New Aluminum Battery Takes Just 60 Seconds To Charge

By Carl Engelking | April 7, 2015 12:40 pm

Researchers light up an LED bulb with their aluminum-ion battery prototype. (Credit: Screenshot from YouTube)

Researchers from Stanford University have built a battery that does everything you wish your cell phone’s lithium-ion battery could.

The team announced its aluminum-ion battery prototype Monday in the journal Nature, and it’s a glimmer of hope for every thumb-pounding smartphone addict. The battery can fully charge in about one minute, hold a charge longer than conventional batteries and is safer than lithium-ion batteries.

Decades in the Making

Aluminum is an attractive metal for batteries due to its low cost and high charge capacity, but attempts to build an aluminum battery over the past 30 years have largely failed. Past aluminum battery iterations didn’t pack enough juice to power devices, had extremely short life cycles and were susceptible to deterioration. Finding the right combination of materials to produce sufficient voltage after repeated recharge cycles has, to this point, eluded researchers.

However, the team at Stanford cleared these hurdles by using graphite for the battery’s cathode, the place where current leaves the battery, and aluminum for the anode, the place where current flows into the battery. The researchers placed their aluminum anode and graphite cathode, along with an ionic liquid electrolyte, into a flexible polymer pouch. The combination yielded a high performing, cheap battery.

The aluminum battery can produce about two volts of electricity and can be recharged more than 7,500 times without any decay in its total capacity. For comparison, other experimental aluminum batteries died after 100 charges, and the conventional lithium-ion battery lasts about 1,000 cycles.

The aluminum battery also has another advantage over lithium-ion batteries: it doesn’t catch on fire. If you, say, drill a hole through a lithium-ion battery, it might catch fire, as evidenced in this video below. Indeed, lithium-ion batteries can behave in unpredictable ways, which is why some major airlines have banned bulk lithium-ion battery shipments on planes.

More Voltage, Please

The Stanford team’s aluminum battery appears to fill in all the gaps left open by lithium-ion batteries, but there’s still work to do. Although the battery’s 2-volt output is the largest anyone has ever achieved with aluminum, it’s still not enough to power our popular handheld gadgets — the average lithium smartphone battery produces 3.7 or 4.2 volts. The team was able to produce 5 volts using two batteries and a converter, but that setup wouldn’t fit as snugly into our devices.

“Our battery produces about half the voltage of a typical lithium battery,” Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford, said in a news release. “But improving the cathode material could eventually increase the voltage and energy density. Otherwise, our battery has everything else you’d dream that a battery should have: inexpensive electrodes, good safety, high-speed charging, flexibility and long cycle life.”

So hang in there avid texters, Tweeters, selfie-snappers and Candy Crushers, your days of living with battery anxiety are numbering fewer and fewer.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
  • gustavo helfer

    genial !!!!!

  • cypicturelady

    this is great! Considering that most lithium has to come from China, this spells freedom of sorts. Now, hopefully they can create automobile batteries that can charge quickly and hold a charge.

    • Captain Slog

      Isn’t there a HUGE “Salt” Lake in Peru or Chile that is chocker with Lithium? There’s enough there to last THOUSANDS of years. Or so we were told when we saw the Documentary. Apparently, its just below the surface, too. I guess its still there because the Altitude and the complexity of extracting it and getting it out. Whatever the process, its still there.

      • Anthony

        It’s ON the surface in Bolivian high plateaus

        • Captain Slog

          Thank you, Anthony! I believe you’re right. I saw the documentary on TV a while ago and forgot where it was. And high? BLOODY HIGH!! Its still there. MILLIONS of Tons of the stuff, and I can’t remember why they aren’t getting it.
          Since this subject first appeared in DISCOVER, and this page of Discussions began, Technology has REALLY grown amazingly!! I just can’t believe how quickly new technology has come out. In this case [ no pun intended.] a new case for Smart Phones that gives your Smart Phone not only a Flip Open Protective Case, but it also has a Full Size Screen in e-Paper format to save power on your Phone. It also has a 16 Gig Memory built in and is Solar Powered, and much more.
          What’s next?

  • Teguh Prasetyo

    How about its energy density compared to lithium battery, Is it better or worse?

