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Research Promises Drastically Increased LiOn Capacity

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  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:39PM (#38074536)
    Graphene. Is there anything it can't do?
  • by swb (14022) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:40PM (#38074554)

    I'm assuming that this technology will also come with the elusive holographic storage we've been hearing about, as well as those nearly disposable folding color displays as well.

  • by biodata (1981610) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:41PM (#38074578)
    Stay in the car!
  • by Xian97 (714198) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:44PM (#38074634)
    What if I am still running Snow Leopard?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)
      Then you'll probably have to buy a new Mac, given Apple's trend toward non-replaceable batteries.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Lion doesn't have Rosetta, so I can't upgrade either because of one single application. I won't say which one but it's from a company which name starts with "Adob".

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:48PM (#38074692)
    Just in time for the cheap, ultra efficient solar panels that will be available then
  • Better Place (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:50PM (#38074720) Homepage Journal

    This is a must read article on the subject. Electric cars fail because batteries are too expensive, and because they required infrastructure of charging stations. This company however solves both these problems. You make an electric car without the battery, which is cheaper than a standard car and more reliable to boot. Then this company leases you a battery, which costs less per month than gas. And they handle the infrastructure, which includes stations that swap your battery out for a fully charged one. You never wait to charge your battery, and they can swap it out since you don't own it.

    http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-09/ff_agassi?currentPage=all [wired.com]

    Part of this model is the assumption that battery technology still moves along rapidly. So the company can phase in newer, better batteries and you aren't tied to a battery you purchased when you bought your car.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      I like the idea but it makes you dependent on them plus you need to live/work at driving distance of one of their station.

      • Re:Better Place (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:13PM (#38075034) Homepage Journal

        Last time I checked, this company was rolling out in select places like Denmark, Israel and Hawaii. It is easier to roll out initially in places with dense populations, and harder to roll out when the population is spread out. Once the model is proven to work, I expect it to spread.

        • Re:Better Place (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Big_Breaker (190457) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:31PM (#38077556)

          Close... They are rolling out in areas that have closed traffic systems, so called traffic islands. In Hawaii they have a traffic island because Hawaii is physically a collection of islands. Israel is a traffic island because Israelis rarely drive out of Israel, relations with the neighbors being what they are. Density is certainly a part of it but the closed nature of the roadways is a bigger one.

      • Re:Better Place (Score:5, Insightful)

        by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:52PM (#38075542) Journal

        I like the idea but it makes you dependent on them plus you need to live/work at driving distance of one of their station

        A similar argument could be made against internal-combustion automobiles: you are dependent on oil companies and you need to live/work at driving distance to a filling station. I know these are facile comparisons, but I hardly think that these limitations make Better Place an impossible or useless proposition. There are lots of people that live/work in an urban area that could have a sprinkling of such stations. You can recharge the battery at home or work like a typical EV. Being able to swap it out is a way to reduce capital cost/risk in owning a battery outright, and allows you to get a full charge in a few minutes when you need.

    • Re:Better Place (Score:5, Interesting)

      by scamper_22 (1073470) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:56PM (#38074820)

      Managing that battery inventory is going to be a huge problem. How are you going to make sure each 'gas station' has enough batteries on hand. Since they're not cheap, it's a huge cost. This might not be a huge problem in the city, but that's not where people have a fear of running out of battery. Heck, a simple EV you charge at home would suffice if you simply traveled in the city.

      It's the spaces in the cities or commuters.
      The roll out and management of this is a huge problem.

      But even assuming you could manage that well enough, there is another minor problem.

      Maybe I'm just paranoid coming from Africa where people will steal anything making infrastructure hard to build out... but you're talking about an expensive batter than can be 'easily swapped out'. Something tells me that makes it 'easy to steal'.

      • by BenJury (977929)

        I'm pretty sure you can replace everything you've just typed there with respects to a battery and use the word petrol.

        Also presumably you'd only need a new battery when the life in the one you have is exhausted, or you need instant charge. Either way surly that's a easier logistical problem that ensuring the local forecourt has petrol?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by tepples (727027)

          I'm pretty sure you can replace everything you've just typed there with respects to a battery and use the word petrol.

          Please see webheaded's comment [slashdot.org].

        • Petrol and 'batteries' are in no way comparable. You have to look at the 'cost' per 'fill-up'

          With gasoline, you're looking at managing something that costs $50 / fill-up. If you have excess gasoline... who cares. It stays in the tank and it's all good.

          With batteries, you're looking at managing something that costs $5000 / fill up (remember, you're renting the entire battery pack, not just the charge). If you have excess batteries, it's a huge overhead burden.

      • Massive underground battery tubes my man.. Underground battery tubes.. yup.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      There are other problems with electric cars such as limited range or that half of the car is occupied by the batteries.

    • Re:Better Place (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:21PM (#38075116) Journal

      Battery swapping is going to look like a hilariously silly idea 5-10 years from now when an electric car can drive plenty far enough on a single charge. Heck even now you can buy quick-charging electric cars off the showroom floor that can reach an 80% charge in 30 minutes.

