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Power Transportation Hardware Technology

Experimental Batteries Charge In Minutes 335

Zothecula writes "Of all the criticisms of electric vehicles, probably the most commonly-heard is that their batteries take too long to recharge – after all, limited range wouldn't be such a big deal if the cars could be juiced up while out and about, in just a few minutes. Well, while no one is promising anything, new batteries developed at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign do indeed look like they might be a step very much in the right direction. They are said to offer all the advantages of capacitors and batteries, in one unit."
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Experimental Batteries Charge In Minutes

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  • Aluminum-air (Score:4, Interesting)

    by McGregorMortis ( 536146 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @11:25AM (#35573500)

    That's one of the interesting properties of the aluminum-air battery. The aluminum plates can be replaced quickly and easily. Just pop out the spent plate, drop in a new one, and off you go.

    The reaction products (aluminum oxide) can also be captured and recycled into new aluminum.

    A nifty idea, but there are assorted problems that have to be solved before it can be practical.

  • by pz ( 113803 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @11:42AM (#35573760) Journal

    We estimated [cam.ac.uk] that a car driven 100 km uses about 80 kWh of energy.

    80kWh / 5-10 minutes ~= 1000-500kW.

    Hmm. That's roughly the power draw of a small electric passenger train (e.g. an old subway train).

    Rescaling, the figures become 0.5 to 1.0 MW. That's a highly non-trivial amount of power to transfer electrically (ignoring the massive electromagnetic fields that level of power transfer creates). Not something that's going to be done in the home.

    Recall, a consumer-grade hair drier is in the 1.0 to 1.5 kW range. We're talking about operating about a thousand of those at the same time for 5-10 minutes. Personally, I don't want to be anywhere near that. Moreover, even if it's wildly efficient at 99% transfer to the batteries, that's 0.01 x 1 MW = 10 KW of loss that needs to be dissipated. I am not familiar with materials found in the home that can provide safe, reliable, tamper-proof thermal isolation from grasping a cable / connector package that is glowing hot.

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