano-engineering that is going into graphene batteries.

      • RWTurner, here is Dr. James Tour, Rice U. synthetic chemist in Dec., 2015 talking about graphene (his lab is a pioneer in graphene research — personally, I think his is the premier graphene research lab in the world):


        (youtube)

        From the video’s description:

        Microsupercapacitors are not batteries, but inch closer to them as the technology improves. Traditional capacitors store energy and release it quickly (as in a camera flash), unlike common lithium-ion batteries that take a long time to charge and release their energy as needed.

        This is REAL science — not mere “game changer” hype. They admit that they are not there yet…

        (there are lots of great graphene and nano-tech videos by Tour, et. al. on youtube, just FYI)

      • ristvan


        Ma Nature wants to turn graphene back into graphite. Much easier to just start with graphite, like LiIon anodes today.

        Much easier to just burn coal.

      • I can actually speel Kemystery, and that’s about my limit. But just a WAG suggests that the extraordinary ability of carbon to form a near infinity of different molecules, is also its Achilles heel, in that it is not all that reluctant to have one molecule turn into a different one at the drop of a hat.

        So stability and lifetime have been perennial problems with things made from carbon chemistry.

        The early liquid crystal displays failed right before your eyes out in sunlight. These problems were eventually solved so that today liquid crystals are a mature technology.

        Any reversible chemical process, would seem to be a hazardous thing to hang your hat on for longevity.

        The automobile industry for example struggles continually to get ‘plastic’ materials that survive for years out in the sun, for things like lighting windows. PMMA seems to be one of a very few materials that can last almost as long as the car.

        G

      • Dear RW Turner,

        I don’t want to appear to have been contradicting you (just supplementing and supporting, I hoped) by my synthetic chemistry/graphene video comment above. Here is what appears to be a video (posted Feb., 2016) about working graphene batteries (RC hobbyists are using them) to SUPPORT you. :)

        Create This (with “Jesse”)

        (youtube)

        “… you can get more amperage through-put from these batteries than you would a traditional battery as a result of the graphene layer that they’ve embedded in the battery… [thus,] one of the advantages is cycle life … 600 plus [cycles] … [one guy said] 1,000 cycles and only 20% reduction in capacity…

        [v. a v. cars] … [you] don’t get any extra capacity, but that additional through-put and … that additional cycle life could make them desirable …”

        Not ready for cars yet, but the guy (Jesse) is hopeful… .

        That’s nice. Sure wouldn’t invest my money in Mr. Sowell’s “game changer” at this point, though. Especially when I see no need for electric cars — at all. I’m not denigrating those who like them. I’m just stating a fact: electric cars are desirable to some, but, needed by none.

        ******************************

        Anyway, R W, there are, indeed, batteries using graphene.

        And for the last time, WORDPRESS, would you stop turning “graphene” (grrrr — did it AGAIN!) into “grapheme!” (as if WordPress can hear me… or cares, lol).

        Hoping that your silence was not due to being offended,

        Your WUWT ally for science realism,

        Janice

      • I just don’t always have time to respond.

        We’re just now scratching the surface on graphene production, engineering, and marketing. It has only been properly studied since the early 2000s and wasn’t catching on as a major research interest until the 2010 nobel prize paper about it’s isolation and properties.

        Going from its first isolation and major study to marketable products in under 10 years is remarkable. It is my opinion that the material will revolutionize the world in this century.

  19. The first issue is the absence of any actual performance demonstration that such a battery can be built.
    Assuming that it can, then the most obvious effect will be on automakers : gas powered vehicles will immediately become obsolescent, although it will take many years for a complete changeover.
    As for renwable energy systems, the author of this article obviously has a fair amount of igorance as to the problems with using wind and solar. Wind and solar are unreliable, and storing energy in a battery does nothing to change that fact. Even though the batteries can operate successfuly a large proportion of the time (which they can’t) the grid requires a certain level of capacity and batteries can only store energy,
    not generate energy. They are dependent upon an unreliable source of power and therefore are also unreliable as well. Their storage capacity can be far less than the amount of power required before the unreliable sources begin generating sufficient amounts again. A simple extended period of cloudy weather can destroy a grid that is heavilly dependent upon solar and calm winds can do likewise for wind power.
    There are also the cost considerations – wind mills cost way way more than advanced nuclear generators like molten salt, which will be the cheapest power of all, and the safest as well.

    • Is there a reason that the cost of converting the direct current (DC) coming from solar cells and batteries to alternating current (AC) is not discussed? Seems to me that a whole lot of transistors would be involved.

      • James Francisco

        Is there a reason that the cost of converting the direct current (DC) coming from solar cells and batteries to alternating current (AC) is not discussed? Seems to me that a whole lot of transistors would be involved.

        Losses (as a perfect efficiency) increase with power, then level off as conversion gets to higher and higher power levels. (Cables get huge, het sinks and their coolers change from free air circulation, to fans, to water-cooled rectifiers, etc. )
        Figure 8-10% losses each way.
        You start with 100 Watts from your primary power plant, than plant will be anywhere from 35% efficient to 62% efficient at using the available chemical energy of fossil fuel. 15% to 20% of available “green energy” solar or wind power.
        Transfer that power from the primary generator to the storage unit and convert what is left over after 3-5% transmission losses and 8-10% AC-DC conversion losses (both of which become useless heat) then into battery power in the form of a chemical change + more heat losses (those charging chemical conversion losses are also 85 to 92% efficient – this battery may be better than most. May be much worse.)
        Store the energy as chemical energy. Then wait.
        Some batteries lose 1-3% in storage losses over time, some don’t. We don’t know what this battery will lose in conversion efficiency from electrical DC current to chemical energy, then from chemical energy to released DC electrical energy.
        Re-convert the stored DC electrical energy to AC (85% – 90% chemical to electrical DC current is a very, very good return value!), then send the new AC power back up the transmission line voltages (1-3% losses again in the transformers and HV lines cross-country.)

      • James,

        Converting from AC (power line) to DC (to charge finger toys) and verse vicea to go from Solar cells / batteries to power line AC is a very thoroughly researched technology. The term ‘switching power conversion’ would generally describe it.

        AC has advantages in that magnetic transformers, can convert to almost any voltage or current values that you would want, but magnetic circuit elements are bulky, costly and consume lots of iron and copper.

        Switching power supplies allow you to go both ways, and have a good deal of flexibility in voltage or current ranges, but ultimately the ratings of semiconductor switching devices restrict what you can do.

        You can think of a switching power supply as akin to stomping your foot on the gas pedal of your car, all the way to the floor, but then quickly getting off it, before you hit the car in front, and then you keep on doing that adjusting the stomps and let ups to maintain the speed you want.

        The common desktop IBM or Apple type computers use some of the best examples of efficient switching power supply technology. The don’t use ordinary magnetic transformers, of the older door stop transformers.

        Most computer switching power supplies these days guarantee better than 80% conversion efficiency, and that seems to be a more or less required minimum.

        Some of the very best higher power computer supplies boast up to 92% efficiency at design full load.

        That may seem like a miniscule improvement for a lot more cost, but that is a mistaken idea.

        a 1,000 watt AC input power supply with 80% efficiency will put out 800 watts, more than enough for all but the biggest home computers. So a 92% efficient one will give you 920 watts out . Big Deal !!

        Well yes it is, because the 80% one is generating 2 1/2 times as much waste heat as the 92% one, and that is far more important than what you pay for at the PG&E desk. Heat kills electronics, and shortens lifetime.

        The solid state lighting industry is going through the same revolutions now. To run LED lighting off the line, you need efficient line AC to controlled drive current output for the LEDs.

        Once again, the companies making the LED drivers, think 80% is an acceptable efficiency.

        It is NOT ! Modern efficient LED semiconductor diodes, are running at over 99% internal quantum efficiency, converting current electrons to radiated photons. Well you still have to get the photons out of a high refractive index light trap.

        So to recover from the losses in an 80% efficient driver circuit, you only need to raise the internal quantum efficiency up to 124.8%.

        The clowns designing the LED drivers think their failures can be compensated at the highest difficulty technology end.

        That will change. But eventually it will be recognized that there is merit in a low voltage solar cell to battery to LED all at off line DC architecture for a lot of lighting.

        18 volts is a fairly common number for running six GaN Blue pumped white light diodes in series, and that is a good voltage for both batteries, and solar panels.

