Silicon Battery Technology Breakthrough to Dramatically Increase Electric Vehicle Range

cageymaru

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Researchers at Kjeller Institute in Norway have discovered a breakthrough in silicon battery development that could increase capacity by up to five times. Pure silicon battery technology has had issues with longevity over the years, but researchers have discovered that mixing silicon with an unstated material fixes the longevity problems. The new mix called SiliconX shows the potential to increase EV range to 621 miles and cellphone battery life to several days before a charge is necessary.

For several years, researchers have investigated the possibilities of using silicon in batteries, instead of graphite used today. In theory, pure silicon has ten times higher capacity than graphite, but also loses capacity faster. Now, however, scientists have come up with a silicon mixture that keeps the capacity stable over time, even though the capacity becomes somewhat lower than with pure silicon. However, batteries with the new silicon mixture will have three to five times higher capacity than today's batteries, according to researchers.
 

Spidey329

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You know, I tend to be very optimistic about emerging technologies but I have to agree. We've seen so many battery breakthroughs only to never materialise. Its depressing really.

I think a lot of it comes down to difficulty of production. An awesome tech idea that is too costly to produce because other technologies necessary to do it quickly haven't been created or are in their infancy tends to kill it shortly after announcement.

To be competitive in the battery space they have to get production extremely efficient (lower costs by sheer volume) or extremely cheap (lower costs by cheap raw materials) and on top of that, be willing to invest heavily in production plants.

We tend to hear about new battery breakthroughs by way of research universities, the problem is that they're doing a specific construction in one-offs for the purpose of testing. Manufacturability and real-world usage testing comes after, where I assume many fail. "We've created a new battery that has 10x more energy density!" ... "Unfortunately, it only has cycles lifetime of 10." The former is announced, the latter is mumbled at the bar.
 

seanreisk

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This will never compete with my idea of converting methane directly to electricity. Implanted in your colon, my device would turn your farts directly into electricity, eliminating both your farts and your need to charge your phone. Of course, your phone would be kept between your buttcheeks for optimum cordless recharging.

P.S. Getting crank calls would be much more stimulating.

P.P.S. Elon Musk has nothing on me. Once I am able to leverage my business and IPO my company (ElectroBiscuit LLC), I will buy him out and launch my own satellite network. As long as you have cabbage, you will never have to worry about being unable to place a cell phone call.
 
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THRESHIN

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Just make all cars nuclear powered and be done with it

Ford_Nucleon.jpg
 

gamerk2

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You know, I tend to be very optimistic about emerging technologies but I have to agree. We've seen so many battery breakthroughs only to never materialise. Its depressing really.

The problem is generally making such technologies affordable for production. Sure, it's possible to make an electric battery that allows cars to have 1k range, but no one will ever produce it for cost reasons.

That's the downside to capitalism: Some of the best tech out their dies because no one wants to invest in the production due to the initial high costs.
 

velusip

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"unstated material"

Just enough hype and capital investment for the early VCs to cash out. ;)

Apparently the suckers in this case are the government Research Council of Norway. :eek:
 

Joust

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The problem is generally making such technologies affordable for production. Sure, it's possible to make an electric battery that allows cars to have 1k range, but no one will ever produce it for cost reasons.

That's the downside to capitalism: Some of the best tech out their dies because no one wants to invest in the production due to the initial high costs.

Sometimes - maybe even oftentimes - it's not just the initial cost. When you're using unobtainium as part of a battery - for which admittedly inferior substitutable goods are available currently - it can be costly...forever.
 

Xhadum

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Its what it boils down to. There is plenty of technology but manufacturing becomes a complected process. Nova or some oeta program did a vid on battery tech that was interesting. Just need to find a way to manufacturer the product cheaply.
 
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Cheap, high capacity energy storage will change the world just like infernal combustion did.

The pursuit is absolutely worth it....

I'm still not holding my breath with each new potential path.
 

Azrak

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Nah, man. It's the oil companies suppressing all of the breakthroughs in battery technology. It's all locked up in their secret vaults. We could have 10 times the battery capacity and 100 times the charging speed today if it wasn't for that.
<tightens tin foil hat>

Oh, and.... FUSION is the future! Just needs another 10 years for more research and refinement.

<watches another lipo battery explosion video on Youtube>
Damn.. reality sucks.
 

{NG}Fidel

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No not new technology! It burns the troglodytes eyes!
Honestly I wish I remember the idiots who constantly shit on emerging battery tech because it wasn't were the previous technology was.
(EVERYONE EXPECTED IT TO BE BEHIND AT THE START FFS YOU ARE NOT SMART FOR REMINDING US OF NOTHING CONSEQUENTIAL) - Rant to all those ppl.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Cheap, high capacity energy storage will change the world just like infernal combustion did.