      And to the guy about to post "Electric cars are a joke! I drive 900 miles every day you know!" well stick to your Ford Ranger with jerry cans in the back, but don't pretend that most people have any use for such range.

    • by Endo13 (1000782)

      You still need room to store and charge the batteries. One of today's batteries for pure EVs takes up far more space than 10-15 gallons of gasoline. Then you also need the machinery to swap them, because they're heavy. A facility the size of a standard gas station won't cut it.

      We're far more likely to see this new battery tech in use in the next 15 years than this other guy's battery swap model.

    • Does this post have any relevance to the article? This thread is about making lion batteries better. Lion batteries are used in more places than cars...
  • So if this battery has ten times the capacity of standard Lithium ion batteries, and after a year it's only five times more. That means its capacity falls off by 50% per year. I guess that would be fine for phones, but not so much for cars. It would be quite the environmental nightmare if car owners threw out their gigantic batteries every three years because the car had only 1/8 of the range it had when you drove it off the lot.
  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:02PM (#38074886) Homepage Journal

    That's right, bacon."

    More appealing answer.

  • How is this from Northwestern Univ. if all the author affiliations are Wuhan University?
    • The author information for the research paper says , "Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 60208, USA"

      How does that equate to Wuhan University?

      • by dokebi (624663) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:58PM (#38075612)

        The confusion is because the paper linked in the summary is incorrect.

        The Northwestern paper is titled "In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si–Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteries (pages 1079–1084)" and the summary linked paper is titled "In Situ Generation of Few-Layer Graphene Coatings on SnO2-SiC Core-Shell Nanoparticles for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Storage".

        Can people mod me up or have the summary corrected?

  • by P-niiice (1703362) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:06PM (#38074934)
    If we could combine all the tech from all of the battery stories we've read in the past year, we could power an interstallar craft for a year with a single AAA battery and recharge it by rubbing it on a fluffy shirt for a few seconds.
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:07PM (#38074958) Journal
    Having read the article (*gasp*) as well as a few others it seems these batteries do NOT hold 10x more power. They degrade 10x slower on on drain/recharge cycles and can be charged 10x faster. BUT this is not the same as having 10x more POWER per cycle. Gonna have to wait some more before you get an cheap electric car that can go 500 miles before charging (though charging 10x faster is nice).
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Don't confuse power with energy. Oops, too late.
    • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:36PM (#38075332)

      They do have more capacity - this isn't the traditional carbon electrode, this is a graphene-stabilised silicon anode, and silicon holds more charge.

      They also have more power, as well as more capacity. If the internal resistance is low enough to charge it in 15 minutes, it's low enough to discharge it that fast as well.

      Alas, the missing bit is similar innovations in cathode technology.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kjhambrick (111698)

      Not to mention that Gasoline or Diesel contains ooo 45 MJ/KG while a LIon Battery stores ooo 1 MJ/KG ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Energy_density.svg [wikipedia.org]

      Seems we have a 'little' ways to go before LIon can replace good ole hydrocarbon fuels.

      -- kjh

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        We'll likely never replace them in traditional sense. You burn fuel completely and irreversibly in an internal combustion engine, while you have a reversible chemical reaction in Li-ion battery. Reversibility carries a very heavy tag.

    • by kesuki (321456)

      well -- this is slashdot where they actually believe processors just need smaller transistors to do something faster.

  • by Guspaz (556486) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:12PM (#38075026)

    ... they'll fit right into the steady curve of slowly but steadily increasing battery capacity. People assume that all these battery advancements we keep hearing about never pan out. Well, some of them do, but once the researchers silly claims are brought down to be a bit more realistic, and after the years go by before they actually hit the market, they're just incremental improvements on what was available before they came out.

    There's nothing wrong with that.

    • ...but once the researchers silly claims are brought down to be a bit more realistic...

      Make sure you distinguish between the claims that are made by the researchers and the claims that are made by human resources/technology transfer/publicity departments. Anyone who has ever seen that particular machine in action will attest to its ability to transform modest scientific claims into ones would make a late-night infomercial host blush.

  • by J-1000 (869558)
    The article only mentions how it will benefit small electronic gadgets. Is there any reason this might not benefit cars?
  • by slb (72208) * on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:25PM (#38075166) Homepage
    Obviously missing data in TFA: estimated cost of production for these marvelous batteries ...
  • by divisionbyzero (300681) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:33PM (#38075302)

    In other words, they don't know if it will scale.

  • by afabbro (33948) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:51PM (#38075520) Homepage
    Will this improve the battery life on my cell phone, laptop, and tablet?
  • by dokebi (624663) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @02:01PM (#38075646)

    The Northwestern paper is titled "In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si–Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteries (pages 1079–1084)". The article linked in the summary is titled "In Situ Generation of Few-Layer Graphene Coatings on SnO2-SiC Core-Shell Nanoparticles for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Storage".

    Can people mod me up or have the summary corrected?

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