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Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range By 300%

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the it's-like-a-helmet-but-with-celery dept.

Transportation 182

LesterMoore writes "Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries have developed a new material that they believe can significantly improve the capacity of EV batteries. The material is a form of porous aluminum called 'Aluminum-Celmet.' 'The positive electrode current collector in a conventional lithium-ion secondary battery is made from aluminum foil, while the negative electrode current collector is made from copper foil. Replacing the aluminum foil with Aluminum-Celmet increases the amount of positive active material per unit area. Sumitomo Electric’s trial calculations indicate that in the case of automotive onboard battery packs, such replacement will increase battery capacity 1.5 to 3 times. Alternatively, with no change in capacity, battery volume can be reduced to one-third to two-thirds. These changes afford such benefits as reduced footprint of home-use storage batteries for power generated by solar and other natural sources, as well as by fuel cells."

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Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

fliptw (560225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790518)

*nt

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

Flush1 (2356344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790538)

I read it as aluminum-helmet :/

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1, Funny)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790566)

I read it as aluminum-helmet :/

I read it as aluminum-cement and said "wtf". Then I read it again and saw "aluminum-helmet" and said "wait WTF". Then I smacked myself in the face and read it right.

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790702)

i sure wish you stupid fucking imbeciles would learn how to read. how to see what is there and not what you think might be there. i sure hope you don't drive like that. if you do, you're the undisputed grim fuckin' reaper of the highways.

maybe, just maybe, every story with a potentially-confused word doesn't have to have the first dozen comments spammed by off-topic discussion about what the word might be mistaken for. seriously can you guys cut that shit out for a while, or at least let a story or two slide without this pattern? this can't be too much to ask, in the scheme of things...

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790760)

I agree. These fagets are a bunch of cock sucking fagets who can't fucking read.

Fagets.

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (-1, Offtopic)

gary_7vn (1193821) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790954)

Why did you think that Slashdot is an appropriate place to admit that you killed your grandmother? Over a frigging cheese sandwich no less?

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791078)

Waaaaaahhh...

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791088)

You're a douche. Have you missed all the studies about how the human eye works with the human brain to read? FFS, you can type an entire page of stuff with missing letters, misspellings, even missing words, and the reader will just read past them. Grow up and understand that while YOUR eyes and brain may bring you to a complete halt when a single letter is unexpected, most people don't do that.

I'll agree though, with your comment about driving. People who see what they expect to see are certain death on the highway.

Now, just because I agree with part of a douche's post doesn't mean he's not a douche. Don't go feeling good about yourself because of it!

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791528)

What if someone drives like they expect to see other people who are dangerous accidents waiting to happen?

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791856)

What if someone drives like they expect to see other people who are dangerous accidents waiting to happen?

That's called a pedestrian.

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

Flush1 (2356344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792000)

Got your panties in a bunch? Way to post an explosive rant as anonymous..cause we all know teh internets is srs bzness! Maybe what we need of less is raging ranting self pity driven imbeciles as yourself whose only purpose is to deflect and redirect their anger of their penis size on to the internet. Good day sir

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (2)

aevan (903814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790948)

Same...and then went on to read EV as in extra-vehicular (activity) and wondered what the hell helmet material astronauts were using that so limited them before...

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

mitch_feaster (1193053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791144)

Tin foil hat!!

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790540)

Who didn't?

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790556)

I did at first. I was really wondering how that could possibly improve batteries...

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792062)

I was really wondering how that could possibly improve batteries...

I was wondering how it was going to improve my sex life.

How was it going to improve your sex life? (2)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792414)

will increase battery capacity 1.5 to 3 times

Re:How was it going to improve your sex life? (2)

Xenx (2211586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792534)

*golf clap*

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790584)

/me raises hand. It took a while to realize that EV stands for Electric Vehicles. My question is, if they are using aluminum foam instead of foil for the positive terminal, then why don't they replace the copper foil with a copper foam for another improvement.

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (2)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790830)

From what I can tell, they only know how to make this foam with a few types of metal right now.

