Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power Technology

New All-Solid Sulfur Based Battery Outperforms Lithium Ion 322

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-comes-the-power dept.
olsmeister writes "The new all-solid battery design uses solid sulfur and lithium, and outperforms existing lithium-ion batteries with four times the energy density. The battery can maintain a capacity of 1200 milliampere-hours per gram after 300 charge-discharge cycles. More work needs to be done, but one would think this new technology could have applications in renewable energy storage, electric cars, and consumer electronics."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New All-Solid Sulfur Based Battery Outperforms Lithium Ion

Comments Filter:
  • by turp182 (1020263) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:16AM (#43923785) Journal

    I use a 30 amp-hour 12 volt battery when camping, it's about 20 pounds (for fans, lights, bug zapper, , phone charger, electric blanket, inverter for laptop, etc). I've saved a ton of money not having to purchase D batteries and I can expect 5-8 years of use (hundreds of duty cycles).

    "1200 milliampere-hours" is 1.2 amp hours. A battery of this type would weight 25 grams, or less than an ounce. If it's at 12 volts, which per the article (I read it!!!) doesn't sound like the case. But I bet a comparable 12 volt version would weight just ounces rather than pounds.

    Battery tech is a primary lagging technology in my opinion.

    Best hopes for this technology.

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:31AM (#43923929)

      "Because lithium-sulfur batteries deliver about half the voltage of lithium-ion versions"

      Li-ion is around 3.7V (+-0.4, depending on exact design). So this is about a 1.8V battery. So for a reasonable approximation, multiply by about 7 for a 12v version. That puts a 12v, 1.2AH version at 175g. Plus a little more for the casing. Not bad at all. Add case, and your 30AH battery can be replaced with a five-kilo battery. A bit heavy for a pocket, but but by much.

    • by Muad'Dave (255648)

      The article states that the voltage of the LiS cell is 'about half' the voltage of a Li-ion, so that's about 2V/cell. You'd need at least 6* to make 12V, so that means a 12V, 30Ah battery would consist of 25 parallel sets of 7 cells in series and weigh in at 175g, or about 6 ounces - quite a weight savings.

      *"12V" isn't really 12V exactly. It's more like 13.8 under charge and as low as 10.5-11 at discharge. Most gizmos expect the voltage toward the higher end, so using 7 cells isn't uncommon among DIY-ers (I

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Anyone know why we name batteries the way we do?
        Car batteries for instance are normally charged at around 14V and under heavy load dip to 11v. NIMH AA float at 1.45v and are generally 1.2v loaded. Alkaline start at 1.6v and drop down very fast past 1.5v. They probably spend very little of their lives at 1.5v since their discharge curve sucks out loud. At high enough dishcarge currents they can drop from 1.6v to below 1.5v almost immediately.

        At half the voltage we are talking 1.8v, that means some normally a

        • Loaded is loaded - you never get a perfect source. Even a concrete beam sags under load. 1.8v peak charge isn't too bad, and probably well within spec for AAA/AA/C/D batteries, and that's where the big deal may be. You can always run multiple cells in series to jack up the voltage, but it's much harder to cut the voltage in half to fit existing batteries. Isn't there an iron sulfate based battery that's 1.7-1.8V? The old Lithium AAs were 1/2 voltage at about 1.7x - I still have the same set in my Nikon cam

        • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:50AM (#43925405) Homepage

          They're named the way they are because of their chemistry. An alkaline cell [wikipedia.org] has an open circuit voltage of 1.43V - close enough to the old Zinc-Carbon [wikipedia.org] cell's OC voltage of 1.5V. A lead-acid cell [wikipedia.org] has an open circuit voltage of about 2.1V. 6 of those in series makes 12-ish V. The cell potential between the anode and cathode materials determines their open circuit voltage (see this chart [wikipedia.org]).

          Here's a great FAQ on battery chemistries [powerstream.com].

    • by Covalent (1001277)
      The article says that the battery delivers about half of the voltage of a typical lithium ion battery (which is usually around 3.7V).

      So 1.2Ah/g * 1.85V = 2.22Wh/g

      Your battery is 30Ah/20 pounds * 12V = 18Wh/lb = .04Wh/g

      So yes, this new battery is extremely energy dense. If you needed it to be 12V, though, you'd have to wire them in a series of 6, which would reduce the energy density by a factor of 6. Still a big improvement, but more like .35 Wh/g @ 12V, which is about 9 times better than your campin
    • I use a 30 amp-hour 12 volt battery when camping, it's about 20 pounds (for fans, lights, bug zapper, , phone charger, electric blanket, inverter for laptop, etc).

      "Camping" /fingerquotes

    • by quenda (644621)

      I use a 30 amp-hour 12 volt battery when camping, it's about 20 pounds

      Thats awful. Current mainstream Li-Ion cells get around 200Wh/kg, so 2kg (4lb) to replace yours. (Like a 36-40 cell battery used in electric bikes.)