  • Canislupes

    I don’t know how the battery is designed, but is it possible to increase the effectiveness of the battery by making the anode and cathode more porus, thereby increasing the surface area of contact?

    • K Jacob Dietz

      That can increase amperage and load capacity for times when more power is called for. The voltage is dependent on the materials used.

    • Electric Bill

      The “”porosity”– or surface area– of any battery design is always considered a key factor. If you take a sheet of copper and a sheet of zinc and some acid, you can make a working battery that can light a bulb or do other work, but it will not store much energy. If you take a drill bit and put hundreds of holes in those sheets you use, it will have much greater surface area and so increase its energy density quite a bit.

      But if you go to the extreme– find a way of creating sheets with billions of holes– just a few angstroms, or billionth of an inch in size, and which are only a few angstroms from each other– you end up with something akin to a sponge on an atomic scale.

      you increase the surface area by millions or billions of times and so have much closer to an ideal battery.

      But it’s more than just surface area. Some chemical elements can provide more “holes” for ions to attach themselves to depending on the numbers of electrons in their atomic shells. And some materials provide far less electrical resistance to the flow of electrons… and some materials can withstand many more charge cycles before going bad; and so many other considerations. It’s like trying to juggle dozens of balls without dropping them!

  • Shannon

    It looks rather promising. A battery that can charge in 60 seconds is exactly what we need for the fast paced lifestyles of today. If they increased the surface area, wouldn’t it be less suited for handheld devices?

    • okiejoe

      At 2 Volts per cell it would require a large number of cell to power a car. Would it take one minute to charge a thousand connected cells or would it take a thousand minutes? It makes a big difference in terms of usefulness.

  • Kompani

    Would this be much better for EV use when size is not quite as much an issue but charging time is?

  • Small_Businessman

    Why not connect two cells in series to get 4 volts? They could be in the same package, much as a 9V battery is (which consists of 6 1.5V cells).

    • Julianna Robinson

      They actually cover that in the article. “The team was able to produce 5 volts using two batteries and a converter, but that setup wouldn’t fit as snugly into our devices.”

      • Small_Businessman

        I said two batteries to provide 4V – not 2 batteries and a converter.

        • Allen Villanueva

          keep pushing

          • Small_Businessman

            What’s wrong with the question? It’s valid.

            Lithium batteries have an output of 3.7-4.2V. Two of these cells in series have an output of 4.0V – right in the middle.

          • Gorden Russell

            It’s a matter of chemistry and physics. A given cell made of a given material has a certain voltage.

            Two of those aluminum batteries were too big and put out the wrong voltage, so they needed a transformer to convert it to the needed voltage.

          • Small_Businessman

            That makes no sense at all. A particular battery chemistry will put out a specified voltage, no matter what the size of the cell is (as long as it doesn’t get microscopic, anyway). Size affects current production. A 2V cell which puts out 1 amp of current has virtually the same size as two 2V cells, each producing 1/2 amp.

            For instance – a 9V battery uses exactly the same chemistry as a “D” cell. But there are six small cells in the package. Each puts out 1.5V, but current is much smaller than a “D” cell.

            4V is right in the middle of the 3.7V to 4.2V range Lithium batteries put out.

          • Gorden Russell

            Yah, you’re right. In time they will be able to make an aluminum battery of the right size that puts out the needed voltage and current.

            They just didn’t have the right gear in their lab to do it right away.

          • Anthony

            I suspect the two cells provided 4V so they used a DC-DC converter to get 5V for the electronics.

          • guymark

            If you have two 2v cells, you end up with a one, 4v battery. As Small_Businessman said, that is “in range” of the lithium cell.

            You would only need a DC-DC converter (not T.f for DC) if you needed to raise the voltage higher – BUT you would ALSO need that in a lithium design too.

            If lithium at 3.7 – 4.2V is the “needed voltage” – then 4v ticks that box beautifully and with no need for a converter. I do completely see SBs point.

            (LOL, just realised how old this thread is!)

      • Anthony

        That is one of the weaknesses of the Aluminum cell; you need two cells to attain the voltage of one Lithium cell, so for a given required voltage, you require twice the cell count, and double the circuitry for battery safety (BMS), not to mention double the interconnects. Not perfection, but a nice adition to the stable of new cell types.