I read it for what it was. (0)

Jennifer3000 (921441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790630)

I read it as "Aluminum-Celmet", which is exactly what it says. Stop being so lazy. Protip: generally, if a word is set off by being within quotation marks and/or is capitalized, it is being emphasized for a reason.

Re:I read it for what it was. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790692)

I read it as "Aluminum-Celmet", which is exactly what it says. Stop being so lazy. Protip: generally, if a word is set off by being within quotation marks and/or is capitalized, it is being emphasized for a reason.

I read stuff on the internet all the time. Words are routinely spelled wrong, even when set off in quotation marks--especially on Slashdot. If I didn't correct spelling errors as I read I wouldn't be able to read nearly as much. Yes, occasionally I have to back up and read something again, but how often does someone invent a new word?

Re:I read it for what it was. (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790832)

I read it as "Aluminum-Celmet", which is exactly what it says. Stop being so lazy. Protip: generally, if a word is set off by being within quotation marks and/or is capitalized, it is being emphasized for a reason.

Or its just part of a title....

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790748)

I actually thought it was Aluminum Cement until I read your comment :)

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790836)

I read it as "aluminium-cemet", then realised this is a foriegn language site and not in english.

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790860)

Ah I get it--you speak one of the minor dialects of the language, instead of the dialect with more speakers than all the other ones combined...

Re:Who Else read that as "aluminum-cement"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791154)

No, just English, though I am multi-lingual. I have an understanding of American, being bombarded by it in the popular media.

Alumninum Cermet? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790572)

I suspect this should be "Aluminum-Cermet" since the metal apparently is deposited on a ceramic base.

Japanese often mismaps the "R" sound into an "L" sound ... perhaps that happened here?

Re:Alumninum Cermet? (5, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790662)

I thought it odd as well, but checking the company's website [global-sei.com] it is in fact "Celmet".

It appears that Celmet is a proprietry compound they've been making for a while from nickel and chromium which is designed to be very porous (and high surface area). This announcement seems to just be that they've created an aluminum variant and figure it should work well in lithium batteries.

However, like others have noted, it appears to be pure conjecture on the company's part. There's no mention of creating an actual battery using this method and, if I were to guess, this whole thing is just an attempt to generate interest in their new (patented, trademarked, and whatever else-d) material.

Re:Alumninum Cermet? (3, Informative)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792316)

They've made prototypes and samples, the information just isn't fully available in English. Documentation on one of the samples: www.sei.co.jp/tr/pdf/energy/sei10498.pdf

Re:Alumninum Cermet? (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791300)

Or maybe it's a reference to all the little cells in the metal?

Re:Alumninum Cermet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791736)

Japanese often mismaps the "R" sound into an "L" sound

Wrong. That's true for Chinese. Japanese goes the other way around, where "L" tend to become "R".

Re:Alumninum Cermet? (1)

Belly (153998) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791900)

Wrong. That's true for Chinese. Japanese goes the other way around, where "L" tend to become "R".

No, you're wrong. With Japanese it can go either way. The R and L sounds aren't differentiated in Japanese, so unless a native speaker or proper translator is involved, Japanese will often simply guess which one it is. So in Japan you will see instances of L used mistakenly instead of R, and vice-versa.

L vs R (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792004)

Typical misunderstanding with Japanese pronunciation:
Q: "When do you have elections in Japan?"
A: "Ah yes, have one plactically evely molning!"

Re:Alumninum Cermet? (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792312)

NO! Celmet is their brand of super-porous metals, Celmet being a brand name. The name is composed of Cell and Metal, thusly Celmet. http://www.sei-toyama.co.jp/2-3.html [sei-toyama.co.jp] They have made working samples too, but only the briefs are in English: www.sei.co.jp/tr/pdf/energy/sei10498.pdf .

Power Miracle (4, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790590)

I'm working on a battery entirely powered by stories about battery improvements. It is due "within the next 3-5 years" and should improve our buzzword threshold by 2 fold!

Re:Power Miracle (2)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790752)

I would not bet on any battery tech..., but magnetically levitated (in vacuum) flywheel might actually be a power/energy storage miracle, it is much more viable now then any chemical battery. I would dare to say flywheel is back - big time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage [wikipedia.org]

Re:Power Miracle (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790778)

Mr Rosen, is that you? Rosen Motors did this in the '90s but based their business on getting the US Big Three to buy into it. Silly boys for thinking Ford, GM, or Chrysler cared about efficiency.