      LiS rigged demos in the lab claim 1200x1.8V= 2000Wh/kg (10 x current consumer Li-Ion) but TFA also says 4x, so lets realistically hope for a one pound LiS battery to replace your boat-anchor. That'll be ten years after they first appear in mobile phones and tablets, assuming not too many explode.

    • It drives me crazy that battery capacity is quoted everywhere in milliamp-hours (mAh)! Why can't everyone work in joules, so that we needn't constantly convert for voltage?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Russ1642 (1087959)
      You take a battery camping? You obviously don't get it. The idea is to get away and go without the modern conveniences. I can think of only a few legitimate reasons to take a battery camping (medical conditions, emergency jump starter, maybe something else I've missed) but seriously a heated blanket and lights? Stay at home.
      • by Zalbik (308903) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:37AM (#43926005)

        You take a battery camping? You obviously don't get it. The idea is to get away and go without the modern conveniences. I can think of only a few legitimate reasons to take a battery camping

        Well thank you for that enlightened view on how other people can enjoy the same activities as you, with different purposes and/or opinions on how to go about enjoying those activities.

        You complain about other people on the internet? You obviously don't get it. The idea of the internet is to encourage the free and open exchange of ideas. I can think of only a few legitimate reasons to complain about others on the internet (harassment, excessively inappropriate behavior, trolling, maybe something else I've missed), but seriously complaining about how someone chooses to go camping? Stop posting.

    • by daid303 (843777)

      Sounds like a lead-acid battery. Which is heavy, but cheap compared to lighter alternatives.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      Just buy cheap 3S Lipo packs today instead of waiting 10 years, 30Ah will weight ~3Kg.

  • Off-topic, but can Lithium air be used for laptops/gadgets etc. too, or only for cars? No one ever seems to say.
  • Lithium and Sulphur! Will these explode more or less violently than Li-ion batteries?

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:25AM (#43923871) Journal
    This is an impressive achievement, and interesting even if they report a relatively low (300) number of charge cycles. Too bad the article doesn't mention some other parameters:
    - The article mentions power density "after 300 charging cycles". Is that the limit, or does it actually last for more cycles, and how fast does it drop off?
    - How well do these batteries retain a charge? Li-Ion is quite good on that score; if I leave my cordless drill of the charger, it'll still be ready for use after a year.
    - How well do these batteries deal with half-cycles (recharge when only half empty)? Is there a memory effect?
    - What is the max rate of charge?
    • by MrMickS (568778)

      This is an impressive achievement, and interesting even if they report a relatively low (300) number of charge cycles. Too bad the article doesn't mention some other parameters:

      - The article mentions power density "after 300 charging cycles". Is that the limit, or does it actually last for more cycles, and how fast does it drop off?

      I recently replaced the battery in my 2008 model Macbook Pro. It was the original battery and had done 450 charging cycles. The run time was down to about a third of the new battery I replaced it with. So from a computer use 300 cycles is a good measure.

  • No, sorry. I just pulled my phone off the charger.

  • Some Indian American teen won the intel science prize for charging a cell phone in 20 seconds. Let her loose on this technology and get that Tesla S model recharged in 5 minutes for 200 mile range! Now we are talking, baby!

    But of course, all she had was just a super capacitor. It probably does not scale easily to vehicle sizes and anyway it is not an electro-chemical reaction based "battery."

  • ... that should be quite a bad smell.

  • Brimstone (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mystakaphoros (2664209) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @08:07AM (#43924229) Homepage
    You know, I wouldn't mind it if my laptop smelled like fire and brimstone when I was grading papers. It would kind of help get me in the mood.
  • but when the sulfur is mined to make black dragons not much will be left for battery's.

  • 1) What's the sustained and peak current delivery? 10C? 25C? 50C?
    2) Do you have to balance multi-cell packs like you do with current LiPo?
    3) Can you use existing charging methods?
    4) How much do they cost?

  • by abarrow (117740) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:38AM (#43926031) Homepage

    Considering the amount of sulfur that is being generated by oil production these days (http://folc.ca/sulphur_storage/waste_sulphur.htm) this could be a very good thing. ...but of course, ultimately, the sulfur needs to go somewhere.

  • by Ioldanach (88584) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @11:20AM (#43926577)
    Without volts, amp-hours is completely meaningless. If I have a process that can create a battery that stores 1.2Ah/g at 0.3V and I'm trying to beat a process that stores 0.3Ah/g at 1.2V then I've done nothing useful. Both store 360mWh/g (1296mWh/joules). In fact, if you look at phys.org [phys.org] you'll find that the fourfold increase is not in Ah/g, but in J/g. It actually has an eightfold increase in Ah/g but the voltage drops by half. So the article is right, but does a really bad job of explaining why.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

Working...