        Lighting should come off grid in some applications, and do it at the lower voltage.

        G

    • ‘gas powered vehicles will immediately become obsolescent’

      ????????????????????????????????????????????

    • All very well. But slaying the intermittency demon would be a heap big hurdle for the solar and wind interests to get past.

  20. … Looking for a battery company to work with, which I think means looking to do a patent license deal with a company in the lithium battery business.

    Might be great for long-lasting lawnmower so or cordless power tools, or even a Segway, but I would not want one on a plane or on a highway…

    • The company itself says it has not yet filed any battery patent applications. One PCT on hybrid conducting polymer supercaps, nationalized into the US 2/2016 and not yet published. Nothing to license (yet).

      • So you’re saying that Roger E. Sowell lied when he put this in the article: “The battery, which is now patent-pending at the US and other patent offices…”?

    • > Might be great for long-lasting lawnmower so or cordless power tools, or even a Segway …

      How about a battery powered snow thrower? Who wants to tinker with a temperamental gasoline powered small engine in sub-freezing weather? With deep cycle lead-acid — which is what is used in my battery powered lawnmower — the snow thrower would probably be too heavy to move.

  21. From CNN Money, February 2016:

    “The Company plans to pursue key benchmarks that include designing and building prototype electrodes and battery cells in multiple stages that will facilitate systematic evaluation of the technology’s performance.”

    They haven’t built a battery yet. What is the basis for these claims?

      • Indeed. All it lacks is a serious source of water and maybe half a billion dollars worth of pumps and plumbing to push water up from Black Canyon to Lake Mead.

  22. Orrrrr, it’s a pitch designed to match John Kerry’s challenge, to stimulate investment.

    These folks look like they are burning cash pretty fast. They need to find some deep-pocket, long-view ( for this, patient) investor and partners, or someone to buy them out of business.

    • But I still think a rechargeable rider mower would be neat, or a long duty cycle electric scooter…

  23. You might want to get an explanation of why this is a penny stock. I mean with such perfect world descriptions and all. I don’t care if it is still in development with no revenue yet.

  24. It’s not a game changer until the game changes, and this we will know in the fullness of time.

  25. Hmmm.

    Gasoline energy density: 46 MJ/kg
    BioSolar battery energy density = 0.0036 x 459 = 1.65 MJ/kg

    Since a gasoline tank is basically a chunk of cheap cast plastic costing maybe $10 to make I’d say that this advance is a little underwhelming.

    Or conversely, if you are into iPads instead of Teslas, a methanol fuel cell in an iPad would allow it to operate for roughly a month without recharge. And recharging would take about a minute. So, Nobel scientists, can we have a methanol fuel cell for electronic devices please?

    • BoN, we worked on that at MOT. Idea was meyhanol fuel cell battery charger, not battery replacement. Further idea was for developing world where electricity is unreliable or even unavailable. Worked technically, although we struggled with commercial lifetime and cost. We finally realized that anybody anywhere who can afford a cell phone has access to sufficient electricity. No market.

    • There were two competing methanol fuel cell laptops heading to market at the turn of the century. Somehow, they never made it. Good reviews by people who had them, with some drawbacks, but everyone that knew anything was saying they would be a good alternative to batteries, especially when no outlet-power was to hand. I don’t know what happened. They didn’t make it. Toshiba was one of the makers. I forget the other.

  26. Yawn. A revolutionary “game changing” new battery technology and five dollars buys you a cup of coffee. These things get announced roughly twice a day. Let me know when they can mass-produce a working product that actually passes the purchasing tests of car and device manufacturers. Until then, talk is cheap.

  27. I am reminded that in Monopoly, when one player goes bankrupt that also changes the game.

  28. So if this turns out to be as cost effective as stated, does that mean Tesla will no longer need government subsidies to stay in business?

  29. Perspective is everything. The energy density of 459 Wh/kg is still a lot less than that of wood.

  30. ristvan
    April 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

    “Hate to be a damp blanket, but…”
    Very nice analysis ristvan! If we did this kind of reporting in the mining industry in Canada, the SEC would shut down our trading and have a little chat with you to see if you should be suspended, fined or jailed. It sounds like stock pumping. There is no way you can make the kind of comparisons to other products without having built, probably several generations of batteries, resolved manifold glitches, tested numbers of cycles for recharging, shelf life, deterioration, charge leak, hazards, etc. Physicists are among the worst offenders in technological fields because they think engineering is a poor cousin of physics and chemistry and think it beneath themselves to engage an engineer, even if you are speculating on what you think you have. This technology doesn’t sound as far along as fusion energy is.

    • Agree. Somewhere between fusion and LENR. Theoretical physics has never produced anything other than ideas. It is the resulting engineering hard slog that eventually, maybe, sometimes, produces something useful. I travelled that hard slog once concrning Helmholtz double layer capacitance. A multiyear saga journey worthy of The Princess Bride.

    • Yes, and the derriere licking name itself, “Biosolar” raises at least two red flags.

  31. The company announced this just last February: http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/11G081006-001.htm
    That would be the real hurdle, but it would be interesting to find out if they have inked any of those partnerships yet [although that’s probably a year long process itself]. This is where the green eyeshades guys get a look at the real world economics of the thing. More power to ’em if they got something worthwhile. I’m one that believes these things can be game changers; the changes in the last ten years of battery tech are already enabling the drone explosion.

  32. “…will make them undeniably cost-competitive with gas-powered vehicles. ”

    Watch me denie it. A bad idea is still a bad idea, even at 1/4th cost. I suspect that Sowell is is the only person who thinks he is a credible source of info. Typical from the land of fruits and nuts.

    Again it a power industry thing verses all those who chose other lines of work. Sowell is a chemical engineer not a power engineer. The ICE and steam turbine have the ability large amounts of work for there size.

    So do motors when connected to a stationary high voltage power supply that only infrequently sends a fireball to vaporize the electrician that comes to investigate why it is running hot. All my pump motors that have the horsepower to run a car are in nice clean air conditioned rooms not vibrating down a dirt road.

    Motors and batteries lose efficiency under higher loads. The same with faster charging. Lower efficiency translates to higher operating temperatures which shortens the life of components. Sometimes they just short out, sometimes there is a interesting fire signaling end of life.

    As far as Sowells wind and solar BS, storage is not an issue yet. It is that ugly tendency of power system components to end life requiring the fire brigade to be called. Of course, we who have spent time up close and personal with those components, try to avoid such events by close monitoring and shutting things down before they fail.

    On the other hand, great improvements have been made auto ICE over the years. I have had several with more than 250 miles on the block that did not use a quart of oil between oil changes. Proven performance versus wishful thinking.

    • Retired Kit P wrote, “Sowell is a chemical engineer not a power engineer.” A battery is an electro-chemical device.

      Please provide your opinion on the advisability of using electric motors to drive railroad locomotives.

      Electric motors have advantages over internal combustion engines (in automotive systems) with respect to packaging and power transmission. These include one motor per wheel or axle located at the wheel or axle; no torque converter or clutch or multi-ratio transmission with reverse; regenerative braking; and simplified ABS, traction control and electronic stability control. What are your views about these features?

      • Railroad locomotives are powered by diesel fueled ICE.

        There are many examples of diesel electric drives and variable speed steam turbine generators in heavy load applications. Does not apply to puny little cars.

        “Electric motors have advantages over internal combustion engines (in automotive systems)”

        ICE is a power source. An electric motor needs a power source. Rovingbroker is either dishonest or ignorant.

        “What are your views about these features?”

        The weak link is the battery. Since this essay is about a new battery I think maybe Rovingbrover is more on the dishonest side. Last new car I bought was a 2007 Corolla for $16k. The fuel tank will store enough energy to get us 400 miles. Since my wife needs potty breaks more often that is not an issue. I suspect the engine will outlast my wife and I. The car handles just fine. Since I do not drive aggressively, none of those features impress me.

        I am not a car guy, at least since I became a parent with responsibilities. I follow the KISS principle. Keep it simple stupid. I like to adjust my seat manually not with a motor that adds weight to a car. I check consumer reports for the reliability of the drive drive train.

        It will be a long time before an EV will beat a Corolla.

      • Well I can comment on one aspect of your question.

        The ” one motor per wheel or axle located at the wheel or axle ”

        This is a very old idea, A lot of work was done on ” pancake motors ” that were more disk like electric motors than cylindrical rotor types.