      • guymark

        It was covered – but not well. If you are competing with a 3.7v lithium battery, then I cannot see why two 2v batteries would need a converter at all. You now have 4v. If you want to make 5v then sure – a DC-DC converter is needed – but then it would be in a lithium design too.

  • JoeD912

    Sounds like this would most directly benefit solar or wind power generation storage issues, if the technology can scale. The voltage differential and size requirements would not really be issues in that context, while the speed to charge would be an enormous benefit. I feel like I’m missing some other obvious limitation here.

    • Captain Slog

      G’day Joe! Its sounds like you’re as excited as I am about this new Aluminium Battery and all the exciting potential uses for them. I agree with you entirely about the Speed of Recharging and the Limitless Voltage Requirements. I’m not into Physics and don’t know a thing about it, but, I do have a Basic Understanding of it. This I can understand because I am looking at the Batteries we have now, and pretending they’re the NEW Aluminium Batteries. Long Lasting, High Output and VERY QUICK Recharging. What an exciting World it will be when these are the new Standard! Hopefully, we will be able to AFFORD them!

  • Captain Slog

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I think this ALUMINIUM Battery is a Brilliant development, and I can’t wait fir it to become the new Standard in Battery construction.
    By the way it is A L U M I N I U M not “Aluminum” without the “I”. There’s no such thing! And Aluminium is NOT a British word, as you ignorant Americans try to believe, just because you continuously, and very childishly like to REBEL against anything British. Don’t forget, most of you WERE British! Don’t be so STUPID!! Grow up!!
    Back to the Aluminium Battery. You may be stupid, but, at the same time quite Brilliant! THIS new Battery is very exciting, and I hope it really IS a HUGE Success in the Future. Can you imagine having BANKS of these Powering a Transport or Home, and Connected to Solar Cells or a Wind Generator? Every time one Battery runs down, it is very quickly Re-Charged to Full Power. In a Car or Bus, the Power can be put back when going down hill when the Motors become Generators. We know all about it, but just haven’t had the Batteries to do it. And NOW WE DO!!
    Like I said, I Wish you the Greatest Success with these new Cells, and that they be developed for every use the Lithium Ion ones are now. Watches, Hearing Aids, Torches, PADDS, Phones, etc. AA, AAA, C, and D Cells, etc. Good Work!

    • ailurophile1

      You praise us and ridicule us (Americans) in the same sentence, You denigrate us for using aluminum versus aluminium, but your excessive and incorrect capitalization betrays you. Simply because we spell and pronounce a word differently than you do, does not make us stupid.

      • Captain Slog

        Okay! Fair enough, and to you, too David. I did read something about that. But, even if that turned out to be wrong, you can’t help it, because you don’t know it as anything but what you’ve been told.
        Sorry! I, and others, do tend to ridicule Americans and Praise them at the same time, aye? It sort of makes America appear to be a bit “Bi-Polar?” On one hand you’re Praising Lord Elvis, going absolutely MENTAL with religions. Even on your currency you have “In Dog We Trust”, or so someone put on one of your new coins recently. On the other hand leading the world in technology and other amazing things. Going back to the other hand by DENYING the existence of UFO’s and Aliens. Back to the other hand, and all the time treating Aliens like slaves and Galactic Prisoners and keeping it all secret. Not to mention all the conspiracies we see on You Tube and others. Which is real? Which is just PURE CRAP. Religion is the most obvious one there.
        Anyway, I never set out to embarrass or insult anyone, if I can help it, but I do like to make a point of trying to point out any mistakes I see. But then, I welcome any corrections aimed at mistakes that I may have made. If I am wrong with the “ium” part of Aluminium, then I stand, or as I write, SIT corrected.
        I don’t understand the process of creating Aluminium, but, we all know it comes from a Browny-Red Ore called BAUXITE. During part of the process, it becomes ALUMINA, and is then shipped down to Bluff where it is Smelted at the HUGE Aluminium Smelter down there. It creates the PUREST Aluminium in the World. No doubt, this aluminium will be used to make these exciting new batteries.
        Please don’t take it all “Cereal?” I don’t! we’re all DIFFERENT! [I’m NOT!]

