Electric car batteries getting a boost.

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Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Lostdreams » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

Article

Spoiler:
Much is being done to increase the range of electric vehicles, from improved lithium ion batteries to reducing the chassis weight. However, Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) have developed a new material that they believe can improve the range of EVs by an impressive 300%.

The ‘super material’ is a form of porous aluminum called “Aluminum-Celmet.” It is a light-weight metal that SEI believes can be utilized in lithium ion batteries as its 3D structure can reportedly triple battery capacity. Made from nickel or nickel chrome alloy, Aluminium-Celmet is created through a combination of electro conductive coating, plastic foam, nickel plating and plastic foam. As a result, the material has a high porosity of up to 98%, which is much higher than other porous metals. Its mesh like structure also makes it easy to cut and mould for industrial purposes – namely hybrid vehicle nickel-hydrogen batteries.

Light, conductive and providing excellent corrosive resistance, SEI believes that Aluminum-Celmet is ideal for lithium-ion and other batteries that operate at high charge/discharge voltages. More importantly, if a material can be created than improves the range of EVs, then the general public will see the advantage of owning one. This discovery has the potential to increase the production of EVs, reduce the number of gas guzzlers and reduce carbon emissions.


SEI Press Release

Spoiler:
Development of Porous Aluminum “Aluminum-Celmet”

June 24, 2011
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.


Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., having newly developed its porous aluminum “Aluminum-Celmet,” has set up a small-scale production line at Osaka Works (1-1-3 Shimaya, Konohana-ku, Osaka) to accelerate development efforts toward mass production of the new material.

Celmet is a porous metal made from nickel or nickel chrome alloy. The porous metal manufacturing process comprises electro conductive coating to plastic foam, followed by nickel plating and plastic foam removal by heat treatment.

Celmet’s features include high porosity (up to 98%), considerably higher than other porous metals, such as nonwoven metal fabric and foam metal; it also features a three-dimensional mesh-like structure that forms interconnected, open and spherical pores. Moreover, it is easy to process the porous metal into various shapes by cutting and stamping.

These features lead to favorable filling, retaining and current-collecting performance, when used with an active material. As such, Celmet has recently been adopted as a positive electrode current collector in hybrid vehicle nickel-hydrogen batteries.

We have recently succeeded in developing porous aluminum Aluminum-Celmet, using processes similar to those used for producing nickel Celmet.

In addition to sharing the high porosity feature of Celmet, Aluminum-Celmet offers lightness (the specific gravity of aluminum is about one-third that of nickel) and greater electrical conductivity (or low electrical resistivity, less than half that of nickel). Furthermore, Aluminum-Celmet offers excellent corrosion resistance. These features make it suitable for use in lithium-ion and other secondary batteries operating at high charge/discharge voltages, for which Celmet made from nickel is not suitable. Aluminum-Celmet can also be used for current collectors in capacitors.



In-House Assessment of Aluminum-Celmet Applications

Aluminum-Celmet can be used to improve the capacity of lithium-ion secondary batteries and capacitors.


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.



In conventional capacitors, both positive and negative current collectors are made from aluminum foil. Use of Aluminum-Celmet instead improves the capacity and reduces the footprint, as with lithium-ion batteries.



We will direct our efforts toward improving Aluminum-Celmet for commercialization and mass production for lithium-ion battery and capacitor current collector applications.



* Celmet is a trademark or registered trademark of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

* Aluminum-Celmet is a trademark of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.



150-300% jump in capacity is a pretty big. It also sounds like a similar production method to the existing one so hopefully it will take less time to implement it.

Aluminum is about twice as expensive as nickel though so I'd expect to see a price hike. :(
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:39 pm UTC

Lostdreams wrote:Aluminum is about twice as expensive as nickel though so I'd expect to see a price hike. :(

Aluminum is still pretty cheap. I'd compare the manufacturing processes to determine cost.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Dauric » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

I wonder if this battery technology scales up or down well, improving cell-phone/portable computing/micro helicopter batteries on one hand or being able to (more) efficiently store solar/wind generated electricity on the other.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Minerva » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:42 pm UTC

Has this been published in peer-reviewed literature?