        What could be simpler, a flat motor located right in the wheel, directly driving the wheel, no drive shaft needed.

        But there’s a catch: ….. Unsprung weight …..

        Well more accurately it is unsprung mass.

        The suspension of a car connect two masses together, well actually five masses on most cars, those being the five wheels, and the rest of the car.

        When your car hits a bump, the wheel gets driven upward, and it connect that impulse to the rest of the car, through the suspension (the springs).

        The mass of the automobile is the ‘sprung’ mass, and the wheel/tire/brake/pancake motor/whatever, is the unsprung mass, it is usually in direct contact with the road.

        But when the wheel bounces up from hitting a bump the compressed spring force, pushes up on the car, and down on the wheel.

        The ratio of the sprung mass to the unsprung mass, determines how much each one moves. If the car is much more massive than the wheel, the car body moves upwards very little.

        But if the car body is light and the wheel is heavy (big Detroiosaurus Maximus, balloon tires) then the body moves a lot more and the ride is very rough and uncomfortable.

        If the car is a sports car (or not) the car can only accelerate, or brake if the wheel is on the ground, so the more the unsprung mass is, relative to the sprung mass, the longer it takes to put the wheel back down on the road, so the tire can grip the surface, either for acceleration or braking or more importantly for going around a corner instead of flying off the side of the road.

        So sports and race cars, minimize the unsprung to sprung mass ratio to get fast responsive suspension systems that don’t jar the bones of the driver or passengers.

        So those nifty pancake motors which are a great idea, are unfortunately an unsprung weight element that you cannot afford to have. Disk brakes, and unballoon tires have helped reduce unsprung weight and made modern cars much more comfortable riding.

        The Mercedes W-196 GP car of 1954/55 and its 300 SLR sports car version had inboard brakes, which then become part of the sprung weight, instead of the unsprung. The penalty of course is the complexity of the universal joints needed for the drive axles.

        So if you are a fan of those giant 16 inch or larger wheels on your road chariot, thinking they look cool, just remember that you are paying an unsprung weight penalty for that cool look. By the way, they don’t look even remotely cool.

        G

  33. I found Sowell’s blog that I have seen before. He is a typical California anti-nuke. He is more interested in renewable energy as replacement for nuclear power than for the merits of renewable energy. Not so interested in reducing ghg.

    Here is an example: http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/us-power-generation-capacity-factors.html

    “What is frequently, and wrongly, stated by nuclear power proponents (cheerleaders as I refer to them) is nuclear plants run at 100 percent output. Note that no amount of repeating a lie will change the lie from false to true.”

    Most of the time, nuke plants do run at 100%. Refueling outages and maintenance is scheduled for periods of low demand. Availability of nuke plant when schedule to operate is about 99%.

    “The wind dies down in the Summer, with August having the minimum output and a capacity factor of 22 percent. ”

    Sowell does not address that wind is lowest during peak demand.

    “Natural gas power plants are ideally suited for load changing, in great contrast to nuclear power plants that refuse to change their output even at night when demand is low and no one needs their power. ”

    Nuke plants do load follow in France because of the high mix of nuclear. US plants can load follow but there is always a need for power even at night.

    Ok then Sowell has an agenda. What I find amusing is that he is frustrated when the anti-wind agenda uses the anti-nuke playbook. .

    • Retired Kit P, what I find amusing is your blatant distortion of the facts to suit your pro-nuclear agenda. Nukes run at 100 percent? They do, do they? Not according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Note to all, this is a favorite trick of those who cannot stand the light of day on the harsh, cold reality, so they invent a new method of calculating to make their dismal numbers look better. The trick is to use “availability” as the base point, meaning days when the plant is NOT offline for planned maintenance nor for refueling.

      What is indisputably true about nuclear plants in the US and their average annual capacity factors (based on 365 days per year, not some “availability” nonsense) is that the Nuclear Energy Institute published a chart showing that the US nuclear plants did not break 60 percent capacity factor for their first 30 years of existence. Only in about 1988 was the 60 percent point reached. Then, another decade was required to reach 80 percent on average. In the past few years, the figure is 90 to 92 percent. Not 100 percent. But you could look it up.

      And I am especially amused at your jibe at the wind capacity factors — couldn’t bring yourself to admit that wind capacity factor, on average for an entire month in the US, was 43 percent in month of April – meaning that on some days it was more than 43 and some days a bit less. Can’t have that 43 percent floating around out there, it might make wind look respectable.

      One last word about wind, of course the power flows when the wind blows. If the grid has demand when the wind is blowing, well and good. Here in California, the grid peaks each evening around 8 to 9 pm. The wind is usually generating quite well at that time.

      Next, you are quite wrong about France and nuclear plants following the load. They can follow the load, but many of them don’t for safety and economic reasons. Only those that are specially modified, and with highly trained operators, follow the load. As published papers have stated, there are safety compromises involved, and higher costs involved. You could look it up.

      • re Janice Moore, and “Go, Nuclear Power!”

        A nuclear cheerleader, no doubt about it.

        No substance, but certainly has the slogan and cheering part down.

        No refutation of the 15 anti-nuclear arguments made by Professor Derek Abbot in his 2011 article “Is Nuclear Power Globally Scalable?” published in Proceedings of the IEEE. Note that only 3 of Dr. Abbot’s 15 arguments appear in my list of more than 30 reasons not to build nuclear.

        No refutation, just cheerleading.

      • Why, dear Roger Sowell,

        Didn’t you know? The safety, the effectiveness, the efficiency, and the long-term viability, of nuclear power are (among the level of reader here): common knowledge.

        There is, thus, no need to state anything but the conclusion.

        Re: your posing as if you are wanting refutation for your supported-only-by-misinformation nuclear power assertions, I’ve come to believe, given your past inability to understand the evidence and reasoning presented you on thread after thread, year after year, by experts and informed-laypersons, that presenting that evidence to you yet again would be a waste of time.

        And I think, especially given your smirkingly patronizing, tone, that your question is a dishonest one: you don’t really want to learn, you just want to rave.

        I’ll just say this: France.

        So, lol, I will say it again, with gusto:

        GO, NUCLEAR POWER!

        — but the nuclear power industry does not need any cheerleaders. The facts, presented honestly and not in a “fraud on the court” manner, speak quite loudly enough.

        Nuclear power is for thinking people.

        Apparently, that does not include you. Emotions have completely fogged in your ability to look at this issue rationally.

        Janice

      • For Janice Moore,

        You say (as do so very many of the nuclear un-informed): “France.”

        As if that is the shining beacon of nuclear power success, which all nations should emulate.

        Yet you conveniently overlook the facts that France:
        1. Had to subsidize their entire nuclear power industry (they nationalized it, the ultimate form of subsidy)
        2. Subsidized the electric power sales prices – so much so that other EU countries alleged wrongdoing, and the EU Commission brought charges against France, forcing them to raise prices.
        3. Overbuilt nuclear plants so that only by exporting power at night (to Italy, primarily) are the plants technically viable.
        4. Subsidizes foreign nuclear plant sales in vain hopes of sustaining their nuclear reactor sales
        5. Hoped (again, in vain) that other countries would also install 70 to 85 percent of their electrical generation assets as nuclear – yet not one country in the world followed France’s lead
        6. Has a massively deteriorating electric generation asset base so that nuclear plants provide 70 percent or less of all grid power, down from the low 80 percent range
        7. Cannot build on-budget, nor on-time, any of the new nuclear plants that use the French-developed EPR reactor of 1600 MW. Even the one located within France, at Flamanville, and within French control, has massive delays and cost over-runs due to the French way of design, construction, and management.

        Have you no ability to absorb actual facts, or do you insist upon repeating the cheer: Go Nuclear Power!

        But, we can agree on one thing. It is useless to try to convince you with facts. Your mind is closed.

        Therefore, good day, and may you always wonder why so few nuclear power plants are built around the world, if the technology is so very, very good. Approximately 11 percent of the entire world’s electrical production is from nuclear. That puts nuclear in a distant fourth place, after coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric. You could look it up.

      • If you look at the next to last page, it is an accurate statement to say nuke plants run at 100% power except during periods of maintenance and refueling performed at periods of low demand. http://www.nei.org/CorporateSite/media/filefolder/Policy/EMR/Energy_Markets_Report_Mar_28_Apr_1_2016.pdf?ext=.pdf

        “Only in about 1988 was the 60 percent point reached. Then, another decade was required to reach 80 percent on average. In the past few years, the figure is 90 to 92 percent.”