LoB

Re:Power Miracle (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790976)

Flywheels come with their own set of problems. They exhibit gyroscopic effects. The heavier the flywheel, the more energy it takes to accelerate or decelerate, fighting against itself. You have to maintain it in a vacuum. My 10-year-old car can't even keep the exhaust from breaking every five minutes, let alone maintain anything vacuum tight.

Also, you're not really talking about THAT massive a store of energy. Gasoline is at 47.2 Megajoules / Kilogram. LiOn batteries used in cars are at 720 Kilojoules / Kilogram. The article you list refers to commercial flywheel power storage at 40 Kilojoules / Kilogram. That's 10x less than Lithium Ion batteries. For the equivalent amount of weight, a Ford Volt could drive a paultry 4 miles between charges.

I wouldn't be surprised to see flywheel regenerative braking and acceleration take off... Momentarily store energy at a dead standstill before harnessing it to launch forwards. That's what it is used for in motorsports and it works well there.

But it would take a bit of a leap to get from there, to a car whose flywheel is spun up in the morning before driving out. Remember, once all of the physics conversions and equations are stripped out, you would need to spin a big honking physical something fast enough to power pushing around a 2k pound car for a day's driving.

Re:Power Miracle (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791812)

Flywheels come with their own set of problems. They exhibit gyroscopic effects.

So you install them in counterrotating pairs.

The heavier the flywheel, the more energy it takes to accelerate or decelerate, fighting against itself.

That's a feature, not a bug.

You have to maintain it in a vacuum. My 10-year-old car can't even keep the exhaust from breaking every five minutes, let alone maintain anything vacuum tight.

And yet I have two 20 year old cars without exhaust or vac leaks... while the flywheel systems are sealed, these systems are NOT closed systems.

In any case, flywheels are best suited to use in trains and in stationary installations due to their weight...

Re:Power Miracle (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791986)

Counter-rotating pairs aren't magic. They have to be connected by something. The stress on the connecting member will be huge. How do you plan to attach them?

Re:Power Miracle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36792326)

Drinkypoo is a well-documented Space Nutter. It is futile to ask him concrete engineering questions, he'll either veer off into Star Trek fantasy-level "technology", or say that NASA has already solved these problems since manned space travel is so important.

Re:Power Miracle (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792352)

It's how KERS works ALREADY, so I'm not really sure of the nature of your complaint. They don't have to be directly physically coupled in any case, making your question all the more perplexing. They only need to come in pairs, be mounted along the same axis, and both be solidly mounted to the frame.

Re:Power Miracle (1)

bertok (226922) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791190)

Flywheels are a huge safety risk. You either run them at low speeds, making them less efficient than batteries, or you run them at very high speeds, in which case a mechanical failure leads to an explosion. Check out this video [youtube.com] for an idea of what happens when a lot of stored rotational energy is suddenly released. Now imagine that in every car!

Re:Power Miracle (2, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791268)

And that is different from gasoline powered cars in what way?

Re:Power Miracle (3, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791372)

For the most part, gasoline powered cars only explode in television shows or movies.

Re:Power Miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791730)

Modern cars do actually blow up after they have been on fire for a long while. This happens when the light metals in engines ignite.

Also about the grandparents fear. That was actually an engine destruction test, which it passed from what I understand. It passed the test because the engine components never separated from its housing, making it 'save' (relative term) when it fails catastrophically.

Re:Power Miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791538)

Excuse me sir, in the video they say: Tree, two, one, FIRE!!

There is a explosive charge that you could easily see because it is orange. This is a Rolls Roice Stress test that simulates the impact of something entering the engine at 900kms/hour.

  So please do not add FUD to flywheels, they are not that dangerous as their not gyroscopic energy is not that great.

Re:Power Miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791778)

> This is a video of an engine on a test stand when a turbine blade is failed by an explosive device attached to a blade.
> Usually they fire a bird at the engine. A 3lb. dead chicken.
> This test was successful in that the failure was contained. i.e. engine parts did not go beyond the engine cowling.