      • Small_Businessman

        Especially since both spellings and pronunciations are recognized by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

    • david

      I would suggest you read up on your history, the word Aluminum came before Aluminium, it was the British who added the I to conform with “ium” in many of the other elements names! The names origins go back to Latin Alumen meaning Alum, I am British by the way!

      • Captain Slog

        Hi Dave! As I said above, I stand to be corrected. No insults intended. My parents were Poms. Aluminium is a funny Element, isn’t it? It can’t be made the same way as Iron, Copper, Lead, etc. It needs HIGH VOLTGE and to me, that is amazing. I just don’t understand how it works.
        You mention ALUM. I’ve heard of it, but I can’t remember what it is! ALUMINA is what BAUXITE is turned into, before it is sent Down South to Bluff. I have a feeling that Alum is some kind of Salts, but I’m not sure! Please advise? Isn’t it another name for Epsome Salts? I don’t know! I’m just pissing in the wind now.
        Thanks for your input. I’ll have a look in You Tube about it. I wasn’t taught this stuff, but, I am about to Learn.
        Thank you!

        • david

          Alum, is the name for salts used in dying fabrics and for antiseptics or astringents, amongst other meanings, prior to the discovery of aluminium (in Denmark I think!) It was derived from potassium sulphates and aluminium sulphates The process of producing aluminium is as you mention, mainly from bauxite where aluminium oxide is extracted, and purified using chemical solutions, high temperatures and pressures, ready for smelting, not sure about the “high voltage” bit, unless you mean electric furnaces for the smelting stage?

          • Captain Slog

            Hi Dave! Thank you! I feel well informed now, and still a little confused with the info you told me.
            I mentioned the Bauxite in my comments and how I still don’t understand the process.
            Yes, the High Voltage bit I refer to is the Aluminium Smelter down in Bluff, at the “Buttocks” of the South Island. Lake Benmore was created and a HUGE Power Station to use the water from Benmore to provide the Power for the smelter. There was even a Protest Song about the Dam. “DAMN THE DAM” a very famous and popular song, too. Its the biggest Power Station in New Zealand, and all that power is for the Aluminium Smelter. It was an amazing Power Project, and the whole amazing story can be found on You Tube. And yes, ALL of that High Voltage is for the Electric Furnaces. LOTS of them. Like I said, AMAZING!!
            Check it out. I hope you enjoy it. Its worth a look, even out curiosity. To find the song, and other Kiwi Greats, just put “Damn the Dam” in the title. Let me know what you think of it all.
            Have a great weekend.

    • J C

      Your accolades as to the accomplishment of this team having developed the new battery are tarnished by your obvious dislike for Americans. Take a look at this extract from Wikipedia, flawed though it may be, which draws its information from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Note: It may not be worded in a way you find acceptable but life is not perfect.

      Two variants of the metal’s name are in current use, aluminium (pronunciation: /ˌælʲʊˈmɪniːəm/) and aluminum(/əˈluːmɪnəm/)—besides the obsolete alumium. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) adopted aluminium as the standard international name for the element in 1990 but, three years later, recognized aluminum as an acceptable variant. Hence their periodic table includes both.[67] IUPAC internal publications use either spelling in nearly the same number.

      Have a nice and blessed day.

      • Captain Slog

        I never said I have a dislike for Americans! I just hate their “Hignorance”! They spell a lot of words wrong, e.g. Colour, Favour, Flavour, Cheque, and others because they’re still rebelling against Britain. I know Universal Standard is a crazy Language with all the different spelling of words that sound the same but have different meanings, but MUST Americans make things so bloody confusing for everyone by this rebellious Spelling? Things are Spelled a certain was for a reason to AVOID Confusion, not ADD to it. Its an Interesting Language with an even more Interesting History.
        I’m not an “expert” and I don’t pretend to be. I just like to understand what I’m reading. If I want to bugger the English Language, I’ll do it myself. I won’t split hairs, or lecture on. What’s the point let’s all agree that we’re DIFFERENT [I’m not!] and have a good Laugh. “Far Kit!” You only Live as you want to.
        Whether the Weather is Hot,
        Whether the Weather is Cold,
        Whether the Weather is Windy or Cold,
        I can see for myself! It’s Fecking RAINING out there AND Windy and Cold!

