Battery Breakthrough

Posted on August 13, 2009  Comments (6)

New battery could change world

Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It’s amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it’s both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn’t want your kids around one of these.

The essence of Ceramatec‘s breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.

Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery’s life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

A small three-bedroom home in Provo might average, say, 18 kWh of electric consumption per day in the summer — that’s 1,000 watts for 18 hours. A much larger home, say five bedrooms in the Grandview area, might average 80 kWh, according to Provo Power.;Either way, a supplement of 20 to 40 kWh per day is substantial. If you could produce that much power in a day — for example through solar cells on the roof — your power bills would plummet.

Ceramatec’s battery breakthrough now makes that possible.

Clyde Shepherd of Alpine is floored by the prospect. He recently installed the second of two windmills on his property that are each rated at 2.4 kilowatts continuous output. He’s searching for a battery system that can capture and store some of that for later use when it’s calm outside, but he hasn’t found a good solution.

“This changes the whole scope of things and would have a major impact on what we’re trying to do,” Shepherd said. “Something that would provide 20 kilowatts would put us near 100 percent of what we would need to be completely independent. It would save literally thousands of dollars a year.”

Very interesting stuff. If they can take it from the lab to production this could be a great thing, I would like one.

Related: Recharge Batteries in SecondsUsing Virus to Build BatteriesBlack and Decker Codeless Lawn Mower Review

6 Responses to “Battery Breakthrough”

  1. Bryan Helmig
    August 14th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    Very cool, but I don’t know how many times I’ve heard about world changing technology that only happens in the lab. Hopefully they will spend more time getting it market ready than creating buzz about it…

    Call me a cynic, but we’ll see!

  2. Anonymous
    August 14th, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

    I would call that perfect timing, now with green energy at the forefront, where it should have been for many years now. I hope they can couple the two technologies as soon as possible. How about the new Volt, very impressive. Let’s continue in this direction.

  3. Knovel Blogs » Blog Archive » Monday Link Review: A New Cure for a Bad Case of the Mondays.
    August 17th, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    […] always excellent Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog uncovered some information about a new world changing wonder-battery. Don’t get your hopes up though, this one might not fit in your […]

  4. David
    August 21st, 2009 @ 7:08 am

    Does the research include the effects on the environment for recycling the material used for creating it? Would be interesting to know the green differences other than heat.

  5. Bob
    November 9th, 2009 @ 12:00 am

    The LiPo is an extremely hazardous battery if mishandled. STOBA CAN HELP! STOBA is a groundbreaking battery technology developed by ITRI Taiwan. It has won the 2009 R&D 100 Awards which puts ITRI on a par with Intel, NASA and the US Argonne National Laboratory. STOBA prevents the danger of internal shorting when the battery was pierced through with positively or negatively charged materials. Watch this video and you’ll get an idea how dangerous an iphone-like bettery can be, and how STOBA helps.

  6. Battery Breakthrough Using Organic Storage » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    January 16th, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    […] Battery Breakthrough (solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin… – Energy Storage Using Carbon Nanotubes (2006) – Chart of Wind Power Generation […]

Leave a Reply