Re:Power Miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791882)

Ok, so to avoid the scenario in this video we just have to refrain from attaching an explosive device to that flywheel in every car?

Re:Power Miracle (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790762)

Exxxxcellent. (said as I twiddle my thumbs and snicker).
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKUOB8MN4Kc

LoB

Re:Power Miracle (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790846)

Your doing it wrong. You're supposed to just touch your finger tips together, forming a pyramid, and peer through the center of it.

Re:Power Miracle (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790822)

Except guess what, battery density actually has improved [kk.org] steadily over time, and dramatically overall [mpoweruk.com] . It's not automatic, it's the result of many improvements just like this one.

Re:Power Miracle (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790882)

I believe you've just violated my 2002 patent on true random data compression algorithms. That's due 5 years out from my Israeli start-up.

Re:Power Miracle (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791192)

You don't actually remember how crappy batteries used to be, do you?

Battery tech is improving steadily, and a surprisingly large number of the big breakthroughs we hear about become standard equipment within a few years of their announcement. Batteries aren't flashy like processors or displays, so people tend not to notice, but in fact batteries have been following their own version of Moore's Law for quite some time now. Even cursory research will show you that batteries of all kinds are longer-lived, more powerful, more reliable, and less expensive for the performance delivered than they've ever been.

But I suppose it's just easier to make snarky remarks on /. than to spend five minutes Googling for the relevant information.

Re:Power Miracle (2)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791438)

I haven't noticed the improvements in battery tech because every time the batteries improve, the manufacturers use smaller ones.
My first cellphone used six AA nicads (which gave a day or so of use when new) whereas now my current (hah!) cellphone has a battery the size of an After Eight mint (which gives a day or so of use when new).

Re:Power Miracle (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791694)

Someone was complaining to me recently about rechargeable D cells only providing the same capacity of AA cells[1]. I told him he should check the capacities before buying them, since all rechargeables list their capacity in mAh on the side. I told him 650mAh was about what he'd expect from an AA, because that was about the most I could find when I last bought AAs. Then I decided to actually check. It turns out that these days 2-3Ah is normal for AA batteries. I used to have a Psion Series 3, which ran on alkaline AA batteries and had a battery monitor that told you how much it had drained - that's more than I got out of alkaline non-rechargeables back then (mid '90s).

It's easy to miss these advances, but I was really surprised how much cheap rechargeables have improved. The other thing that really brought home the improvement to me recently was a toy helicopter that I got for my birthday. I got one a few years ago, but it had a much smaller and lighter body, and didn't fly as long. In the early '90s, I asked about building electric toy helicopters, and was told that there was no power source that would work for them. The person I was talking to went through the calculations - batteries of the time simply did not have the energy density to lift themselves. That was just before LiIon started to become commercially available. Now, not only is it possible, it's so cheap that you can put them in toys for children / geeks. Oh, and as an aside, I also remember seeing the first prototype for a helicopter with counterrotating rotors on Tomorrows World. It's really amazing seeing a toy containing so many technologies that were totally unavailable just a couple of decades ago.

[1] This is actually true for Duracell - their rechargeable batteries all seem to use the same cell, irrespective of the size.

Re:Power Miracle (5, Interesting)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791626)

Nickel foam is already used in NiMH batteries to improve storage capacity, it's just expensive, so most often used in high-density NiMH car batteries. They already produce a low-nickel variant of this foam that's cheaper and simpler to produce, called celmet, that's comparable [global-sei.com] in performance to more expensive production methods - Sumitomo are not a fly-by-night company, this is part of their bread-and-butter business.

They've now applied the same foam technique to creating aluminium foam instead of nickel foam, so it can be used in Lithium batteries instead of NiMH. Given their focus, I imagine it's going to be more suitable to larger Li-ion batteries for EV purposes rather than smaller consumer electronics, but there's no fundamental reason it won't work for Li-ion batteries. After all, all you're doing is increasing the surface area of the electrode with a foam-type material; the trick is making it cheaply enough while maintaining mechanical strength. That appears to be the problem they have solved for aluminium, using their existing technique.