The pursuit is absolutely worth it....

I'm still not holding my breath with each new potential path.

Lol@infernal combustion.

I'm hoping that wasn't on purpose. Is less funny that way
 

rudy

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I think a lot of it comes down to difficulty of production. An awesome tech idea that is too costly to produce because other technologies necessary to do it quickly haven't been created or are in their infancy tends to kill it shortly after announcement.

To be competitive in the battery space they have to get production extremely efficient (lower costs by sheer volume) or extremely cheap (lower costs by cheap raw materials) and on top of that, be willing to invest heavily in production plants.

We tend to hear about new battery breakthroughs by way of research universities, the problem is that they're doing a specific construction in one-offs for the purpose of testing. Manufacturability and real-world usage testing comes after, where I assume many fail. "We've created a new battery that has 10x more energy density!" ... "Unfortunately, it only has cycles lifetime of 10." The former is announced, the latter is mumbled at the bar.

It also can take time most of the li ion and polymer tech was developed in the 80s if I rememeber correctly.
 

EODetroit

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I've read this story with slightly different technical jargon over and over and over and over and over again, etc. Just wake me up when you actually have a product for sale.
 

Reality

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Unstated material probably carcinogenic to the handlers making these batteries
 

Galvin

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I'd love this to have a battery backup that could last 5x longer. So around 3 to 4 hours would be awesome for power outages.
 

Rob94hawk

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You know, I tend to be very optimistic about emerging technologies but I have to agree. We've seen so many battery breakthroughs only to never materialise. Its depressing really.
OH LOOK. it's another breakthrough that will never see the light of day.

I tried to read the article but I think it's written in bullshit.
 

lostin3d

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A few have commented about the realities of production costs and associated technologies holding these breakthroughs back.

Here's an idea that could help all. Some smart people design the plants. Build fake ones here, and conveniently 'leak' the patents to China. After they go full-blown production then costs should drop. We can then improve again on the factories for even lower costs. Win-win! ;)
 

Mugato

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A few have commented about the realities of production costs and associated technologies holding these breakthroughs back.

Here's an idea that could help all. Some smart people design the plants. Build fake ones here, and conveniently 'leak' the patents to China. After they go full-blown production then costs should drop. We can then improve again on the factories for even lower costs. Win-win! ;)

OMG that’s brilliant! You should totally get a government job, I swear we are run by the biggest dopes in the country. Also, I tend not to take ppl seriously who substitute ppl for people.
 

Mugato

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I'd love this to have a battery backup that could last 5x longer. So around 3 to 4 hours would be awesome for power outages.

That would be nice! Right now, three servers and two sans take 3 battery banks to run for 90 minutes. Or, around $4000.00 in hardware.
 
D

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The problem with silicon based batteries is the crystals would crack (silicon has a tendency to do this as it is hard but rigid) as they release energy. Once cracked they don't hold a charge as well.

They made a discovery years ago that combining silicon with carbon nano tubes solved this problem. But getting them to bind the carbon nano tubes on a large scale was difficult.

But in general theory by decreasing the size of the crystals lattice and binding it to a flexible semi conductor compound like carbon nano tubes you can bypass these issues.

Makes me wonder if they found a way to bind it to a graphene compound?
 
D

Deleted member 93354

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A few have commented about the realities of production costs and associated technologies holding these breakthroughs back.

Here's an idea that could help all. Some smart people design the plants. Build fake ones here, and conveniently 'leak' the patents to China. After they go full-blown production then costs should drop. We can then improve again on the factories for even lower costs. Win-win! ;)

That made me laugh. But when it comes to advanced technology the best the Chinese can do is copy what's already there.

Even their space program and aircraft carriers are built on well outdated tech. Their stealth fighter knock off they STOLE from us is vastly inferior.

They are industrious and decent at mid tech knock offs, but they are not a science based engineering power house.
 

BlackManx

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Great discovery in the lab... which means we may see it when? 5-10 years - just when we would expect it.
 
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Great discovery in the lab... which means we may see it when? 5-10 years - just when we would expect it.