As always, something that goes to the mass media first instead of going to the peer-reviewed literature should send up alarm bells that it's crackpottery, just like car that runs on water, cold fusion etc.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby addams » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

There is a photo.
http://global-sei.com/news/press/11/11_19.html

So; It has to be real. Right?
I know squat about batteries. Even I know the increased surface area is a big deal.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Dauric » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:26 pm UTC

addams wrote:There is a photo.
http://global-sei.com/news/press/11/11_19.html

So; It has to be real. Right?
I know squat about batteries. Even I know the increased surface area is a big deal.

We Can Have Quiet Cars! What a Joy!


It's not necessarily that the imaged structure comprises a battery, it could still be a hoax, but it would be a fairly expensive one considering the industrial company that developed it is setting up small-scale production lines. I'm not sure if it's standard practice for industrial companies to submit their research to peer review journals, or if they go straight to the patent and client demonstrations, these kind of things tend to be subject to NDAs that may preclude peer review. We'll probably know more if/when Toyota or other companies start buying these batteries.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby addams » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:06 am UTC

Dauric wrote:
addams wrote:There is a photo.
http://global-sei.com/news/press/11/11_19.html

So; It has to be real. Right?
I know squat about batteries. Even I know the increased surface area is a big deal.

We Can Have Quiet Cars! What a Joy!


It's not necessarily that the imaged structure comprises a battery, it could still be a hoax, but it would be a fairly expensive one considering the industrial company that developed it is setting up small-scale production lines. I'm not sure if it's standard practice for industrial companies to submit their research to peer review journals, or if they go straight to the patent and client demonstrations, these kind of things tend to be subject to NDAs that may preclude peer review. We'll probably know more if/when Toyota or other companies start buying these batteries.

It could take years. It is possible that this one thing will change a great deal of the way the world develops over the next decade. Did that say 300 km? On one battery? That is far. I am so happy for my species. Solar and wind powered cars. Such a nice dream. Maybe, it will come true.
Next, we need someone to work on the tires and suspension systems. We need these things to be able to travel over rough ground, sand and mud.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:49 am UTC

I really want this to be real. I do love the idea of electric cars, it's just that they're currently too crap to consider buying one. Increasing the range would go a long way towards changing my mind.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby AvatarIII » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:55 am UTC

addams wrote:We Can Have Quiet Cars! What a Joy!


probably more people getting hit by cars though,

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:59 am UTC

Yeah it's always been the damn batteries. Every other aspect was pretty much perfected years ago. I want my electric motorcycle. The sound is way less important than people think. On a busy road the sound of any individual car is pretty much lost in the noise from the others.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:04 am UTC

Well, high capacity batteries is one good step certainly, if it's real. The final hurdle, as far as I'm concerned, would be having the capacity to recharge them in a short amount of time without melting the plug socket.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Hawknc » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

Well, it's already easy enough to quick-charge EVs, the limitation at home is (and will be for the forseeable future) the max current allowable through household sockets. The most you'll find here is 240V/15A, which will recharge most EVs in a few hours.

I don't see any real reason to doubt this is a real improvement - battery tech has been steadily going up in capacity and down in cost for a while now, so this fits nicely on the curve. Presumably when it's production-ready, Sumitomo will start going to the auto companies and touting its benefits over Panasonic, JCI/Saft etc. and we'll see them in cars about five years after that.
AvatarIII wrote:
addams wrote:We Can Have Quiet Cars! What a Joy!


probably more people getting hit by cars though,

There is legislation in the US that requires electric vehicles and hybrids to generate noise at low speeds. At high speeds, tire noise is more prevalent anyway.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby AvatarIII » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:56 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
addams wrote:We Can Have Quiet Cars! What a Joy!


probably more people getting hit by cars though,

There is legislation in the US that requires electric vehicles and hybrids to generate noise at low speeds. At high speeds, tire noise is more prevalent anyway.


i actually had a feeling there was some sort of guideline about that, but wasn't sure if it was law.

roads with high speed limits are much less likely to have pedestrians though so tyre noise is pretty moot

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby bentheimmigrant » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:01 pm UTC

Minerva wrote:Has this been published in peer-reviewed literature?