  • Hermogenes Rojas

    this development could be a great boon to the solar power industry

    • Ivar Ivarson

      But especially electric cars!

      • Captain Slog

        AND Buses!!

    • Captain Slog

      Like the Lady, above, says, ” hopefully they can create automobile batteries that can charge quickly and hold a charge.” And as both you and I said, the Solar Power Industry would really welcome these new batteries. Its the only Practical way to go. Charge Quick! Slow Release at High Voltage, or whatever is needed of the battery in the device its used in.
      Good Work!!

  • Francis Clark Westerfield

    I can’t believe that only one person in this string mentioned electric vehicles as the perfect application for these batteries. Cheap, high capacity, long life, and incredibly fast charging. You could pull into a “filling” station and charge your battery in the time it would take to fill a gas tank. What could be better. Cell phones, laptops — who cares about them compared to EVs. If practical, we could see the end of the internal combustion engine for cars. Revolutionary indeed!!!

    • Captain Slog

      Here’s another good one, Francis! As I mentioned about this new Battery’s use in cars, etc., and how they can be charged just by the Motors turning into Generators when travelling down hill, how about in Pushbikes, or Bicycles? You have a Manual/Electric Pushbike, and that, too, can be charged while going down hill, OR, by Pedalling the Bike when the need arises, and by pedalling the bike, that charges the battery as well.
      Then there’s those Hand Cranked Generators on Radios, Torches, Lanterns and other Hand Crank Charged Devices. Or, how about just a Stand Alone Crank Generator which can be used to Power ANYTHING!! Multi Socketed so devices with different Pugs can be plugged in and charges with a few cranks of the handle. USB, Single “Pin” [Like Headphones] or whatever. They will come with the appropriate Instructions and list of devices that can be charged.
      I’m no scientist or “expert” or anything. My mind just fills with all these ideas and possibilities and they just piss out all over the place. If anyone wants to have a Laugh, GO FOR IT!! If others see the potential of all this and they put it all into Practice, PLEASE don’t forget who put it out there? Just like the concepts I put in my notebook about LEP’s, ALL of this and more will be out there and VERY SOON!
      Bloody hell!! This is smegging EXCITING!!

      • Small_Businessman

        Electric cars already use regenerative braking to charge batteries. You don’t need a fast charge battery to do that.

        • Captain Slog

          Regenerative Braking.
          THAT’S the term I was trying to think of. Thank you for that!
          Anyway, to your Statement.
          I think it essential to have Regenerative Braking, [RB] to keep those Batteries charged. The cars you’re referring to have batteries that take ages to Recharge, its probably the reason that you think Quick Charge Cells don’t need RB. I think they do.
          Okay, perhaps the RB won’t be needed to recharge every time you Idle or go down hill, but, this feature would Kick In when the Voltage gets too low and it kicks in automatically.
          Then, there’s also Solar Power. This would be GREAT on Buses with their very large Roof Area. Of course, they’d also employ RB. I am the kind of creature that likes to have ALL Bases covered.
          Why reject RB if you think you won’t need it, when one day you may need it but, won’t have it? You could always have a feature that Disengages RB, and continue to plug in at Stations or Home.

          • Small_Businessman

            Regenerative breaking is important for electric cars today, and will be important in the future – even if the batteries can be quick charged. After all, any time you can reuse energy you are extending the range of the vehicle. And if you’re going to install it anyway, why just use it when the batteries get low?

          • Captain Slog

            That’s what I said! So glad you can see it my way. It WILL installed and will be set up in a way, even if just to please you, so it, as I mentioned, Kicks In On Demand when the Power is getting too low. KIOD should be the Standard when these Batteries come out.
            You can see the advantage, can’t you? By having KIOD, you will have a Transport that when in use feels like it NEVER, EVER needs to be constantly Refuelled or Recharged. And that’s how it should be!!
            “PAUA to the People!” [Having a little fun there. “Paua” being the NZ Abalone and a great Delicacy. It sounds like. . .