        Sowell makes a good point. Nuke plants were designed to have a capacity factor of 80%. My first commercial plant and many other achieved that goal. However, there were many nuke plants that were not managed very well. In 1988 I worked at a nuke that was shut down for several years because the neglected routine maintenance.

        The interesting thing about the nuclear industry is that we work together to improve performance of all nuke plants. For the last 20 or so years, nuke plants have performed 10% better than predicted when build and provided 20% of our power.

        “was 43 percent in month of April”

        Nobody cares. Wind produced 4% of US power. If wind produced 20% of our power and had a 43% CF on cold winter night and hot summer days, we would all care. Of course the reason would be that those wind farms would be an economic asset not a drain on the economy.

        “Next, you are quite wrong about France and nuclear plants following the load. They can follow the load, but …”

        Sowell does some nifty backpedaling. Lawyers are good at that when caught in a lie. All LWR are designed to load follow. The training is the same. Running at lower power increases design margin (duh). The reason they load follow is for economic reasons. France imports fossil fuels making load following with nukes more economical.

        The same is true for California since California imports ⅓ of its power and a lots of natural gas to run in-state gas plants. The reason for the sad state of affairs in California is too many lawyers.

      • And if the wind speed drops to half the design operating wind speed, you have only lost 87.5% of your generating capacity.

        G

  34. Just the diesel numbers for comparison: 8350 Wh/kg @ $0.05/kg (US fuel price) 3 minutes recharging. Compare this with the fast battery: 358 Wh/kg @, $85/kg, 12 min recharge.

    Synthetic Diesel from nuclear sounds more promising to me.

    • I’m a waste oil diesel recycler, myself. I get free cooking oil, mostly canola but whatever, from 3 Chinese restaurants who used to pay to have it hauled off. They pour warm oil from the vats through a filter funnel I provided back into the plastic lined box it comes in. I take the box to a warehouse and don’t touch it for 3 months to let the food settle out of it. 3″ off the bottom, we pump out the nearly pure oil and feed it through 2 fuel filter/water separators used in diesel trucks as fuel filters. Filtered oil fills a 55 gallon plastic barrel. I dump in 1 gallon of paint thinner (mineral spirits) I get free from painting contractors which thins the oil for injection. In Winter, in SC, I double the thinner to make sure it’ll start. My unmodified 300TD Mercedes diesel wagon makes less knocking noise and gets about 22-24 mpg out of it….for free. It recharges in 3 minutes for about 300+ miles with a hand pump after a little quick stir with a very scientific oak boat paddle. I smells slightly like a fish fry, not french fry, from Chinese waste oils….(c;]

      Try not to sell me a $10,500 electric car battery……no thanks!

      • Larry you are my kind of guy. So we each need our own three Chinese restaurants. I hope you do like Chinese food (I do).

        The high speed around the world racing boat that Green piece used to harass Japanese whale research ships, was supposed to run on liposuction fat.

        See the beauty of that, some people, specially in America, could actually run their diesel Mercedes off themselves, and lose weight while they are at it.

        g

  35. Going by their minimal information on the website is sounds like a new material for a polarized capacitor, or an electric double layer capacitor. They hint that the usual battery re-dox reaction takes place in a plastic film.

  36. “BioSolar”.
    Just the name throws up red flags. (Why not “BioBreakingWind”?)
    Maybe the name is just marketing appealing to the current political climate (Those who have the power to make the taxpayer sign the checks.),
    I’d like to hope that it is a genuine advancement, one that can stand on its own merits in the marketplace without props supplied by the taxpayers.
    (Hard to get all of the “Solyndras” out of my mind.)

  37. …as we all sit at the dinner table in the cold and dark wondering why we couldn’t recharge 4.2M Tesla Model 3’s when Daddy gets home…..

  38. “…Our Super Cathode can be used to manufacture a super battery…”

    Everything is always “super” with Biosloar.

  39. Great stuff, I am all for it. But there is an associated nagging background problem: It is not yet in production and they just signed an agreement with the University of California to do further research. The patent they actually have is not for a battery but for an organic super-capacitor which they say will be useful with the battery. The project leader is a Nobel Prize winner with fantastic credentials. In addition to the Nobel he has also won half a dozen other awards and has honorary Ph.D.-s from universities in America, Europe, and Asia. Plus, he has also published 900 scientific articles. That last number galls me. If you write a paper every two weeks it will take you 36 years to write 900 of them. And that ignores the ediiting process and delays. It is obvious that to get to 900 he had to have obliging co-workers who wrote stuff that he put his name on. Who else but his graduate students would do such a thing, thinking that the prof will reward them? And if that is the case, a good part of his published work is probably not his but his ghostwriters work. His Nobel is for that organic super-capacitor, about the origin of which I now have my doubts. In view of that, I hope he has somebody in his new research team who knows something about it. I would hate to see the same thing happen to this game changer as happened to the last one (that famous cold fusion thing).

  40. Poly-acetylene type ‘organic metals’ still had serious long term stability issues last time I checked. There are also other issues with organo-electronics, not least the interface between the material and the proper metal that conducts bulk-current. Lots of claims are made for materials of all sorts, but they are rarely even close to practical. I doubt anything much has changed.

    When they have something in actual production, not just projected, then I will take it seriously.

  41. What am I missing here? I am being charged from 6 cents to 15 cents per kiloWatt (kW) hour for my electricity at home. But this new electricity battery would store it at a cost of $100 per kiloWatt hour or
    from 667 to 1,667 times what I buy home power for. A markup of $99.85 to $99.94 per kiloWatt hour. Why store wind and solar power, just keep buying the cheap 6 cent to 15 cent power from my dirty coal power plant or cleaner natural gas power plant. Is the reduction of pollution worth a premium of $99 per hour?

    The solution to pollution is dilution. California has the top 10 worst cities for air pollution but only uses coal power imported from Arizona, Nevada or Utah. California has smog because it is a Basin State that traps air emissions in inversion layers. Conversely, Texas has none of its big cities on the worst air pollution list despite they import coal to burn in their local power plants. Why? Because they are a Plains State where the wind dissipates the pollution instead of traps it. Buy a Tesla for status symbol in Beverly Hills (Basin) not in Plano, Texas (Plains).

    What does the overall cost for running a hybrid car compared to a battery car with this new technology?

    • The one-time cost of the battery is what the $100 per kWh means. So, for a battery suitable for the Tesla, which presently has 85 kWh capacity, the price for that battery is $8,500. Compared to the $400 per kWh that the present batteries cost, that is about a $25,000 savings for the same performance.

      In a home power situation, one could buy a 24 kWh battery for $2400, that would store up and release 3 kW for 8 hours.

      • Or for home power I could buy a backup generator to get the same or more kWh for less money. Ten gallons of gas will give more than eight hours of power. And more hours can be acquired with additional tanks of gas rather than buying additional batteries for $2400 apiece. Not to mention that gasoline engines have been around a long time and are quite reliable, as opposed to unproven new technologies.

      • “about a $25,000 savings”

        The way to save money is not to spend it in the first place.

        You can buy a 3kw generator for $300. I charge my motorhome batteries with an $88 800 watt Harbor Freight generator because the batteries will only charge so fast. Also have a 20 year old 7kw Onon generator if I want run both A/C units, microwave, frig, and hot water at the same time while charging batteries.

      • Battery capacity is often specified at a load that can be sustained for 20 Hrs; ‘ The 20 Hr rate ‘

        So a 24 kWh battery would be more suitable for 1.2 kW for 20 hours.

        My house has 200 watt total lighting power consumption if I turn everything on. (my wife does).

        G

    • “Is the reduction of pollution worth a premium of $99 per hour?”

      Where do you live Wayne? The solution to pollution is controlling pollution with engineered systems. North America has good air quality. https://www.airnow.gov/

      It should be noted that we cleaned up our cities without EV.

  42. We’ve conquered nature and Nazi’s, now we swat at the gnats of “terrorism”.
    Without another preoccupation things might get really nasty.

  43. As to battery or electro-chemical storage devices in grid service, the link below shows a world-wide database from the US Department of Energy on grid-storage projects. The electro-chemical devices show 893 projects and a bit more than 2,300 MW of capacity worldwide.