As always, something that goes to the mass media first instead of going to the peer-reviewed literature should send up alarm bells that it's crackpottery, just like car that runs on water, cold fusion etc.

That's not always the case with industry. There's not really that much incentive for them to get their technology published, because a patent and a pilot scale production line don't need a journal article.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Yakk » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:The most you'll find here is 240V/15A

15 A really? My stove runs on 220-240V/40A.

Now, it is a two-phase armored cable. But a similar connection powers my electric dryer.

You'd want to build a "safer" connection for a car docking station, but more amps isn't that hard to pull off reasonably safely. More volts is harder.

I wonder if it would be worth stealing the iPod USB hack, where the amps you can draw are negotiated between the car and the plug in a somewhat smart manner. I guess this is dangerous, as it makes installing the power plugs trickier (the gauge of cable would vary with the ampage that a given plug draws, and the plug doesn't get to know how big the cables are, short of melting them...).
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby rath358 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:07 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
Hawknc wrote:The most you'll find here is 240V/15A

15 A really? My stove runs on 220-240V/40A.

Now, it is a two-phase armored cable. But a similar connection powers my electric dryer.

You'd want to build a "safer" connection for a car docking station, but more amps isn't that hard to pull off reasonably safely. More volts is harder.

I wonder if it would be worth stealing the iPod USB hack, where the amps you can draw are negotiated between the car and the plug in a somewhat smart manner. I guess this is dangerous, as it makes installing the power plugs trickier (the gauge of cable would vary with the ampage that a given plug draws, and the plug doesn't get to know how big the cables are, short of melting them...).

IANAElectrician, but when I look at the breaker box at my house, there are two breakers entirely dedicated to the range, and one or two to the dryer. Individual rooms might just have one breaker for everything in it. I would assume that, if the car docking station was specially wired into the house's electricity system, you would be able to pull a lot more juice that if it was simply plugged into an outlet. I would imagine that such a setup might be a bit of a pain to install, though.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby bentheimmigrant » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

At the same time, if you've just forked out ~£35,000 (made up number) on your new electric car, you are probably able to afford installation costs for such a thing. Hopefully there would also be tax credits available for those wishing to do so.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby addams » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:24 pm UTC

Has any one sent that company an e-mail?

We could send them a Congratulations and a Thank You note.

They are working every day to change our world for the better.

http://global-sei.com/RandD/theme/elect ... index.html

It looks like a hoax. We are a gullible group. I liked some of what I read on that web site. It is in English.

(Spoiler)

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Do we lose half a grade point with every edit?
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Yakk » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:29 pm UTC

rath358 wrote:IANAElectrician, but when I look at the breaker box at my house, there are two breakers entirely dedicated to the range, and one or two to the dryer. Individual rooms might just have one breaker for everything in it. I would assume that, if the car docking station was specially wired into the house's electricity system, you would be able to pull a lot more juice that if it was simply plugged into an outlet. I would imagine that such a setup might be a bit of a pain to install, though.

IANAElectrician, but I have twisted a wire or two together in my day.

A 220-240 volt connections in many areas are two-phase (each 110-120 v) power. Ampage is limited by your house connection, plus the thickness of the wires and connectors, and the capacity of the breakers/fuses.

In other parts of the world, high-voltage connections are normal.

15-30 A for a plug in the wall is common, but special high-power connections are relatively common.

And yes, my 40A/220 v range is on a 4 wire connection to my house power.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Adacore » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:25 pm UTC

It would certainly be helpful, and I'm definitely of the opinion that batteries are probably the best bet for electrical storage, and not just in cars: if we're investing in serious renewables they make sense as a peak-load reserve, with huge battery banks storing energy at times when there's lots of wind/sun for use when there isn't.

Also, the most efficient thing would be to electrify the (major) roads - cars wouldn't need such big batteries which would significantly reduce the weight of the vehicles, and therefore reduce the energy required to move them, and the range issue would almost disappear.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Tirian » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:10 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Ampage is limited by your house connection


That's what I'm thinking too. My house, for instance, only gets 60A from the street. I imagine most houses have more than that, but I'm thinking that pretty much none of them currently have 40-60A of undesignated amperage. That can be addressed, but it gets to being an expensive job. Moreover, until/unless electric cars become ubiquitous, that's probably not going to be an expensive job that is going to increase the value of your house, which is going to limit the consumer base to people who own their houses and aren't planning on moving even in the medium term. Unless you go with a different model, like having a dedicated recharge lot in every residential neighborhood and those people driving golf carts back and forth from their houses, which is a whole new thing.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby stevey_frac » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:26 am UTC

If we are talking about a 300km range, then quick recharge in houses isn't really a big deal....