          • Small_Businessman

            No, I don’t agree. It shouldn’t kick in only when the power is getting low. It should kick in ANY time the user is braking.

            But while it will increase mileage on a charge, it won’t be anywhere near what you’re suggesting. A few percent at most, for several reasons. First of all, neither the conversion from electrical to kinetic power or vice versa is 100% efficient. So even just accelerating and braking will have a net loss of power.

            Additionally, even in town, more energy is spent maintaining a speed than accelerating/braking. So this will also drain the batteries. The same is true for climbing and descending steep hills – you’ll lose more energy going up the hill than you will gain coming back down.

            And regenerative braking does not require fast charge batteries; it does charge the batteries, but at a slower rate than you get from current charging stations. Fast recharge batteries will not help here.

            The bottom line is – the range is not going to be increased by just using a faster recharge battery. It will only be increased (assuming the rest of the vehicle remains the same) by additional capacity, But fast charge batteries would be a big benefit at the charging station, as Francis so wisely pointed out.

          • Captain Slog

            Guess what? you’re going to like this, like it or not! I AGREE with you on that point!
            I was thinking about it all morning [its 9:30pm EST as I write], and KIOD should be on at all times. My thinking this morning was, IF it had Manual Over-Ride and could be disabled for whatever reason, typical humans would forget to Enable it to get their charge back, and will then be whinging about the car not charging and blaming it for their own stupidity. So having a Transport that is well designed, with every amazing feature you can put into it, the most important would be KIOD for the Regenerative Braking.
            Thank you for the very interesting discussion. It may have started of as a wee argument, but as things get aired, they are also being sorted out. Good from bad. Points made were relevant and to the point. There may still be a few hic-ups, but gradually all will fall into place. As I said, I am not an Engineer, Scientist or Expert, but, by the cringe, I love all this stuff! Its exciting! But, right now, this new Aluminium Battery is still in the Embryo Stage. Let’s let it Grow and who knows? The results could EXCEED what we were arguing about, and catch us all by surprise with what the new Standard will be.

          • Electric Bill

            CS: Anyone who actually drives an EV (there are many thousands of us now, and the numbers are growing rapidly) would be amused by your comment, remembering that all of us have had some pretty gross misunderstandings of the way EVs work, and how regen (the common term for regenerative braking) is used, etc.

            Regen is not something you would typically be turning on and off. As soon as you begin driving an EV, you are using up battery charge which needs to be replaced, so the first time you use your brake pedal or lift your foot off of the accelerator to slow or stop, you, are replacing some — not all– of the charge you lost.

            There is only a couple of exceptional circumstances in which you would not need to replace the energy you produce with regen: imagine you live on a hill, and as soon as you leave your house and are headed downhill you could be generating energy your battery does not need and cannot store.

            In such a situation, the “BMS”– battery management system– would instead automatically route the power produced during regen through some large, heavy – duty resistors which would heat up quite a bit, wasting the excess energy rather than trying to charge a battery that is already full.

            Also, if you are driving anywhere that has a long, steep hill at some point, you could actually generate enough energy to completely replace the charge you had lost, and begin burning off waste heat during the latter part of your downhill roll. In, either case, the action of the BMS is automatic and seamless, not requiring any action on your part.

            On some EVs, there is a lever or button to increase the regenerative braking effect, since some people prefer a strong regen effect as soon as they remove their foot from the accelerator pedal, others prefer it not so much… more like the effect they often are used to with an engine – powered car.

            You had mentioned “idle”… EVs don’t idle– their motors have no need to continue to turn when the car is not moving, as opposed to what you experience with an internal combustion engine (ICE), which until very recently continued to run, and, waste gasoline while “idling”. In the last few years some ICE cars have begun to have special systems that allow the engine to turn off while at red lights, saving a bit of gasoline; but this is different than a hybrid, which turns the engine on and off throughout its normal operation, and is far more efficient.