Scale up can be cost prohibitive which makes a lot of these breakthroughs non starters. Most researchers just publish papers to:

1. Get recognition for the college for which they are always under pressure to do.

2. Hope for more grant funding to continue research and work on existing issues like production, charge time, safety, and longevity.
 

jevans64

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This reminds me of how Ra in the original Stargate film from 1994 would improve everything (including nuclear weapons) by just adding some of his special mineral :p

Silicon + Naquadah = Super Battery. Mix it with Naquadria and it WILL explode.
 

novaflare

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I'd love this to have a battery backup that could last 5x longer. So around 3 to 4 hours would be awesome for power outages.
Get 30x 18650 batteries hook these in to 3 sticks in series (12 volts) and run 10 of these sticks in parallel. You will have between 18 amp hours and 50 amp hours your current sealed lead acid battery is only 5 amp hours. With 5k mah cells your talking 15 hours vs 15 minutes (real world expect about 8 to 10) I putting together a solar panel based system sim to a battery back up and in early tests using a 12 volt supply to charge the batteries i have gotten my laptop to run off it for around 5 hours before the ac dc inverted shuts off. This was with a 12 volt 1 amp supply charging it for about 12 hours. They have some charge when shipped 40% if i recall. So 12 amps on top of around 25 amp giving me 37 amps. or about 7 times a fully charged sealed lead acid battery. On a reg unplugged backup the same laptop gets about 1 hour. So it is giving close enough to what it should in theory to be with in a standard error rate. Out side factors or my power supply used to charge it may not be putting out a full amp.

Buying 18650 cells in bulk to bulk the battery pack will cost you just under 1 dollar per cell. So it is very cheap. You could harvest them from old laptop batteries as well how ever from one battery to another you will have lower or higher mah capacities and ware and tare on them etc.
 
D

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Get 30x 18650 batteries hook these in to 3 sticks in series (12 volts) and run 10 of these sticks in parallel. You will have between 18 amp hours and 50 amp hours your current sealed lead acid battery is only 5 amp hours. With 5k mah cells your talking 15 hours vs 15 minutes (real world expect about 8 to 10) I putting together a solar panel based system sim to a battery back up and in early tests using a 12 volt supply to charge the batteries i have gotten my laptop to run off it for around 5 hours before the ac dc inverted shuts off. This was with a 12 volt 1 amp supply charging it for about 12 hours. They have some charge when shipped 40% if i recall. So 12 amps on top of around 25 amp giving me 37 amps. or about 7 times a fully charged sealed lead acid battery. On a reg unplugged backup the same laptop gets about 1 hour. So it is giving close enough to what it should in theory to be with in a standard error rate. Out side factors or my power supply used to charge it may not be putting out a full amp.

Buying 18650 cells in bulk to bulk the battery pack will cost you just under 1 dollar per cell. So it is very cheap. You could harvest them from old laptop batteries as well how ever from one battery to another you will have lower or higher mah capacities and ware and tare on them etc.

That's because LiPo's don't mind a high discharge rate. Lead Acid's battery life quickly dies off with higher currents.
 

LuxTerra

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OH LOOK. it's another breakthrough that will never see the light of day.
I see this sentiment quite a bit, not just about battery technology. It's generally a combination of bad reporting and misunderstanding of how Research & Development (R&D), Applied R&D, and Development and Engineering (D&E) work. I'm going to simply the DoD/NASA Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) to just those three buckets. Please note that the DoD and NASA definitions are different and there are a few others around, but they capture the same concept. I'm going to play a bit fast and loose here to keep it simple...

Research & Development
This is usually levels 1-2, occasionally 3 depending on whom you ask. Basic principles are discovered and learned, but the focus is very narrow. I haven't read the paper, but this really sounds like a TRL-2+ or 3 effort (i.e. prior to this effort it only at TRL-2 and the objective was to undertake a TRL-3 effort to prove viability at that stage...the output of this effort now makes the technology TRL-3 ready). They discovered and tested a new formula, but that's it. The reporting is terrible because while it tries to communicate to the lay person what this discovery means (electric vehicle range), it doesn't effectively community how many other problems need solved before this becomes a product. These R&D teams are mostly scientists with a few engineers around for good measure. The time from this level of R&D to product is a total guess, you don't even know all the challenges that must be overcome to make it a viable product.

Applied R&D
This is typically TRL-3-5, although those that argue 3 belongs in the first group typically include TRL-6 as well (makes for a nice even sets of 3 since there are 9 levels in the NASA definitions). This is often called the "valley of death" because many, many technologies die here for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes it's cost, sometimes you simply can't make the material at scale, but most often in my experience it's because of the many compromises required to effectively use the new discovery. That is to say, as a system, it's not a good solution. Engineering really is a study of compromises and how to optimize a solution around them. I'm going to make something up, but perhaps these new batteries will turn out to not like charging and discharging except in full cycles, which would make them useless for an electric cars regen cycle. There's so many system level challenges that kill off tech at this stage; it's not called the valley of death for no reason. TRL-3 you build a proof-of-concept to show it can work outside of a lab. TRL-4 you start sub-system development (it's not just a battery you need). TRL-5 you start to build a prototype system around it (the idea is to optimize the system performance and characteristics, not one part). At any point along this path you'll discover new challenges that you'd never account for, they could be speed bumps or total show stoppers. The climb from TRL-3 to TRL-5 is very steep and difficult, but the jump from TRL-5 to TRL-6 is probably the hardest. At this level, the teams are usually a 50-50 blend of scientist and engineer. The timeframes to product can be accurate, but it really depends on how well you understand the system characteristics and not your point solution.