Who drives 300km / day consistently? Virtually no one.

Secondly... even your standard 15 amp /110v (1650 watt) (plug could charge your 24kw/hr battery (300km range based on Volt like efficiencies) in 15 hours. That's from 6 at night to 9 the next morning. So, perhaps your standard wall plug won't cut it if you plan on killing your entire battery, every day... If that is the case, you may want to spring for a 220v plug in your garage.

For everyone else, you could charge on a regular circuit. You get home, you plug your car in, and it top up the probably less then 10% (30km) of the battery you drained.

Then, we can get gas station equivalent charging stations who can dump 90kw into your batteries for 15 minutes whilst you relieve yourself, because you are driving across the country. And at that point, the special standardized charging system also starts the battery cooling system or whatever, to deal with the heat you get when you dump that kind of wattage into your battery.

It can totally work. If this find is legit, and not horribly expensive... then electric cars that are practical and cost efficient for everyone can be on the market as soon as they go on production.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Adacore » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:31 am UTC

There's absolutely no reason why there shouldn't be charging points at your place of work as well as your home, which would make charging time for anything but serious roadtrip-type driving largely irrelevant even with the low wattage connections. Sure, you'd have to pay for the power, but they're already giving you money so it shouldn't be too hard to take a bit off that for your power use.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby stevey_frac » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:34 am UTC

That's another good point. Where I work, they would probably install one as a way of bragging about how green they are...

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:36 am UTC

stevey_frac wrote:If we are talking about a 300km range, then quick recharge in houses isn't really a big deal....

Who drives 300km / day consistently? Virtually no one.


It doesn't have to be consistently, all that needs to happen for you to be up shit creek is to have to make a single journey of >300km. You live in Cornwall, and have to drive up to Glasgow? Tough luck, you'll have to take the train.

It's fine for a little runabout to drive to work and do your shopping with. Just don't expect to go visiting your relatives with it.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:45 am UTC

That's assuming you can stand them. Now you have an excuse for not visiting!

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Tomo2k » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:52 am UTC

On charging:
In Europe, your house has a 230V* single-phase 80A to 100A supply.
The sockets will give you up to a max. of 13-16A at 230V.

So roughly 3kW is available at most household sockets, which would charge a 24kWhr battery pack in around 9 hours at ~90% efficiency.

This is all well and good, except that still leaves the question of where you're going to charge the thing.

Most people in EU cities live in flats or homes that only provide on-street parking.
Even where off-street parking is available, most houses don't have a garage, just a driveway.

So are you really going to run a cable from your household supply, across the pavement and plug it into your car?
- That's dangerous - and not just the trip hazard, you may even be exporting the CPC outside the equipotential zone. (This is particularly fun as doing this means you can get a shock from Earth!)

On top of that, you will need to have a proper outdoor-rated socket fitted to the outside of your house.
If you don't, then you're going to be running a cable out of a window and into your car - not a good plan.

So, the real problem with electric vehicles isn't actually the vehicle. It's the wider infrastructure.

*The EU is harmonised at 230VAC single phase, 400VAC 3-phase. +10%, -6%. So in reality nobody actually changed anything - UK is still 240V and France is still 220V except for new substations. Standards are brilliant!

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:13 am UTC

Adacore wrote:It would certainly be helpful, and I'm definitely of the opinion that batteries are probably the best bet for electrical storage, and not just in cars: if we're investing in serious renewables they make sense as a peak-load reserve, with huge battery banks storing energy at times when there's lots of wind/sun for use when there isn't.

Also, the most efficient thing would be to electrify the (major) roads - cars wouldn't need such big batteries which would significantly reduce the weight of the vehicles, and therefore reduce the energy required to move them, and the range issue would almost disappear.