Let's Raise Some Money (3, Insightful)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790632)

TFA is full of words like "reportedly" and "could". It's marketing baloney. If this stuff is so great, let's have a story about a working battery. Also, the technical details in the summary about electrodes and battery size reduction don't appear in TFA. Please remember, No Original Research is one of the core content policies of /.

Re:Let's Raise Some Money (2)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790750)

It's true that this is not ready. However, the basics are probably sound - changing battery electrodes can boost power significantly. They're pretty much the movers and shakers in batteries, after all.

Lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries probably started this way too. There will always be a lot of fluff but it's important to keep an eye out for technical developments since some will actually be the next big thing, like powerful LEDs. New electrodes in some shape and form are probably it when it comes to lithium batteries.

Obligatory xkcd reference (2)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790660)

http://xkcd.com/678/ [xkcd.com]

As a side note, a hovercar might be nice later this summer when my commute floods.

fr&ist psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36790666)

and has instead [ner o-online.org]. Not anymore. It's the project is in

Slashvertisement (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790718)

Search for the term "Aluminum Celmet" and all the returns are from the last month or so, all reference the company mentioned here, and are either press releases, stories on tech sites made from press releases, or astroturf on forums. The term "celmet" appears to be a trademark of the company.

I'm very interested in novel battery research, but this one tastes like Ovaltine.

Re:Slashvertisement (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790790)

Search for the term "Aluminum Celmet" and all the returns are from the last month or so, all reference the company mentioned here, and are either press releases, stories on tech sites made from press releases, or astroturf on forums. The term "celmet" appears to be a trademark of the company.

I'm very interested in novel battery research, but this one tastes like Ovaltine.

Ovaltine? Are you sure? I'm in! *yum*

Re:Slashvertisement (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791376)

OVOMaltine!

Re:Slashvertisement (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792328)

Actually the information just isn't available in English. Aside from the Celmet site there are numerous documents on prototypes, samples, and working production models if you simply search for the name in Japanese: .

Re:Slashvertisement (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792334)

Slashdot UTF8 FAIL!

what, no.... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790720)

These changes afford such benefits as reduced footprint of home-use storage batteries for power generated by solar and other natural sources, as well as by fuel cells.

All that matters for home storage batteries is that they be cheap and recyclable. "Footprint" is completely irrelevant. And mentioning fuel cells as a power source is just asking for a flame war.

If this is decent at all... (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790898)

...and can be applied at sizes smaller than a car battery, the first practical applications of it won't be car batteries. They'll be consumer electronics. If you've ever seen the inside of an iPad or iPhone, you already know that the largest single component is the battery. Being able to shrink it means that the technology companies can shrink the form factors of devices like those. I know in the case of the iPhone, the camera is one of the current major constraints on thickness, but for laptops you may be able to see drastic reductions in thickness and weight. And for smaller electronics, you may be able to simply make the device lighter, or else can afford to make fewer compromises due to space constraints. It could be very interesting indeed.

Now, granted, this sounds like a lot of astroturfing, but if there is any worth to it, you can bet that the technology companies that are trying to make slim and stylish devices will be all over it. Apple in particular, since they've already started developing their own battery technologies to save space and increase capacity.

weight reductions in laptops... (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792278)

... means that the laptop falls over backwards when you open the screen! the reason is that the screen weighs 0.5kg and the rest of the laptop is now only about 300 grammes - including only a 100 gramme battery. so it's necessary to put a counterweight at the front, or to redesign the laptop and have the screen moved forward. no, you can't reduce the weight of the screen, because it's thin glass (which is heavy itself) but it's not self-supporting and so needs to be surrounded by a metal frame.

so, yes, lots of speculation, but the writing is clearly on the wall.

Whatever happened to EESTOR? (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790966)

EESTOR had a super capacitor storage technology that was supposed to work at 1800 (V). They have filed 30+ patents. Last I checked, I couldn't find any announcements from them. I couldn't even find an EESTOR sign in front of the EESTOR office building on Google Earth.

Anyone know if they are still alive?