Development and Engineering
D&E encompasses everything from TRL-6 to TRL-9. This is where you really design and build products as well as their realization systems (e.g. factories, tooling, training, etc.). Even this level is not linear, but iterative. There's always anomalies in systems that get turned into "discrepancy reports" that then get worked back in as update. It's really tempting to add TRL-4 and TRL-5 stuff to the projects and "phase" them into the program. The DoD is currently struggling with this on the F-35, CVN, and DDX programs. They called it concurrent development and it's bit them hard. That's just how hard it is to jump from TRL-5 to TRL-6. Getting all the system requirements to play nicely and meet the desired performance in the field environment is a very hard problem.


Here's a nice chart. You'll notice that their wording varies from mine a bit, but that's because every place has it's own tone and I've tried to communicate the practical aspects of those levels.
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/trl.png
 
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Development and Engineering
D&E encompasses everything from TRL-6 to TRL-9. This is where you really design and build products as well as their realization systems (e.g. factories, tooling, training, etc.). Even this level is not linear, but iterative. There's always anomalies in systems that get turned into "discrepancy reports" that then get worked back in as update. It's really tempting to add TRL-4 and TRL-5 stuff to the projects and "phase" them into the program. The DoD is currently struggling with this on the F-35, CVN, and DDX programs. They called it concurrent development and it's bit them hard. That's just how hard it is to jump from TRL-5 to TRL-6. Getting all the system requirements to play nicely and meet the desired performance in the field environment is a very hard problem.

The F-35 HMD Helmet is a f'n mess right now. Especially considering each one is custom made for each pilot's head. But the truth of it's delay is mostly because like most gov't contracts, they are Waterfall in nature. As a result there are a ton of unknowns especially with parallel systems. This is the opposite of modern developer world where systems are largely self contained, small, well defined manageable targets with interfaces and dependency injection. It's these unknowns that are discovered later that bite you in the tail.
 

BB Gun

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Thanks, LuxTerra. Working for one of the 4 airframe manufacturers in engineering, I'm involved in the TRL 7 to 9 level somewhat regularly. I wouldn't have had the patience to type all that out. Hopefully somebody learns something from it. :)
 

novaflare

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That's because LiPo's don't mind a high discharge rate. Lead Acid's battery life quickly dies off with higher currents.


Correct li pos work great in these applications because they don't mind the high discharge rates they can go any where from very low to very high even on standard cells that are not specifically rated for high discharge rates. That said if you use a standard discharge cell in a high discharge application your battery will do 2 things they will get a fair bit hotter than normal and you will shave some life time from them vs high discharge variants. But that life shaving wont really be noticeable. Especially in a ups battery back up where you wont be using the battery power all that often. In my application id shave maybe 10% off their life and would likely need to replace some cells after a year vs 18 months. But at the cost it is not a big deal at all. I bought 30 of them for 2 bucks that are high discharge cells. Honestly though there is no real price difference and non high discharge cells are actually harder to find as well you just do not need them. The high discharge ones work for any application.

At the price theres no reason not to try them to replace sealed lead acid cells. I would how ever put the ups in a safe location and charge and discharge it a couple times just to make sure it wont burst in to flames lol better safe than sorry. My safe assumption is worst case the internal charging system just will not be able to fully charge the battery as it might see 5 amps and go ok this is fully charged and not fully charge the batteries. If that ends up being the case make a single stick of 3 5kma batteries and replace the heavy lead acid for 3 bucks us lol

In reality though it should charge them to full just fine.
 

sfsuphysics

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OH LOOK. it's another breakthrough that will never see the light of day.
In the very early 1970s there was this idea on a battery technology that would be a major breakthrough, it took about 20 years before anything was brought to market commercially, and another 25 years after that this technology permeates throughout just about every facet of our lives. This battery technology? Using lithium.

Good thing the internet wasn't around back then as it is now, bunch of pessimistic know-it-alls would constantly push out FUD on any idea that came about.
 
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