Currently, the best bet for electrical storage is a water pumping system - they're about 80% efficient - but obviously that's constrained by the geography of the area. I'd say batteries are going to be invaluable to the future of cars, which at least in the medium term needs to see an increase in hybrids. I can't say I'd want a pure electric car in the foreseeable future, but I'd be more than comfortable going on long trips when I know I can get fuel on the way.

I went to a debate last year where some of the bigwigs from the high-end car companies (Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, etc.) were talking about the future of their industry and sustainability. They were generally of the view that the more expensive technologies would be introduced in their cars first, because cost is less of an issue, and then as they're demonstrated the mainstream car companies would pick them up. So maybe keep your eye on the fancy car market to see where things are going.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Adacore » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:31 am UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:Currently, the best bet for electrical storage is a water pumping system - they're about 80% efficient - but obviously that's constrained by the geography of the area.

The efficiency of a pumped storage system is great (but actually not all that much higher than a battery - you can get 70% efficiency with modern battery storage), but the capital required for setting it up, and the geographical constraints mean it's just not a practical solution in the majority of areas which actually have high electricity storage demand when you're talking about the volume of storage you'd require for a highly renewables driven electricity supply. Pressurised gas storage (in exhausted oil wells and such) is an interesting option too, but I think that comes out considerably more expensive.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Hawknc » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:34 am UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:I went to a debate last year where some of the bigwigs from the high-end car companies (Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, etc.) were talking about the future of their industry and sustainability. They were generally of the view that the more expensive technologies would be introduced in their cars first, because cost is less of an issue, and then as they're demonstrated the mainstream car companies would pick them up. So maybe keep your eye on the fancy car market to see where things are going.


Eh...sort of, but maybe not? Particularly for those two companies, they make low enough volumes that they escape most of the CO2 or fuel economy regulations. Their demographic gives precisely zero shits about the cost of fuel or their personal CO2 emissions, so the impetus for changing their designs simply isn't there. We're seeing most of the innovation from mainstream companies (or more specifically in cases like this, their suppliers) where there is the potential for high volume and the necessary amount of legal and social pressure to come up with innovative solutions. Typically you're absolutely right that premium technology trickles down from the high-end manufacturers to the mainstream, but the specific case of alternative-fuel vehicles is a curious exception.

Yakk wrote:
Hawknc wrote:The most you'll find here is 240V/15A

15 A really? My stove runs on 220-240V/40A.

Now, it is a two-phase armored cable. But a similar connection powers my electric dryer.

You'd want to build a "safer" connection for a car docking station, but more amps isn't that hard to pull off reasonably safely. More volts is harder.

15A is the highest standard power outlet. Yeah, you could absolutely have high-amperage (or even 3-phase 480V) circuits that a dedicated car charger could be hooked up to, and that's what some companies are offering. Whether that is likely to become common is a very difficult call to make right now, though.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

Tomo2k wrote:So are you really going to run a cable from your household supply, across the pavement and plug it into your car?
- That's dangerous - and not just the trip hazard, you may even be exporting the CPC outside the equipotential zone. (This is particularly fun as doing this means you can get a shock from Earth!)

On top of that, you will need to have a proper outdoor-rated socket fitted to the outside of your house.
If you don't, then you're going to be running a cable out of a window and into your car - not a good plan.
Here in Quebec, cars come standard with block heaters. I don't think they are use much elsewhere. They are used to keep your engine compartment warm enough so that your car will start in the morning. Yes people run extension cords out to their cars. All houses have outdoor electrical outlets. In fact, most residential area parking lots have them for each spot.

We get all our grid power from hydro-electric. If someone designed a battery that worked in the cold, we would be already set.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Yakk » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

To be fair, that is probably a GFI 20-30 amp 110-120 volt connection you have hooked up to your car. Not a 20-40 amp 220 v connection.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby EsotericWombat » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Why the fuck aren't we just electrifying the goddamned roadways already?
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Dauric » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:03 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tomo2k wrote:So are you really going to run a cable from your household supply, across the pavement and plug it into your car?
- That's dangerous - and not just the trip hazard, you may even be exporting the CPC outside the equipotential zone. (This is particularly fun as doing this means you can get a shock from Earth!)

