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Power

Degradation of Lithium Batteries Shown In Real-time (ucl.ac.uk) 58

hypnosec writes: High-Speed Operando Tomography and Digital Volume Correlation have been used by a University College London-led team to show in real-time how lithium batteries degrade as they are used. Real-time 3D images of active, commercial Li/MnO2 disposable batteries were captured using X-ray computed tomography (CT) and advanced digital volume correlation software. The images formed cross-section time-lapse videos showing the damage occurring on the electrodes inside the battery in real-time.
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Degradation of Lithium Batteries Shown In Real-time

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  • Sure Jan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fwipp ( 1473271 ) on Saturday December 19, 2015 @05:51PM (#51151419)

    "The images formed cross-section time-lapse videos showing the damage occurring on the electrodes inside the battery in real-time."

    Not sure the editors know what words are.

    • Not sure the editors know what words are.

      Mean, but funny.

    • Great minds think alike. I was about to make a sarcastic post to the same effect. The entire point is NOT showing it in real-time, which would take weeks to watch.

      • You sound like an idiot. Obviously, everything happens in real time, as opposed to fake time. (Though Real time isn't the same as realtime, BTW.). It says it is shown in Real-Time. It clearly isn't. It is shown in a time-lapse format.
    • You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means
    • Yeah, don't yhey degrade over the course of years? That would be a boring video!

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      If you are going to be so fussy, keep in mind, all captured images are time lapse done in real time, no matter how short the duration of the image capture. To claim otherwise is to claim the capture of an image of a single photon, the very first photon to interact with the image capture device.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Not really. A typical video shows images in real time: the time separating the showing of each frame is equal to the time separating their acquisition. Although an individual part of a frame might be shown slightly before or after it should be, the defining characteristic is that the interval is correct on *average*, over a perceptibly insignificant timescale.

        If the interval, on average, is longer than real time, we call it slow motion. If it's shorter, time lapse.

      • by msauve ( 701917 )
        "Time lapse" doesn't mean what you think it means.
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      Not sure the editors know what words are.

      Inconceivable!!

  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Saturday December 19, 2015 @06:26PM (#51151489) Homepage

    That is, until those are commercialized and become affordable for common uses.

    So many issues with today's 'wet' batteries result from having a liquid electrolyte where particles move around, distance between electrodes may very somewhat (locally, at least), substances can dissolve in one place and deposit elsewhere (or form structures that cause a short circuit), electrolyte slowly escapes through a cells' sealing or (potentially) bursts into a cloud of smoke & fire when cell is abused, etc, etc.

    Move to a construction that consists entirely of solid materials, and you get more capacitor-like behavior: vastly increased # of charge/discharge cycles, possible to make much safer, wider temperature range, potentially high capacity and/or power density, short charging times, less degradation when stored in discharged condition, etc. To top it of, perhaps lower cost as well.

    Would be good to have an article about current state of the art in this area.

    • Super capacitors that are reliable and affordable are still a holy grail from what I understand. The promise being fast charge time and high capacity. Actually that high-capacity thing is also a challenge, since you don't want millions of volts all discharging in one shot, due to failure or accident.

      • by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Saturday December 19, 2015 @08:14PM (#51151805)

        Super-capacitors are already extremely reliable and affordable, the problem is they can't really store a whole lot of power at present. They are used in some trucking applications in tandem with standard lead acid batteries. Some also have a minor issue with self discharging, but if their capacity could be brought up to battery levels and that self discharge limited they would likely have a major impact on the battery market. They virtually don't degrade (1 million charge/discharge cycles without degradation have been shown), they can charge very quickly and they are very simple (which should make them cheap).

        • Super-capacitors are already extremely reliable and affordable,

          Citation - preferably a manufacturer's data sheet of something that is actually in production and tells me how many of these I'll need for what application.

          they can't really store a whole lot of power at present

          I'm not sure that that means what you think it means. Any device which stores power would be a novelty. Sure we've got tons (literally) of devices that store boring old energy. but something something that stored power ... that would be n

          • by Agripa ( 139780 )

            Citation - preferably a manufacturer's data sheet of something that is actually in production and tells me how many of these I'll need for what application.

            The manufacturers do not typically give enough information to estimate this beyond minimum and maximum values however the significant wearout mechanism involves an electrochemical reaction at high cell voltage; for every 0.2 volt increase in cell voltage, lifetime degrades by 10 times. In practice that means that lifetimes of 10 to 100 years are very fe

      • There is no reason high capacity would need to involve "millions of volts". Voltage does not equal storage capacity. Consider static electricity, which can involve very high voltages but very little actual power.

        Also, very high voltages aren't a good idea with capacitors because they result in more leakage across whatever dielectric is used.

        • Voltage does not equal storage capacity.

          It does for capacitors. Capacitors store energy as a field charge, and that charge is directly proportional to the amount of energy stored. C=Q*V, where C is the charge, Q is capacitance, and V is voltage. The only way to generate a higher charge on a fixed capacitor is to increase the voltage.

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        You must have missed the youtube video of cleetus out in Kentucky building a car battery the size of a can of Spam out of six D-cell ultracapacitors for under $100.
         
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3x_kYq3mHM [youtube.com]

        • by caseih ( 160668 )

          Yeah it definitely works, and they do produce enough amps and volts in the short term to crank an engine. However there's no way they can store the same number of amp-hours as a lead-acid battery.

          Also they put a huge amount of strain on the alternator as they will draw a lot more amps charging rapidly than a lead acid battery typically does.

          There are reasons why super capacitors aren't in widespread use in cars as a replacement for batteries, though they still hold some promise as an assistive technology.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Saturday December 19, 2015 @06:37PM (#51151519)

    Bombarding Li/ion batteries with CT-scanner x-rays may cause degradation!

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