Re:Whatever happened to EESTOR? (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792632)

They are still in business.
They have not demonstrated any products or prototypes.
Many believe that the tech doesn't / can't work.
Some believe they are frauds.
Some believe they are real.
The site theeestory.com follows the company, though in the absence of any actual news, the site has devolved into other topics.

The car battery problem has been solved (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36790984)

The Sinclair C5 ran for 40 kilometres with a fairly simple battery, so this is clearly just another excuse for the car industry to not bring out more electric vehicles, or to bring out only highly inefficient ones.

Re:The car battery problem has been solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791172)

*sigh* Won't people learn that people don't want electric vehicles until there is an infrastructure to support them?

We have enough vehicles on the road that get stalled and cause traffic jams. We don't need Jane Xanax who forgot to charge up her electric car and who realized it just ran out of juice stopping traffic on the highway for 15-30 minutes until her car can be towed.

Maybe if we get an electric car solution that is working, there may be interest, but other than CAFE regulations, people want vehicles that work. Look at the Prius, and the plug-in model that should start selling in a few months. That is how to do a vehicle right.

Re:The car battery problem has been solved (4, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791222)

The Sinclair C5 - cool though it was, and I still want one - was a small electric recumbent cycle. Its real range was closer to 25km than 40km, and at a top speed of 25km/h. It had pedals, but then the aerodynamic design was compensated for by carrying around 30kg of deep-cycle lead-acid battery. It needed to charge up overnight from flat, giving about an hour's run time for a full 12 hours of charging.

I'm not a particularly hardcore cyclist, but even I can beat the C5's range and speed, powered only by a pint or two of beer and a couple of pies...

Re:The car battery problem has been solved (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791830)

Looked up the C5. As the review said: "Nothing good was ever said about the C5..."

This might be real (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791004)

The actual press release is rather conservative.

This is Sumitomo Electric, annual sales about US$20 billion, not some startup. Their major businesses are wire and cable, which includes fibre optics and associated laser diodes. Looking back at their press releases, there are items like "Arrival of the "Era of High-Temperature Superconducting Wire with 200-A-Class Critical Current", followed a few months later by "World's First In-Grid High-Temperature Superconducting Power Cable System is Now Online at Albany, New York". This company doesn't typically overhype their technology.

Their "celmet" materials have been around for a while, but until recently, they were nickel-based only. They've made some NiMh batteries with this technology, but there wasn't a big win. Now they have an aluminum version, which is more useful for batteries.

This might actually work.

Re:This might be real (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791518)

Thank you.. probably the most informative post in the thread so far. I would love to see longer battery life in consumer electronics too though... I just hope that someone does a reliable, peppy EV/Hybrid. Will probably see biodeisel make a comeback first though.

Re:This might be real (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791934)

Aluminium is 8% of the planet's crust. it's not a rare earth metal: it's available in unbelievably large quantities. Europositron, a company that has also developed a 100% rechargeable high-capacity cell (5x that of NiMH) - that doesn't degrade or require chemical or mechanical re-processing - has recognised the capacity of aluminium for years. unfortunately, despite working demos, nobody's believed them.

the problem with aluminium as a high-capacity rechargeable battery is that the energy storage capacity is so high (80kWh in a 100kg cell is not unreasonable) that it can easily be classified as a weapon (in the same way that a molotov cocktail can be classified as a weapon).

Re:This might be real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791978)

Aluminum is easily recyclable too...

Re:This might be real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36792058)

You mean the same Eurpositron that was exposed as a stock scam [www.hs.fi] and never had an actual product?

Re:This might be real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36792078)

not according to this http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finnish+inventor+suspected+of+fraud+/1135242670949

Re:This might be real (2)

crunchygranola (1954152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792410)

the problem with aluminium as a high-capacity rechargeable battery is that the energy storage capacity is so high (80kWh in a 100kg cell is not unreasonable) that it can easily be classified as a weapon (in the same way that a molotov cocktail can be classified as a weapon).

The energy content of 100 kg of TNT is 115 kWh, so this is almost 70% as high. Thermal destruction of a battery like this won't be pretty. (Well, maybe it *would* be pretty in a Myth Busters/fireworks kind of way, but you won't want to be close by.)