    The advanced Biosolar battery is simply an improvement on already demonstrated technology.

    http://www.energystorageexchange.org/projects

    And of course there are also batteries in the plug in hybrid, pure hybrid, and pure electric vehicles that are sold in many countries. In the US alone there have been approximately 3 million hybrid vehicles sold since 2005. The trend is increasing with approximately 400,000 such cars sold in each of the past three years. Those sales were with the older, less-dense and more costly batteries. The new battery that this article describes will indeed make the electric car much more competitive.

    It is astonishing to me that so many commenters have the buggy-whip mentality. No new technology could possibly be better than a reliable horse and a smooth-running buggy, they said. Everyone knows how that turned out.

    And a comment about the time for battery development that some commenters complain is far too long. It is a bit odd that solar cells using the photo-electric effect required decades and decades of research, government (meaning NASA) funding, before commercialization. Einstein published on the photo-electric effect in 1905 and won the Nobel prize for his discovery. Even earlier, in 1839, Edmund Becquerel discovered that light enhances electricity production in some processes. Then in 1954, Bell Labs invented the first PV solar cell – in the lab, of course. In 1958 NASA launched the first satellites using small but working PV solar cells. In total, that is almost 120 years from the Becquerel discovery to NASA’s first use.

    Yet, a mere 30-plus years from the Nobel prize-winning initial discovery of halogenated polyacetylen, to the most recent battery development announcements, is criticized as taking too long.

    Tough crowd.

    Very tough crowd.

      • Roger Sowell April 8, 2016 at 10:44 pm
        Go do your research and find out for yourself.

        Just as I expected, Roger Sowell won’t answer the question with a straight forward yes or no. Typical Roger Sowell. Unfounded hype of renewables in support of his anti-nuclear rhetoric. Then he complains that it is a tough crowd.

      • For Davidmhoffer, and just where is it required that I answer any questions, especially yours?

        Do you say the same to everyone who tells others to do their own research?

        Having had nothing but negative interactions with you, it would not matter if I did do your research for you (and yes I know if there is a battery or not). Any answer I give would receive your usually snarling, angry response.

      • (and yes I know if there is a battery or not)

        And yet Roger Sowell won’t answer the question. He chooses an evasive response, not because be fears my snarling reply, but because he knows the answer is “no”. By answering the point blank question, he reveals that his entire article is nothing butt a puff piece hyping a game changing technology which, upon examination, doesn’t exist.

        The reason, Roger, that you frequently get a snarling response from me is that just as you have experience with me, so I do with you. My experience is with a purveyor of half truths and misinformation cleverly bound together by careful wording as only a lawyer can. Mixed in with a healthy dollop of evasiveness when backed into a corner on an issue.

        I’m one of those people that thinks the electric car will ultimately prevail. But it won’t get there by hyping break through batteries that it turns out don’t exist.

    • Yes, very tough crowd. Prove it or pack it out. E-Cat, remember that? Very few bought into it while most hoped. Disappointment! These batteries are likely to be the same.

      • http://evobsession.com/electric-car-sales-increased-228-88-2013/

        The predictions of anti-hybrid tech wowsers have not panned-out in 15 years, the market growth is exponential. A flattening of uptake in the US is not what occurs in the much larger Asian and European markets.

        The main issue is not the technology, or its alleged inadequacy or limitation, it’s a function of fuel being a lot cheaper once again, as demand fell as production was rising, commensurate with falling demand due to debt-driven economic malaise globally, and the fact that all car manufacturers are having a great deal of problems clearing the resulting over-production inventories and selling as cheaply as possible to move stock and make their own loan repayments, that just aren’t selling well, for most of the past 9 months.

        As high-end hybrids are generally more expensive to buy in a period where fuel is cheaper and conventional cars also cheaper, in lean economic times, then the sales of hybrid fell away first is all. But all vehicle types and sales are now struggling to clear over produced inventory. Which along with falling commodities and energy price is another classic sign of approaching recession conditions, and falling trade volumes and sales.

        Reading into this that hybrids are going to ‘go away’ is fanciful though, their sales flattened (in the US market). US market’s conditions and preference does not determine such things any longer.

    • “… It is astonishing to me that so many commenters have the buggy-whip mentality. No new technology could possibly be better than a reliable horse and a smooth-running buggy, they said. Everyone knows how that turned out. …”

      Not all Roger, don’t be put off by the lug nuts.

      • Unmentionable; In general I have no objection to R and D, and none to privately funded R&D. However I object to government implementation in markets of what is not ready or needed through purchase subsidies.
        Remove those and your electric vehicle sales will collapse.

      • @David A April 9, 2016 at 4:49 am
        “… However I object to government implementation in markets of what is not ready or needed through purchase subsidies. Remove those and your electric vehicle sales will collapse.”
        ____

        Government R&D? What? Is this your objection to hybrid vehicle sales? You can’t really be that oblivious to the facts, can you?

        The Toyota Hybrid Drive Train technology and its battery technology were not developed or sold via government subsidy, they were developed by a private Japanese corporation doing private corporate R&D and they decided to make a commercial product with it.

        And you’re claiming what instead? That Toyota’s production and their hybrid car development and sales were subsidized by your government? You can’t actually believe that, do you?

        Toyota developed, produced, certified and shipped these hybrids to their private dealer networks, globally, on their own coin, and sold it to private buyers of hybrid vehicles, so they could make a PROFIT.

        That’s called capitalism in a market economies, not government meddling within markets.

        Toyota now can’t make them fast enough, they sell like hot cakes, they are making the company profits.

        So what on earth are you talking about? I can see no connection between your stated or implied objection, and the reality of the situation.

        Every other car producer is now trying to ape what Toyota did, they have basically tried to copy and reinvent their versions of Hybrid drive-train concepts, to compete with Toyota, because it’s a very successful private breakthrough in affordable auto fuel efficiency and existing battery tech applications. The private non-subsidized sales of them are growing exponentially on their own merits.

        You seem to be ideologically reading things into this, that are not said or even implied by me.

        And where is the mythical government support that you say must end? Which will then allegedly lead to the downfall of the millions of sales of hybrid vehicles?

        Got some news for you, it’s not merely the Prius, the Toyota hybrid-electric drive-train models coming out of factories in Asia are now literally too numerous to count. Different hybrid models, not merely cars.

        They keep churning them out as fast as they possibly can. Why? Because people want them. People are buying them, customers think they are great vehicles, and they are right.

        So where’s this pending collapse in Government support that is going to wipe out Hybrid electric drive train vehicles?

        Wake up – there isn’t any. These cars are selling, because they’re in demand with the public, because they’re brilliant for cheap reliable personal transportation.

        And clearly you didn’t read this, my first comment, up the page:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/08/this-new-battery-is-a-game-changer/#comment-2185656

        Don’t give me ideology or politics slop, look at the facts in context, you’ve got everything bassackwards and missed the point, plus had no point and provided no facts or insights, but you did spread more red-herring, while doing it.

      • Well I agree with you that Toyota developed their Prius themselves which is how it is supposed to work, in a free society.

        But to argue that Prius and other Hybrids aren’t subsidized is hardly correct.

        In California at least Hybrids like Prius and others get preferential treatment on the allocation of freeway lanes. They can drive alone in the HOV lanes that were designated for car pools and buses, and from which are excluded regular autos that pay for those lanes to exist, but aren’t allowed to use them.

        Forcing the bulk of the cars to get squeezed into a few lanes, while HOV lanes are almost empty until the occasional Prius or car pool comes along.

        There is nothing about a Prius that reduces traffic congestion on the freeways. The freeways would run more smoothly, and more efficiently with lower gasoline consumption; all of the green goodie, if ALL vehicles were allowed to use ALL lanes, at ALL times, so they could all run at the same speed, and stop all the sideways lane switching BS that creates traffic jams, as well as accidents.

        It’s not about efficiency; it’s about socialist control of otherwise free people’s behavior.

        G

    • Roger Sowell,
      “It is astonishing to me that so many commenters have the buggy-whip mentality. No new technology could possibly be better than a reliable horse and a smooth-running buggy, they said.”

