Singapore-Bound Billionaire James Dyson Plans $3.6 Billion Move Into Batteries And Robotics After Electric Car Failure


David Dawkins

The British industrial designer best-known for his distinctive and much-loved household appliances–vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and hair straighteners–also confirmed long-standing plans to move his global head office from the U.K. to Singapore.

The most likely move for Dyson is further development of the powerful, long-life batteries, intended for its much-hyped but abandoned electric vehicle project that the billionaire was forced to shelve in October last year. Although specifics are yet to be confirmed, Dyson said in a statement today that it will “double” its portfolio of products and enter entirely new fields of innovation including robotics and machine learning by 2025.

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LG unveils a battery-powered air purifier you strap to your face

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LG is releasing a face-mounted, battery-powered air purifier

Korean electronics giant LG has adapted its home air purifying technology into a battery-powered, air purifying face mask with twin H13 HEPA filters, multi-speed fans and a UV-LED sterilizing case. But there’s still a lot we don’t know.

The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, as LG is calling it, appears quite a remarkable device. It straps to the face with straps behind the ears like a regular face mask, but carries an 820-mAh battery to run an active air filtration and purification system for up to eight hours on low mode and two hours on high.

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New drone technology promises a 5-minute recharge

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 A FlashBattery-packin’ drone lifts off from the StoreDot charging stationStoreDot

 Most multicopter drones can only fly for about 30 minutes, after which their battery has to be recharged for one to two hours – this limits their practical use. According to Israeli company StoreDot, though, its FlashBattery tech delivers a full charge in just five minutes.

We last heard from StoreDot three years ago. At that time, the startup reportedly used a higher-capacity version of the FlashBattery system to recharge an electric car’s battery pack in five minutes.

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A look inside Tesla Gigafactory Nevada [Updated]

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The science channel got access to Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada for their new show ‘Super Factories’ – giving us a rare new look inside the plant.

Tesla Gigafactory Nevada was the first major step in Tesla’s effort to secure battery cell supply for its ambitious growth.

The automaker partnered with Panasonic to deploy new battery cell production capacity at the facility and Tesla used those cells to build battery packs for its vehicles and energy storage products.

When originally announcing the plan for the factory, Tesla was talking about the plant producing 105 GWh of battery cells per year and 150 GWh of battery packs per year once completed.

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Australia to start paying EV owners for transferring electricity back to the national grid

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Electric vehicles can help keep the air clean in our cities – as we’ve seen recently with the reduction of traffic through COVID-19 lockdowns – but they face two obstacles.

 In the short term they’re still expensive. In the long term charging millions of vehicles from the electricity grid presents challenges.

I’m part of a new project, launched today, that tackles both of these obstacles head-on, and it could mean owners earn more money than they’re likely to pay for charging their electric vehicles.

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Tesla’s next factory is going to be in Austin, Texas, and it’s going to happen quickly

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A source familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla has chosen Austin, Texas, for its next factory, and it’s going to happen quickly.

 The race to secure Tesla’s next factory is apparently over.

According to a reliable source familiar with the matter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is set on bringing the next Tesla Gigafactory, or now Terafactory, to Austin, or at least close to the city.

The people familiar with the project said that Musk has tasked the engineering team working at Gigafactory Nevada to start the process for the new factory, which is expected to make the Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup truck and the Model Y.

Tesla’s CEO also reportedly wants to move extremely fast.

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High-density hybrid powercapacitors: A new frontier in the energy race

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Toomen’s high-density hybrid power capacitors offer the density of lithium batteries, but with much greater charge and discharge rates, a massive range of safe operating temperatures, enormous lifespans and no danger of explosion

Hybrid “power capacitors” that can store as much energy as lithium batteries, but with much higher charge/discharge rates, a huge range of safe operating temperatures, super-long lifespans and no risk of explosion are already in production, says a small Belgian company that’s been testing them and selling them for some time.

Chinese family-owned company Shenzhen Toomen New Energy is tough to find, at least on the English-language internet, but Belgian electronic engineer Eric Verhulst bumped into Toomen representatives on a tiny stand at the Hannover Messe expo in Germany back in 2018, while looking for next-gen battery solutions for an electric mobility startup he was running.

The Toomen team made a hell of a claim, saying they’d managed to manufacture powerful supercapacitors with the energy density of lithium batteries. “Of course, that’s an unbelievable claim,” Verhulst told us. “It’s a factor of 20 better than what, for example, Maxwell had at the time. So I took my time, went over there, looked at their tests, did some tests myself, and I got convinced this is real. So at the end of 2018, we made an agreement to become their exclusive partner.”

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Graphene sponge helps lithium sulphur batteries reach new potential

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An illustration of the Chalmers design for a lithium sulfur battery. The highly porous quality of the graphene aerogel allows for high enough soaking of sulfur to make the catholyte concept worthwhile. Credit: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology

To meet the demands of an electric future, new battery technologies will be essential. One option is lithium sulphur batteries, which offer a theoretical energy density more than five times that of lithium ion batteries. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently unveiled a promising breakthrough for this type of battery, using a catholyte with the help of a graphene sponge.

The researchers’ novel idea is a porous, sponge-like aerogel made of reduced graphene oxide that acts as a free-standing electrode in the battery cell and allows for better and higher utilisation of sulphur.

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Siemens Gamesa unveils world first electrothermal energy storage system

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Spanish renewable energy giant and offshore wind energy leader Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy last week inaugurated operations of its electrothermal energy storage system which can store up to 130 megawatt-hours of electricity for a week in volcanic rock.

Siemens Gamesa, a company known more famously for its offshore wind turbines, is nevertheless a large-scale renewable energy technology manufacturer, with its hands in various renewable technology pots. One of these pots is energy storage, and last week the company announced the beginning of operations of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES), claimed by the company as a world first. The opening ceremony for the pilot plant in Hamburg-Altenwerder was held last week to celebrate the beginning of operations.

The newly-opened electric thermal energy storage system is billed by Siemens Gamesa as “The Future Energy Solution” and as costing “significantly” less than classic energy storage solutions. Specifically, according to the company, even at the gigawatt-hour (GWh) pilot scale, ETES “would be highly competitive compared to other available storage technologies.”

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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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Using molten salt to store electricity isn’t just for solar thermal plants

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Startup follows on a number of innovative ideas to make renewable energy more flexible.

How can we make wind a more versatile energy source? By adding storage.

An energy storage startup that found its footing at Alphabet’s X “moonshot” division announced last week that it will receive $26 million in funding from a group of investors led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund that counts Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg as investors and whose chairman is Bill Gates. The startup, called Malta, uses separate vats of molten salt and antifreeze-like liquid to store electricity as thermal energy and dispatch it to the grid when it’s needed.

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