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Something new just released for battery tech


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We all know the PITA about all our batteries are that they eventually must be replaced after X number of recharge cycles. This is the bane of laptop, tablets and phones that are sealed, Tesla batteries, Auto starter batteries and RV/cabin batteries. Maybe this discovery leads to no more replacing any batteries.


The study was conducted in coordination with the Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of Maryland, with funding from the Basic Energy Sciences division of the U.S. Department of Energy.


What they discovered was a battery nano wire coating gel that kept them from cracking under repeated charging. In testing they found the batteries could be recharged hundreds of thousands of times.


Let's say they just allow for 100,000 charges with no loss of capacity. Charging a phone, or Tesla battery pack once a day means that the batteries would last 100,000 charge cycles divided by 365 days per year = 273.9726 years of life for that battery/battery pack.


They may never become economically feasible to market or find the expense is not worth the return. But for a Mars mission or a battery only car like the Tesla, the life offsets much of the cost drawbacks. In other words if we could buy the new sled and body and reuse our first battery set through several generations that would be cost effective and very green.


This is exciting to watch. I hope it does pan out. In the meantime let's read it.




"Irvine, Calif., April 20, 2016 — University of California, Irvine researchers have invented nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times, moving us closer to a battery that would never require replacement. The breakthrough work could lead to commercial batteries with greatly lengthened lifespans for computers, smartphones, appliances, cars and spacecraft.


Scientists have long sought to use nanowires in batteries. Thousands of times thinner than a human hair, they’re highly conductive and feature a large surface area for the storage and transfer of electrons. However, these filaments are extremely fragile and don’t hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging, or cycling. In a typical lithium-ion battery, they expand and grow brittle, which leads to cracking.


UCI researchers have solved this problem by coating a gold nanowire in a manganese dioxide shell and encasing the assembly in an electrolyte made of a Plexiglas-like gel. The combination is reliable and resistant to failure.


The study leader, UCI doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai, cycled the testing electrode up to 200,000 times over three months without detecting any loss of capacity or power and without fracturing any nanowires. The findings were published today in the American Chemical Society’s Energy Letters.


Hard work combined with serendipity paid off in this case, according to senior author Reginald Penner.

“Mya was playing around, and she coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it,” said Penner, chair of UCI’s chemistry department. “She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity.”


“That was crazy,” he added, “because these things typically die in dramatic fashion after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most.”


Much more in the article including a link to the engineering white paper and related posts here:



If this works, a big if this early, it changes everything from your phone to your RV and vehicles, whether a starting battery for an ICE vehicle, or a Tesla battery pack, or iPad, this is huge if it pans out!


There will be lots of investment opportunities in it and related fields if it begins commercial production and becomes cost effective to buy. Just like getting in on the IPO of Tesla and holding for three years before it really took off to the top of the charts.

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Thanks for commenting Jim,


Now that it is possible, you know every electronics, mobile device, car, even RV manufacturer worth their salt will zero in and pay attention. This, like the Teslas, will create a demand before they can be perfected/manufactured. For enterprise backup power they would be a no brainer for critical server farms and defense hardened long term command centers.


As investors looking for the "next big think," (pun int.) this new possibility should be on our watch list too. If Musk buys the patent then it will happen sooner than most would believe. I was wondering if I was the only one who sees the implications.


Yes, as you said, a huge impact on modern technical life. Now to see if it can be perfected, packaged, and brought to market at consumer prices. All the energy needed to safely dispose and recycle batteries will be saved, as well as the manufacturing and materials for replacement batteries.


I already spent a bit more for these: http://www.amazon.com/Powerex-MHRAAI4-Imedion-Rechargeable-Batteries/dp/B003LWMZ5M and to charge them properly this: http://www.amazon.com/Powerex-MH-C204W-Worldwide-Charger-batteries/dp/B0007LI8MO which also has a reconditioning cycle.

They are similar to Eneloop batteries but more mAh and last longer so far. These batteries come pre-charged, and just like regular non-rechargeable alkaline batteries hold their charge until needed, then do the same thing after recharging. I no longer have to anticipate when I will need replacement batteries and charge them overnight like the older designs. The only problem I've had is they are a tight fit on clocks and some other smaller devices. Great in our LED flashlights too. If they made them permanent with a my lifetime warranty, I'd pay double. I'd pay triple for battery packs set up for my vehicles, 5th wheel, and a backup Powerwall pack for my home.

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Thanks for sharing. However, we have just started. The wonderful ability of a mind appears to be limitless. We just may need to provide more opportunities for education and research. However, from what I have reading almost half of our Graduate Research students are foreign. What is happened to our GREAT education system? Could it be that we No longer want to work hard or study for American students?


Safe Travels!

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Spend a day shadowing a High School Teacher. Then go to the local university and volunteer to help proctor the incoming feeder school's best and brightest placement tests. I did that way back in 1981-86 when I took a break in service to get my degree. I worked in the counseling office as a counselor too and I proctored the incoming classes of 1980/81. half of them needed developmental classes in reading comprehension, writing, math. All non credit courses but prerequisites for the folks that scored low. It has gotten much worse. Here the majority of students were white and the ones that set the grade curves were us oldsters (I was 30 when I went back) and the immigrant non white kids. It wasn't the minority members as all had about the same percentages. I was disappointed but I did come from Connecticut schools and other all over the world as a preschooler. We had the third best rated school system in the country back in the 60s. Louisiana was fight with Mississippi for last and second to last swapping annually. We'd have been expelled for the year for what some consider normal behaviors.


We had good professors at LSUS in the 80s. I saw English writing by students that would not have passed my 3rd grade teacher. My best friend got hos doctoral and teaches at LA Tech in Ruston. He all but resigned and instead stepped down form faculty department head v=because he was sick of making courses easier to attract paying students and again not the minorities most try to see in that stereotype. Higher education in the US is getting worse with the predatory commercial "school"s that promise a technical career and placement that are just all but scams. We are losing a lot of talent to the new anti science and intellectual movements. If their kids can't pass on standard expectations, it is time to change the curriculum? My youngest is 40 this year so we have not dealt with the teach the test things I hear about but I doubt that has a lot to do with it. At least with smartphones they can type and read.

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