      I doubt you can appreciate how silly a comment this is. The same people you suggest have ‘buggy-whip’ mentality would for sure support practical fusion power were it to become available; would that also be buggy whip technology? The real issue here is the cost of non-GHG emitting power sources, and nuclear power is far and away the cheapest non-GHG emitting source. (Economic justification for the added cost of reducing GHG emissions, by any technoplogy, including nuclear, is a completely different question.) An anti-nuclear advocate like you seems to me as incapable of perceiving his own bias as he is incapable of evaluating bias in others.

      BTW, you have been duped by little more than a press release which seems designed to get a bounce in market interest in the company. Even Nobel Prize winners want to make lots money via IPO’s you know.

    • “In the US alone there have been approximately 3 million hybrid vehicles sold since 2005.”

      Which means approximately 3 million bought cars to feel good about about protecting the protecting the environment without any evidence to support the claim.

      “It is astonishing to me that so many commenters have the buggy-whip mentality.”

      Here is what Sowell does not understand. Not everybody is a gullible as him. Enough information has provided that these batteries are not a proven product, Yet Sowell continues repeating marketing claims.

  44. A battery technology improvement that really helps solar also help every other power source to be cheaper. All need some maintenance and redundancy- with an awesome battery system, you can use at 100% capacity of less units and have it be the sole supplier of energy cutting out competing energy sources so it is cheaper.

  45. Assume in 2020 a tesla with game changer battery is on the road.

    The planning of the needed Infrastruktur can beginn – to reach every location in california with loading stations along the streets allowing reloading where needed from southern to north California.

    Planning is done – 2040, 2050 ?
    Infrastruktur stands – 2060, 2070 ?
    ____________

    Now repeat that for a travel LA to NY.
    And don’t forget the trucks – we started with tesla !
    ____________

    California dreaming.

    • Excellent point. The private economy developed the infrastructure for gasoline and diesel and it has easily adapted to rural areas, there is hardly a road in US where you cannot find a gas station. Of course the fossil fuel haters who use the benefits every day expect the taxpayer (or the fossil fuel companies) to foot the bill for a new grid, back up batteries for unreliable generation, and charging stations for their limited use cars. Who will pay for this nonsense when the fossil fuel companies are broke due to law suits from GORE.
      This is NOT Sustainable after the wealth is spent.

    • You can currently drive your Tesla from Montreal to Miami with adequate quick recharge stations along the route – the charge is free – it has been paid for in the car price. Hotels that want to stay in business offer overnight slow charging for guests. It’s easier than you think.

  46. How do you bring the energy to the loading stations – earth cables along the roads, batterys in containers?

    A fantastic world the greens live in – dream along !

  47. And who pays that – shareholders in Singapore and China?

    – mass hysteria !

  48. Can anyone find statistics on tons of batteries produced for given applications or market sectors?

    I ask because it sure seems to me that if I had a new, better battery, the first place to aim is consumer electronics. Cell phone, tablet, and laptop batteries are small. They will be much easier to produce than large batteries for industrial storage.

    There is also that problem that Willis has brought up of having so much energy stored in a compact location, like a bomb. Liability issues have killed many companies.

    It just seems that if I really have a better battery, I am going to aim at the small applications before for large.

    Thoughts?

    Why go big? Is that the only place there is profit potential? I suspect it is where the government grants and Federally backed loans are available. That, to me, speaks of hypocrisy at least. Financially it implies stupidity or something bordering on fraud.

  49. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    Skeptical. Hardly room for hope.

    I see nothing changing here. If the basics of it started in 1977, and Nobel saw it as established enough to award in 2000, 2016 does seem a long time coming. Especially since a quick internet search reveals nothing promising, especially nothing concrete.

    Besides, a battery twice as good and half as expensive (which seems overly optimistic in this case), won’t change the game. It will make the procedures rich, but phones that last two days instead of one and weigh a few grams less is changing nothing. Same for computers. A ten-hour laptop will sell, but nothing has changed.

    Cars? I just don’t see a new, unproven battery technology starting in cars, unless maybe Elon is betting the farm on it. If so, he and the battery folks will lose. It is a bad bet.

    And stationary industrial applications? Heck, that is hard with proven technology. And weight is not a factor. If cost is truly cheaper, eventually it will take hold, but Edison couldn’t improve on lead-acid significantly, and no one has done it yet. For transportation and industrial energy storage, lead-acid rules. It doesn’t seem likely to change until a better, cheaper battery is proved for many years, in many applications.

    Starting a new-technology battery in transportation and grid-scale applications seems impossible, truly insurmountable.

    Start small, prove it, and then grow.

    This battery promise may prove beneficial, but it is far from game changing.

    Game changing batteries will be 100 times better at comparable costs.

    Until then, we burn carbon-based fuels in vehicles and power plants, with nuclear fission taking over within a few decades.

    I’ll close commenting on wind power: Industrial fans are a fad. They won’t work if batteries prove trivial in cost and simple in engineering with currently unimaginable advances. Windmills just do not work. They are too hard to deal with just as a rotating mechanism, and complicate that with constantly varying winds. They will never work. Wind will never supply a significant portion of society’s energy needs. Never.

    Winds blow, but windmills suck.

    Over and over for over 3,000 years, we have abandoned windmills. We will this time too, and who do we think will clean up the mess?

  50. Approximately the same volume of buried gasoline tanks would be stored in the loading stations as exchange batteries – loaded on trucks, unloaded and stored.

    Changing with cranes at the car. Madness.

  51. Geez, a whole post on a hyped up press release for a mythical battery that is nowhere near production.
    Aren’t there more interesting things to post about?
    As for wind – call me when you solve the bird kill problem and visual pollution of the eco-crucifixes.
    Sowell is an anti nuke whacko.

  52. There seem to be some pretty knowledgeable brains following this discussion/refutation of a battery “break-through”. So along the same line of thinking have any of you seen and looked into this fellow’s “break-through” in generators, motors, and higher efficiency power supplies:

    Seems to me like he might be on to something, but I wish I could see a thermal image of some of his inventions while they are at work, to see if they really are eliminating eddy current losses by reflecting them back towards the source when at resonance. He does have a patents on his concepts so he at least convince a patent examiner something was there:
    https://www.google.com/patents/US4780632
    https://www.google.com/patents/US8482181

    • Patent examiners have no obligation to establish that the invention has any realistic utility or even basic functionality. There have been numerous patents granted to quite absurd “free energy” ho@xes over the decades. Although, it is possible that openly claiming over unity efficiency now raises a red flag.
      But, it is really not the business of the patents office to establish whether the design will be useful or marketable. All that they have to establish is that the idea is novel – as far as I am aware.

  53. A better battery is marvellous news. But … haologenated polyacetylene. Hmm. Are CFCs involved in the manufacture or released in the destruction of this material? Just wondering.

  54. Hey, let’s be optimistic people. If the battery could be made to work, it could be used at grid scale to peak shave with nuclear base load generation. Right, Roger?

    • For Analitik, actually, that grid-scale peak shaving is what motivated utilities to build large pumped storage hydroelectric plants when it became obvious that base load nuclear plants were about to crash the grid each night. Thus we have Ludington on Lake Michigan, rated at 1,800 MW. There are several others of similar size that enable nuclear plants to exist without crashing the grid. The pumped storage plants then perform the peak shaving function when needed. There is a loss of approxmately 20 percent of power due to efficiency losses, so the end result is 2,250 MW of nuclear power is absorbed, 1,800 MW goes out into the grid, and 450 MW heats up the water in the Ludington storage reservoir. That’s a very expensive way to heat water.

      • Roger, you keep trying to perpetuate the myth that nuclear power plants have a fixed output. If that were the case, the US, French, UK, Russian navies would have one hell of a time docking and maneuvering their nuclear powered submarines and surface vessels.

        Nuclear power plants are operated at full power in the US to maximise their capacity factor (and hence profit) and the pumped hydro plants you mentioned were built on this basis. Ontario has enough hydro storage to operate their fleet of CANDU reactors in the same way but the French (lacking the geography for either of these storage systems) do load follow with their reactor fleet.

        How do you feel about curtailed wind turbine operation and spilling from solar plants? Aren’t they monumentally expensive and wasteful ways to utilise infrastructure spending?

