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Old 12-19-2007, 12:50 PM
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The next revolution in battery technology?

Just when you thought we would Lipo/Li-on technology was at it's peak, look what might very well be the newest innovation in battery tech! The folk's at Stanford came up with an entirely new battery chemistry which may change the entire market as we see it today. For years, the limitation on batteries has been capacity, but you already knew that . Lipo/Li-ion technology has been the holy grail of battery technologies in the past for mainstream use, but hasn't been quite fit the bill for mainstream applications such as home power storage solutions, and electric (hybrid) cars who's dirty little secret has been the cess pool created when you have to replace 500 pounds worth of toxic nasty-ass spent batteries every 2 years. A123 was the latest innovation which has it's promise, and if this comes to fruition, it will be a quantum leap in battery technology.

This new nano-wire stuff may indeed revolutionize everything, and enable the viability of high capacity electric storage for generations to come. Oh, I'm sorry, forgot to mention - it will probably knock the socks off all modeling applications ever imagined.

Read on, this is a cool article.

SPECIAL THANKS FOR TO PAFFY FOR LETTING US HIJACK THIS THREAD.

Quote:

Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices.

The new version, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. A laptop that now runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a boon to ocean-hopping business travelers.

"It's not a small improvement," Cui said. "It's a revolutionary development."

The breakthrough is described in a paper, "High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires," published online Dec. 16 in Nature Nanotechnology, written by Cui, his graduate chemistry student Candace Chan and five others.

The greatly expanded storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers. Cui suggested that they could also be used in homes or offices to store electricity generated by rooftop solar panels.

"Given the mature infrastructure behind silicon, this new technology can be pushed to real life quickly," Cui said.

The electrical storage capacity of a Li-ion battery is limited by how much lithium can be held in the battery's anode, which is typically made of carbon. Silicon has a much higher capacity than carbon, but also has a drawback.

Silicon placed in a battery swells as it absorbs positively charged lithium atoms during charging, then shrinks during use (i.e., when playing your iPod) as the lithium is drawn out of the silicon. This expand/shrink cycle typically causes the silicon (often in the form of particles or a thin film) to pulverize, degrading the performance of the battery.

Cui's battery gets around this problem with nanotechnology. The lithium is stored in a forest of tiny silicon nanowires, each with a diameter one-thousandth the thickness of a sheet of paper. The nanowires inflate four times their normal size as they soak up lithium. But, unlike other silicon shapes, they do not fracture.

Research on silicon in batteries began three decades ago. Chan explained: "The people kind of gave up on it because the capacity wasn't high enough and the cycle life wasn't good enough. And it was just because of the shape they were using. It was just too big, and they couldn't undergo the volume changes."

Then, along came silicon nanowires. "We just kind of put them together," Chan said.
For their experiments, Chan grew the nanowires on a stainless steel substrate, providing an excellent electrical connection. "It was a fantastic moment when Candace told me it was working," Cui said.

Cui said that a patent application has been filed. He is considering formation of a company or an agreement with a battery manufacturer. Manufacturing the nanowire batteries would require "one or two different steps, but the process can certainly be scaled up," he added. "It's a well understood process."
Source: http://news-service.stanford.edu/new...re-010908.html
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:16 PM
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Re: 10 fold increase in LiPo capacity

wow, very interesting...seems like li-ions will become todays nicads in the future after being replaced by silicon cells
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:45 PM
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Re: 10 fold increase in LiPo capacity

Great article.. thanks for posting
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:25 PM
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Re: 10 fold increase in LiPo capacity

This is great news! really good for the electric heli guys who can only get 3-4 minute hard 3D flights.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:33 PM
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Re: 10 fold increase in LiPo capacity

Awesome . . . to be able to fly 10 times longer on a single charge - how SWEET!!!!!!!!! To only charge batteries about once every month or two would be nice.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:24 PM
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Re: 10 fold increase in LiPo capacity

I wonder how long before we have this technology in our planes.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:29 PM
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Re: 10 fold increase in LiPo capacity

Paffy, moving this to the homepage. I was just about to post this..
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:43 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

Now that is BadAss!!!!!
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:43 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

Very intersting...

Are these "nano wires" also called nano tubes? I've done some stuff at school around that stuff.

I think that we should be seeing this in the next few years. Remeber when a 3 min flight time on a electric was breaking records? :P Now look where were lead.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:52 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

This will be picked up quickly.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:10 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

Good news... I say 3-4 years before you will see something like that available and priced right for modeling.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:17 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

The capacity thing is great and will get electric flight to the next level. Either much longer flights at the same weight, or same flight times at a reduced weight, or some combination of that. Provided, and this is a big one, that the charge/discharge rates work in our application, and the number of cycles before serious degradation of performance is reasonable. Very interesting, but a lot more needs to be known to see if they will work for our applications.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:22 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

Ya never know. It only took A123's less than a year from anouncement to retail product (DeWalt). I know this new technology is in it's development stage but there is a big enough demand for it so maybe we'll see that demand push the R&D and get this new technology out to the consumer. For us electric flyers, this is very exciting indeed.

Very good point Steve, I'd love to see some graphs.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:33 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

ohh no!!!! another charger
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:36 PM
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Re: The next revolution in battery technology?

Amazing. Imagine when the discharge rating gets to be the same as lipos. We could have much smaller cells with the same flighttime as todays lipos(due to the increased capacity) which means that electrics would be considerably lighter than gassers. Or you could keep the weight and fly the whole day on a single charge... lol to borrow from the lipo powered expander system guys.
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