First fully rechargeable carbon dioxide battery is seven times more efficient than lithium ion

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 Lithium-carbon dioxide batteries are attractive energy storage systems because they have a specific energy density that is more than seven times greater than commonly used lithium-ion batteries. Until now, however, scientists have not been able to develop a fully rechargeable prototype, despite their potential to store more energy.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are the first to show that lithium-carbon dioxide batteries can be designed to operate in a fully rechargeable manner, and they have successfully tested a lithium-carbon dioxide battery prototype running up to 500 consecutive cycles of charge/recharge processes.

Their findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials.

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Tesla battery researcher unveils new cell that could last 1 million miles in ‘robot taxis’

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Tesla’s battery research partner has released a new paper on a battery cell that could last over 1 million miles, which they say is going to be particularly useful in ‘robot taxis’ — something that Tesla wants to bring to market.

When talking about the economics of Tesla’s future fleet of robotaxis at the Tesla Autonomy Event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized that the vehicles need to be durable in order for the economics to work:

The cars currently built are all designed for a million miles of operation. The drive unit is design, tested, and validated for 1 million miles of operation.

But the CEO admitted that the battery packs are not built to last 1 million miles.

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Lamborghini Sián: The world’s first supercapacitor-hybrid supercar

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Sensual curves meet jagged angles in the remarkable Sian, Lamborghini’s first hybrid and the first car in production history to use a supercapacitor hybrid system

Lamborghini has chosen a radically different way of dipping its toe in the waters of hybridization with the announcement of its new Sián, which couples a screaming, naturally aspirated V12 engine with a supercapacitor-based secondary electric system.

Supercapacitors, as opposed to batteries, offer a unique set of advantages and drawbacks to automakers. They have enormous charge and discharge rates, meaning they can put out huge amounts of power, charge up almost instantly, and pull in a much larger amount of energy through things like regenerative braking, in which a battery’s ability to accept charge becomes a limiting factor. They also don’t deteriorate over time, maintaining their performance over millions of cycles.

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Cambridge startup claims breakthrough electric car battery that can charge in 6 minutes

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A startup that spun out of Cambridge University claims a battery breakthrough that can charge an electric car in just six minutes.

It’s something we heard before, but the difference here is that they claim that they can commercialize the new battery as soon as next year.

The startup, Echion Technologies, was founded by Dr. Jean De La Verpilliere while he was studying for his PhD in nanoscience at the University of Cambridge.

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BMW brings wireless charging to the US

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Because plugging in an electric vehicle is a hassle.

BMW first announced its wireless charging pilot program back in 2017. It works with BMW 530e plug-in hybrid models and the pilot program is helping people test the ability to charge the cars using magnetic induction. The system works in much the same way as we use induction charging for cell phones, except the charging pad is bigger. Parking over the pad starts the charging process automatically and the driver doesn’t have to do anything more. We knew the technology would make it to the US eventually, and now BMW has announced it’s testing it here through a pilot program.

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Chinese shadow growing longer over India’s electric-vehicle dream

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India’s dream of getting more and more middle-class families to use electric vehicles (EVs) seems to be hinging to Beijing, which controls the supply of some key battery components. And this might well become another flashpoint in the volatile relations between India and China.

With nations placing a strategic interest in controlling the supply chain, political interference in mining activities is increasingly making the availability of lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper scarce, EV major Tesla has warned. India might soon have to join a global struggle for Lithium, the most consequential of these minerals.

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Tesla’s Megapack battery is big enough to help grids handle peak demand

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A new industrial storage product coming as the company’s lost its lead in home solar

Tesla announced a new massive battery today called Megapack that could replace so-called “peaker” power plants, which provide energy when a local electrical grid gets overloaded. Tesla says that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will deploy several Megapacks at Moss Landing on Monterrey Bay in California, which is one of four locations where the California utility plans to install more cost-effective energy storage solutions.

Each Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time, and it’s possible to string enough Megapacks together to create a battery with more than 1 GWh of energy storage, Tesla says. The company says this would be enough energy to power “every home in San Francisco for six hours.” Telsa will deliver the Megapacks fully assembled, and they include “battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls.” Tesla says the Megapack takes up 40 percent less space, requires a tenth of the parts to build, and can be assembled 10 times as fast as alternative energy storage solutions.

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Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer

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An innovative thermal battery being developed by Curtin University researchers will be key to a solar power system capable of producing electricity overnight, rivaling fossil fuels as a viable source of power for commercial and heavy industries around the world, including mining operations.

Curtin is collaborating with international renewable energy companies United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal on the potentially game-changing project, which is being led by Professor Craig Buckley from Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Craig Buckley said the thermal battery was part of the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system being developed by United Sun Systems, which requires a battery to store and release energy to enable non-stop solar power generation.

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Fake blood pumps life into this robotic fish

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Autonomous robots may soon be an ever-present force in our lives, but they are going nowhere fast — or rather, a short distance quickly — without better batteries. You’ve surely seen modern robots scamper through woods or vacuum your floors, but they can only do it for short periods before their energy runs out. Many carry a large battery, which increases a robot’s weight, and in a vicious cycle, requires more power to move.

But a new development in robotic technology that borrows from biology may lead to longer lasting batteries.

The fish “blood” that runs through it serves as both the robot’s power source and controls its movement.

Researchers have engineered a robotic lionfish with synthetic arteries, similar to those found in a human’s circulatory system. The fish “blood” that runs through it serves as both the robot’s power source and controls its movement. The findings, published Wednesday in Nature, may propel the new wave of soft robots, in which inventors seek to improve lifelike automated machines for human connection.

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The holy grail of lithium batteries

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Mark Bissett, lecturer in nanomaterials at The University of Manchester, poses for a photograph holding a model showing the hexagonal structure of graphene inside a laboratory at the National Graphene Institute facility, part of the The University of Manchester, in Manchester, U.K., on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Researchers are studying ways to use graphene in batteries, and the material has the potential to significantly boost performance in a much-needed technology.

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Battery storage is the fastest-growing industry sector on the planet (which could save the planet)

 

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Billions of dollars are being invested worldwide in the developing battery boom, involving research into storage techniques to use the growing surpluses of cheap renewable energy now becoming available. Recent developments in batteries are set to sweep aside the old arguments about renewables being intermittent, dismissing any need to continue building nuclear power plants and burning fossil fuels to act as a back-up when the wind does not blow, or the sun does not shine.

Batteries as large as the average family house and controlled by digital technology are being positioned across electricity networks. They are being charged when electricity is in surplus and therefore cheap, and the power they store is resold to the grid at a higher price during peak periods.

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Sorry, graphene—borophene is the new wonder material that’s got everyone excited

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Stronger and more flexible than graphene, a single-atom layer of boron could revolutionize sensors, batteries, and catalytic chemistry.

Not so long ago, graphene was the great new wonder material. A super-strong, atom-thick sheet of carbon “chicken wire,” it can form tubes, balls, and other curious shapes. And because it conducts electricity, materials scientists raised the prospect of a new era of graphene-based computer processing and a lucrative graphene chip industry to boot. The European Union invested €1 billion to kick-start a graphene industry.

This brave new graphene-based world has yet to materialize. But it has triggered an interest in other two-dimensional materials. And the most exciting of all is borophene: a single layer of boron atoms that form various crystalline structures.

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