On top of that, you will need to have a proper outdoor-rated socket fitted to the outside of your house.
If you don't, then you're going to be running a cable out of a window and into your car - not a good plan.
Here in Quebec, cars come standard with block heaters. I don't think they are use much elsewhere. They are used to keep your engine compartment warm enough so that your car will start in the morning. Yes people run extension cords out to their cars. All houses have outdoor electrical outlets. In fact, most residential area parking lots have them for each spot.


The outdoor electrical outlets though are what Tomo2K is getting at. My apartment complex doesn't have outdoor outlets despite having both covered and uncovered parking on the property. The covered parking is immediately adjacent to the building, but the uncovered parking is across the "street" from the building. You couldn't easily run an extension cord from the building to charge a car, and more than half the 'flats' don't have windows facing the parking area they would have to leave their front door open a crack to accommodate the extension cord (unless you were going to carve holes in the doors/walls which the apartment complex and city inspectors would have issues with).
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Yakk » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:Why the fuck aren't we just electrifying the goddamned roadways already?

What, induction charging? That requires loops of wire under every road. It would be a capital project that would make an electricity grid look small.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Dauric » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:54 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
EsotericWombat wrote:Why the fuck aren't we just electrifying the goddamned roadways already?

What, induction charging? That requires loops of wire under every road. It would be a capital project that would make an electricity grid look small.


Not only that but it would overburden the already overstressed power-generation systems, many of which have difficulty keeping up with electricity demand from AC in the summer, since most new power-plant projects usually get hit with NIMBY* ad these days there's pretty much nowhere that isn't in someone's 'back yard'.

*NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Yakk » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

Hurm? Such an infrastructure wouldn't increase the power load that much more than everyone switching to electric. Admittedly it would boost peak more. But if we presume cars have batteries, even if just to be able to use less power at peak times... (when it costs more)
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Not only that but it would overburden the already overstressed power-generation systems, many of which have difficulty keeping up with electricity demand from AC in the summer, since most new power-plant projects usually get hit with NIMBY* ad these days there's pretty much nowhere that isn't in someone's 'back yard'.

*NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard.

Nah. If we're talking about laying down the capability to induction charge on the roadways (maybe just interstates?) bumping up our electrical generation capacity would be trivial in comparison. And even if we were constrained to the same fuels, burning oil at a power plant and sending it to a car is far more efficient than each vehicle generating its own power.

No, I think the major problem with induction charging would be the haxors.

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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby EsotericWombat » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:23 pm UTC

I'm going to disclaim this post as being largely America-centric as that's the context that I've been thinking about this.

In terms of raising capital, you know who have a lot of money? Energy companies. You know who would also really like to get in on profiting from America's driving habits? Energy companies whose portfolios don't include oil.

Ideally, I'd like the federal government to be in charge of building it, maintain it, and selling the power at a rate that's the equivalent of about half the price of gasoline, but the way things are going right now that'd be a hard sell.

It sucks, because if we subsidized private companies to build I have no confidence that we'd withdraw the subsidies once it all became wildly profitable all on its own.

But yeah. at least for the beginning, it would be interstates. Maybe some other, lesser routes as well in areas where the nearest interstate is further away than a battery would permit.

It would almost have to coincide with a massive rebuilding of our electrical grid in order to be workable, but that's fine, because we need to do that anyway.
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Re: Electric car batteries getting a boost.

Postby Yakk » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:In terms of raising capital, you know who have a lot of money? Energy companies.

Your scale of "lots" isn't high enough I think.

There are 75,440 km of interstates in the USA. I'll assume that this provides roughly 7.5% of what you'd need for a semi-effective "charge as you drive" system. So 1 million km of roads.

Just repaving a km of road costs about 1 million dollars, and in this case we are doing a bit more than that. I'll call it 2 million dollars per km for the roadwork.

Just running 1 km of buried power lines is another 2 million dollars. And we want induction chargers, not just a buried power line. Lets call it 5 times as much for an induction charger than a power line (this is really generous).

So at this point, we are talking 14 trillion dollars. If we spend 5% of the US GDP on this, you'll be done in ... 25 years or so.

5% of US GDP is huge.

Nobody has that kind of capital.
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