      • For Analitik, re nuclear power plants and variable output. Of course a nuclear submarine or an aircraft carrier can have variable power output. And it is also true that the military nuclear power plants are not financially constrained as are land-based commercial electric power plants. The military Nimitz-class carriers presently have two reactors, each the small Westinghouse A4W design that have only 550 MWt output. For those not familiar with the terminology, that is 550 MW thermal, or heat output before any steam turbine splits the output into useful work and waste heat to a condenser. For comparison, a 1,100 MWe Westinghouse AP-1000 commercial nuclear power plant is approximately 6 times larger, at 3,400 MWt output.

        You might wonder, then, why electric utilities don’t just order up a few thousand of the A4W nuclear plants, hook them up to generators, and vary the output as they follow the load. Great question. The answer is, of course, that the tiny A4W plants are far too expensive due to reverse economy of scale. They produce at maximum 200 MW of electricity. Utilities would have paid a premium for load-following ability, then must spread out the huge capital costs over a small electricity sales volume due to not running in baseload mode. Their customers would scream in outrage when the electricity bills arrive.

        Commercial nuclear plant operators realized early on that a 60 percent capacity factor was death to their industry. They had to run at much higher average output to have any hope of competing with natural gas or coal, and they had to forget about ever competing with hydroelectric. They were stunned when the Japanese built a pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant on the coast, using an artificial lake on the cliff and the ocean itself as the lower reservoir. That opens up the entire coastline world-wide, wherever a suitable elevation difference exists not too far from the shore, meaning only about 300 feet above sealevel. Now, all those natural-gas fired power plants that the baseload nuclear plants had forced to shut down or be throttled back each night could keep on running, pumping the seawater into the upper reservoir.

        So, then you ask about curtailing windturbine operation and spilling from solar plants. Two responses to those. First, excess power to a grid drives the prices down. Why anyone that buys electricity sees this as a problem is certainly curious. The market forces take advantage of low prices, and suitable demands for power occur. Just one example is off-peak power at low price, sometimes zero or even negative price, that is used to chill water or freeze the water into ice for use the next day as building cooling.

        Another use, as this article on a better battery discussed, is storage into a grid-scale battery for release later into the grid.

        The second, and even better result of zero or negative power prices is that commercial nuclear power plants cannot compete, and elect to shut down. There are several nuclear plants in the US today that have this problem. FitzPatrick in New York has this problem, and Quad Cities nuclear plant could not win a bid to supply electricity to the grid. There are quite a few others that cannot compete and are screaming for government subsidy to keep the nuclear plants running.

        So, there is one of the truths about nuclear power. Yes, they can follow the load with sufficient added costs, but they dare not in the US because they already cannot compete in the electricity market. Even running flat-out when they can, many of the older (and paid-for) plants cannot compete and sell their power. If they ran as load-following, their output must necessarily be less than maximum. That makes them even less competitive, and they know this.

      • Roger, yet again, you choose to ignore that fact that the French nuclear reactors run at around 75% capacity factor largely due to load following. There are various inefficiencies introduced with this practice but it has not stopped French electricity being the lowest priced in Europe (in stark contrast to those nations that have chosen to implement renewable generation on large scale).

        As for “First, excess power to a grid drives the prices down. Why anyone that buys electricity sees this as a problem is certainly curious”, that statement shows you have no clue on the real economics of power generation.

      • In support of Analitik: please look up “prices for electricity per country” you will notice that the countries with abundant wind turbines and solar used for grid scale power have the highest prices. If anyone sees this as good for business, poor people or any country in general, I would like to hear their justifications.

      • To Analitik, re France and power prices. As I wrote above to Janice Moore, France has subsidized electricity prices. France’s subsidized power prices were investigated by the EU Commission in 2007 and found to violate EU rules. It’s just not that hard to see the games the nuclear power people play to dupe the gullible nuclear cheerleaders.

        As to your laughable statement about economics of power generation, I spent more than 40 years thus far as an engineer in the oil refining, petrochemicals, and power generation industries. My employers and industrial clients seemed sufficiently impressed to keep me around and pay me for what I could tell them. I’ll take their repeated votes of confidence over your assessment, thank you very much.

        And you are quite wrong about load-following as the reason for low capacity factors. Per an article by EurActive,com, dated 8/18/2014, as the French nuclear plants grow older, their time off-line for maintenance and inspection increases. ” French fleet in 2013 had a series of “problematic unit outages”, and scheduled outages were extended by an average of more than 26 days. Regular maintenance and major equipment replacement jobs had increased by 60 percent in the last six years.”

        But you can join in the cheering and believe whatever you like.

    • Yep, and you can keep pumping the subsidies angle, just so you can be the last poster in this thread segment. But don’t mention subsidies around wind turbines, PV, CSP or utility batteries/flywheels/compressed air and other gimcrack schemes.

  55. New battery technology is good. In a car, the rare earths are sued in thee motor, not the battery.

    • Yes, a penny stock. Imagine how rich the current major shareholders would become if the price were to reach a few dollars based on press release hype. From the company’s web site:

      “BioSolar is currently funding a sponsored research program to further develop its super battery technology. The lead inventors of the technology are UCSB professor Dr. Alan Heeger, the recipient of a Nobel Prize in 2000 for the discovery and development of conductive polymers, and Dr. David Vonlanthen, a project scientist and energy storage expert at UCSB. ”

      I wonder if the UCSB scientists hold lots of stock and/or options?

  56. People seem to have lost sight of a very simple basic fact here, electric vehicles work, we all can see that, but they have an ‘Achilles Heel’ problem, they have poor range, they have no reserve, and do have to stop and recharge more often and can run flat before they can get there.

    What people seem to have not realized in these sorts of discussions, is that this fact is precisely the reason Toyota developed the Hybrid Drive-Train, because it recharges the battery while you are driving it.

    Duh!

    So you need to carry both far fewer batteries and their weight and cost, and far less fuel and its weight and cost.

    Why this fact escapes people I will never know. lol

    If there were or is a massive (claimed) improvement of battery tech in the wings, no, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it is going to lead to electric vehicles, but it certainly will lead to rechargeable on-the-fly, better, cheaper higher-performance hybrid-electric drive train vehicles.

    Hundreds of millions of them, with hundreds of new models.

    Rechargeable on the fly efficient long-range reliable electric drive vehicles are here, have been for 15 years now, and they’re not going away, they’re going to take over every form of road vehicle. We’re now less than ten years from when every vehicle produced will be hybrid electric technology.

    Governments will do this via simply no longer registering new conventional drive-train vehicles, at all, for use on public roads. So every new vehicle will be a hybrid of some kind wit minimum efficiency standards.

    If you think not, take note that last year Formula-1 racing was forced to adopt new hybrid drive technology rules, they’re racing with it for to seasons. It works, its fast, it’s reliable, it uses less fuel, it is high performance. Ad it will keep getting better and the rules will keep getting extended.

    Get used to the idea of hybrid-electric self-recharging cars, because you’re going to either own one soon or spend a lot of time in them.

    • the reason Toyota developed the Hybrid Drive-Train, because it recharges the battery while you are driving it.

      That really isn’t the way the Toyota’s hybrids work. They really are closer in concept to the KERS systems forced on the F1 teams in that they primarily harvest braking energy to lower the energy required to accelerate the car, allowing for a smaller, more fuel efficient (but less capacity efficient) ICE. This is why their battery systems are so small (the original Prius only had an electric range of around 20km while the hybrid Camry’s electric range is 3km)

      BTW F1 regulation changes are often politically motivated which is why they often make the cars lower in performance than technology would allow eg the grooved tyres from 1998 to 2008, no ABS nor traction control, very limited adjustable aerodynamics (banned until DRS was introduced), etc. KERS would almost certainly not be run by teams if the regulations allowed the teams to ditch them and run simpler, lighter cars.

      Nevertheless, hybrids have their place but saying they’ll be universal is ridiculous boosting.

    • Tesla has ~400km range and has built rapid charge facilities all over the place. Stop for lunch and get a free charge.

      • Oh, I agree with your disparagement. Just updating the 2005 thinking on electric car range and rapid charging. Electric cars will one day be much better and cheaper. If I were asked how to make the best use of wind and solar, it would be to forget about the grid – let much smaller footprint projects become electric car recharging stations. There they would have the more traditional localized use of these technologies and not have to worry about the ‘grid’.

  57. How does this battery perform down to -20C ?? Living in Canada you can’t have a vehicle that has a range of 10 kilometres when it get s cold.