Re:This might be real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36792546)

No, the problem is that Europositron is a fraud [peswiki.com] . They were being investigated because the inventor had no such product and was selling stock based on the scam.

Re:This might be real (1)

TomHeal (2261306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792044)

This might actually work.

I have a preference for results instead of "this might actually work."

Is this new form of porous aluminum... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791038)

...transparent by any chance?

Only insofar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791070)

...as 'transparent' is defined as 'not existing within the specified space' :)

Awesome! (2)

ewieling (90662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791052)

This is great news! Only 20 years until the patent expires and products can start being made using this technology.

Future Tech is Future tech, so stop being a cynic (3, Insightful)

Xeranar (2029624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791224)

I have no other definition for a group so well entrenched and yet supposedly so well educated in science. First off take a course in the history of science and understand just how developments actually work. We've been wowed by computer sciences for the last two decades and the lightning speed of updates but in the real world of mechanical parts and economics moore's law just doesn't apply. The first EVs used nickel-cadmium batteries the newest models use lithium ion technology. In ten years this aluminum-celmet which is a process that is widely known and thus likely will be trademarked but not patented. We're close to breaking the magic 300 mile range barrier and when we do the EVs will sell.

The overall cynicism of the posters is getting depressing and irresponsible. Science occurs at the speed of humanity, advancements happen every day that takes years to filter into our world. If you don't like reading about cutting edge future technology then stop reading these articles.

Misleading use of percentages (3, Interesting)

stormboy (1691754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791292)

Looking at the stated figures for battery volume, the increase in range is "by up to 200%" NOT "by 300%" as the title states. The correct use of the 300% figure would be "increase range to 300% of current range". An increase of range by 300% would mean the range would be 400% of the original range. It may seem like a little difference between the words "by" and "to", but misuse of words and percentages occurs far too much to exaggerate things that do not need exaggerating.

And as always it appears that 99% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791304)

of people can't deal with percentages... upping the capacity by a factor of one point five to three means an _increase_ in capacity by 50 to 200 percent, NOT 100 to 300!

If you must use the bigger numbers then you could say "new batteries with a capacity of 150 to 300 percent of current ones ", but not "increase"

Sounds like BS to me (1)

davesag (140186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791422)

I fail to see how changing the wires can possibly increase the energy density of the battery. Sorry but I'm calling BS on this one.

If they could show some actual examples of their tech in action I'd be more willing to overcome my scepticism.

Re:Sounds like BS to me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791550)

The clue is in the word "porous" - they increase active surface area. What annoys me slightly is that I see announcements like that almost weekly using all sorts of material from nano tubes to recycled fluffy animals (no, I made that up) - but I don't see this in reality. In that respect we think alike: cute announcement, now make it actually *work*.

I personally see more mileage (pun intended) in fuel cell technology: refuelling is much faster than recharging,.

What I have not seen so far is attempts to store lightning. One flash can power a minor city for months, so if we could master than one we'd save a LOT of energy, but we're not capable of handling such a jolt, let alone store it.

Re:Sounds like BS to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791572)

No one but you claims that it increases energy density.
What if there were some loss of power input/output during charging/discharging due to the connection between the wires and the actual battery?
Have you noticed that your batteries get hot when you carge/discharge them?

Re:Sounds like BS to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36792300)

changing the wires? they are giving aluminum a larger surface area by making it porous while maintaining strength allowing more of a chemical reaction from what i gathered. i call BS on your willingness to overcome skepticism.

Thanks for explaining that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36791470)

"Sumitomo Electric’s trial calculations indicate that in the case of automotive onboard battery packs, such replacement will increase battery capacity 1.5 to 3 times. Alternatively, with no change in capacity, battery volume can be reduced to one-third to two-thirds."

No shit, Sherlock.

Jesus Christ - do they have to spell it out?

What the heck is a EV battery? (1)

Moldiver (1343577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36791908)

Well colour me stupid but what the heck is a EV battery?

Re:What the heck is a EV battery? (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792342)

Electric Vehicle

Re:What the heck is a EV battery? (1)

Moldiver (1343577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36792472)

Thanks - These 2 letter shorts drive me mad. What's so bad at writing e-car or electric car?

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