  58. Meanderings about electric cars, and grid-scale storage to mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy

    Remember all the hype circa 2000 about automobiles powered by hydrogen fuel cells? I dismissed that notion in an article written in 2002, because hydrogen is a very low-energy-density, hard-to-store fuel that does not exist in nature and must be manufactured from a primary energy source. I claim success on that prediction, because hydrogen fuel-cell autos have not come to the mass market. [Bing#1]

    I also wrote in 2002 that battery-powered electric cars would find a place in the market, and now there are several models in mass production. [Bing#2]

    I expect future improvements in batteries and fuel cells that will improve the performance of electric cars – recognizing that the majority of car travel is short urban commutes, not long-distance driving.

    I do not believe that dedicated battery technology will soon solve the huge problem of intermittency of grid-connected wind or solar power at the grid level – there may be battery solutions at the household level, but they will tend to be expensive and short-lived, especially when compared with a simple fossil-fueled standby generator.

    Many years ago I suggested that when electric cars become commonplace, a distributed “super-battery” for the electric grid could be utilized consisting of many electric cars, plugged in when not in use – in effect the super-battery company would “rent” your car battery when your electric car is parked and return it to you charged at a programmed time of your choosing. The virtue of this approach is that the super-battery is already paid-for by the car owners, and the super-battery use is secondary.

    It will take a remarkable improvement in battery technology before a dedicated grid-scale super-battery is an affordable and effective solution for the intermittency of wind or solar power.

    Best to all, Allan

    • Electric cars AS the super storage battery – brilliant idea!!! These renewables can be wind or solar farms that aren’t even on the grid!!

  59. “These cars are selling, because they’re in demand with the public, because they’re brilliant for cheap reliable personal transportation.”

    I give Toyota A+ for green washing. I also give Toyota A+ for cheap reliable personal transportation. Which is why I bought a Corolla.

    Unmentionalbe you may want to drop by a Toyota dealer and see how big vehicles are in the showroom. They no longer sell a small PU. Two sizes. Really big and really, really big.

    I would like to see EV plotted with sales of PU and SUV.

    The point, consumer buying habits are not an indication of making good choices but the gullibility of the consumer.

  60. If it happens that electric cars become efficient enough and cheap enough that they replace a lot of gas and diesel powered ones, who is going to pay for the additional power generation?

    • Indeed. How will the vastly increased demand for electricity be met? How will govts replace lost revenue from taxing hydrocarbons? Answers on a postage stamp……

  61. ‘Glad to see I’m not the only one irritated by the ignorant use of multiples instead of fractions/percentages. It just shows the math skills of journalists — now being copied by people who should know better.

  62. I notice that they apparently haven’t actually made any batteries yet … nice theories … cool Nobel prize … 50% chance it won’t work …

  63. When I hear marketing gobbledygook like BioSolar – not good.
    BioSolar is photosynthesis. A battery is neither photo nor synthesizing.
    Also, acetylene is another word for “fossil fuel”.
    I guess OilBatt wasn’t as sexy.

  64. Loved your response Janice except for:

    “Apparently, that does not include you. Emotions have completely fogged in your ability to look at this issue rationally.
    Janice”

    Sowell is an attorney. His job is to win an argument. An environmental lawyer might bring a suit against a power project by listing 25 reasons to stop the project. Janice might read the list and think rationally that Item #2 and Item#22 are mutually exclusive. However, all Sowell has to do is get a judge to think one of the items might be valid, to put it on the docket thus holding up the project for years.

    For example, Sowell writes.”No refutation of the 15 anti-nuclear arguments made by Professor Derek Abbot ….. Note that only 3 of Dr. Abbot’s 15 arguments appear in my list of more than 30 reasons not to build nuclear.”

    What Sowell does not understand is that rationally people do not care how long his list is, if he refuses to engage in a rational discussion.

  65. “and may you always wonder why so few nuclear power plants are built around the world, if the technology is so very, very good. Approximately 11 percent of the entire world’s electrical production is from nuclear. That puts nuclear in a distant fourth place, after coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric. ”

    Roger does the typical anti-nuke thing of asking a question in a misleading way.

    Actually many new nuke plants are being built. Since nuke plants are large, a relatively few number have to be built. Since nukes plants run so we and last so long, fewer new ones need to be built.

    Historically, we have depended on coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric. Power plants are built to replace old plants and meet growing demand. Nuclear power is the only alternative to importing fossil fuels.

    Here is a video update of one of the construction sites in the US.

  66. Biosolar seems to be listed on Nasdaq. Share price was about $4 in 2012, today its about 19 cents. That’s probably a pretty accurate measure of its credibility.

  67. The best thing that becomes available with batteries using super cathodes made with halogenated polyacetylene plastic films, which will be cheaper, smaller and lighter, is that the #1 problem of all rechargeable battery powered devices can finally be resolved effectively.
    For those who aren’t sure what I mean, I assure you that we are ALL 100% totally clear on exactly what this problem is.

    Simply stated, it is that 95%+ of the time, the moment that rechargeable battery powered devices reach zero volts, and shut down, happens when we are right in the middle if using the device to complete an activity, and when we were expecting that the device’s battery would have continued functioning longer, to have allowed us complete the task.

    What this new leap in battery technology now facilitates is to overcome “Ledford’s Law → The battery pack will always run down when you’re in the middle of using the device.” How we can overcome this law is to redesign all battery pack powered devices to have two or more full capacity battery packs fitted into the space that the old technology packs occupied. If the new plastic cathode packs can be more than double power density in less than half the space, as well as half (or lower) the cost, then with only a slightly smarter power charging & power control module handling both packs, the personal breakdowns caused by devices dying while in use can be all but eliminated.

  68. After driving my co-worker’s Tesla S last week, I was 4 X less interested in buying one and 100% more in love with the throaty roar of my Jaguar XKR. I have learned that anything that requires government subsidy to make it economically viable, will have a number of mistruths built in. Inevitable.

  69. Great if batteries can be made cheaper and have higher energy densities, longer output times, etc.
    But batteries merely store energy; the do not nor cannot create energy. They must be recharged and as such, the NET reduction in total energy usage is very near zero.
    Yes, efficiency’s may be realized (better mileage per unit of BTU) by allowing the use of certain types of engines that are “better” than, say gasoline/diesel types of engines , etc. but the battery will drain and require recharging; and now you are back to your basic electric socket which provides electricity generated by coal, natural gas, nuclear, diesel or hydro.

    Sooner or later, the battery will totally cease to function once it reaches it’s maximum number of discharge / recharge cycles. The energy used to make, dispose or recycle a battery, of course, is never discussed.

  70. I don’t have time to jump on the grammar train and moan about linguistic foibles. My problem is (1) the proper term is “specific energy” not “energy density”…so if they can’t get the terminology correct, what else are they skimping on? And (2) why not plot gasoline on the same graph? (And no word about specific power, which is a different kettle of fish. Or about efficiency decay as a function of number of charging cycles. I am mindful of the Space Shuttle Main Engine, which was “reusable”–as long as you were wiling to disassemble it with cutting torches for a complete rebuild and then re-weld it together again.)

  71. BioSolar’s research has discovered that their battery can be rechared for 50,000 cycles without loosing substance. Lithium batteries for EV are reduced by 20% after only 1,000 cylce charges. Elon Musk is a pit bull in finding the best technology on the planet to get his Teslas running optimallly. I can’t imagine that he is not EXTREMELY interested in BioSolar’s battery.

  72. I can fill up my gas tank in 5 mins and then drive ~350 miles in a car that costs ~$15,000. Let me know when battery cars get there.

  73. Two things that I noticed:

    1) In the ‘battery chart’, they show energy density versus cost for five different types of battery.
    Three of them are proposed (so far, imaginary) BioSolar batteries, one is a Tesla battery, and one, LFP/LTO, I am not familiar with.
    Conspicuous by its absence is a plain old lead-acid battery, which would be informative for many of us as comparison to something we are familiar with.

    2) The article states “Our Super Cathode can be used to manufacture a super battery that is 2 times higher capacity than the batteries currently used in a Tesla Model S, at 4 times less cost.”

    This cost comparison to the Tesla battery is meaningless to me.
    Is this battery supposed to be less expensive than ‘regular’ batteries, or is it that the Tesla battery is 8X (or 16X, or 100X) more expensive than a ‘regular’ battery, so this one is ‘only’ 2X (or 4X, or 25X) as expensive as a ‘regular’ lead-acid battery?

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