            As for taking “ages” to recharge, typically this is not a problem unless you’re driving unusually long distances– typically, one gets up in the morning, drops the kids off at school, stops at the market, goes to the laundry or to work or whatever, and when everything’s done, you just drive back home and spend all of a couple of seconds plugging in– and then forget about the car until the next morning, when you unplug, handle your daily driving, and do it all over again. It’s, much different than, having to spend a couple of minutes every couple of days standing next to a smelly gasoline pump until your tank is full, and you have to pay much more for the fuel than you would the electricity.

            All production cars use regen… it’s pointless to drive an EV without it.

            (Back before there were production EVs such as the Tesla and the Leaf, some of us were too impatient to wait, and so removed our ICE engines, gas tanks, catalytic converters and mufflers and created an “EV conversion”; they usually ran on DC motors which were not capable of providing regen, so the range we could drive on a single charge was a bit less than with today’s more refined AC motors.)

            So: no, there is not really any question as to whether you would “need” regen, or deciding when to use it. It’s ALWAYS there whenever you slow or stop… it’s integral. It’s what allows you to go farther on a single charge.

          • Captain Slog

            “Electric Bill,” you do make a very valid point and I totally agree with you. But, what I said about engaging or dis-engaging RG was to satisfy another Panel Member who objected to RG for some reason. I just told him that RG would be Standard, but if he didn’t like it or want it, he could dis-engage it if he wanted to. NOT the best thing to do.
            As I keep telling everyone, I am not a Scientist or an “Expert” in all of this, but I DO have a basic understanding. My mind is WAY ahead in the Future when it comes to thinking of what would be required in a Transport, and the Transports I am thinking of I have only seen ONCE, and it wasn’t. . . Ours!
            It was a Transport that used Repulsor Lift Technology, and this was a long time before STAR WARS made it into our lives. I keep going over the Specs of the Ship I’d like to have, and all the features incorporated into it. The Main Computer would have to be in the Heart of the ship. It would need Individual Power Supplies for Shields, and Defences, Life Support, Communications, Transporter and Replicators, General Electrics, Drive, etc. EVERYTHING that uses Power would have to have its own Power Supply or Generator.
            The reasons for this is very clear. As the old saying goes. . . “DON’T put all your Eggs in One Basket!” And its the same with Power for the different Ship’s Operations. The last thing you want is for something to blow and take out the ONLY Power Supply. I don’t mean that the ship is going to have HUGE Power Generators taking up lots of room.
            I don’t understand WHAT these Power Supplies are, or how their Repulsor Lift Technology works, but, one thing’s for sure, they’re far better than anything we have now.
            Right now we are making very good progress with these new batteries. At the moment they are just in the development stages and no doubt, as late as this time next year at the most, these exciting new Batteries will be available to everyone, and who knows? The way, and the pace, that Technology is advancing these days, who knows what we’ll have?
            I just remember that you also made a very valid point about Excessive Power when the Fast Charging Batteries are Full. I was thinking that very same thing about my Dream Ship. What to do with Excessive Charge, and I’m still wondering. In my case, maybe using ONLY One MAIN Power Supply to power everything would be appropriate, until the need for all of them is required. That means that it would have to be some kind of great Emergency for that to occur. But, we’d have that feature in our Ship’s design as Standard beyond Standards, and only those who have this Technology will understand what I mean.
            Sorry if what I just said sounds like a lot of crap, but its NO laughing matter. One day. . . You’ll see what I mean.
            Don’t believe me? How’s this? Sorry its a bit off subject, but, in early December 1989, I met two German Girls and had a very brief chat with them. Before they left, I Promised them that when they got home THE WALL would be GONE!! The rest is History! HOW did I know?
            Recently, I found an old Notebook I had forgotten about. In it, a young friend and I were making notes of what we would like to have in a PADD when they get made. This was not long after I read about Cavendish Laboratories Research into LEP’s [Light Emitting Polymers], now known as OLED’s. We made a great list of ALL the features we’d like to have built into our PADDS. Such things as GPS, Internet, e-Mail, Browsing, Phone, Fax, Text, Maps, GPS Tracking, Scanners, Hand Free Calls, Video Calls, etc. Most marked with an * with the comment, “Mel’s Idea” next to it. I know what you’re thinking. “But, that’s what we have now!” and here’s the Punch Line, ALL of these notes were made in. . . 1995!! Beat that!! Laugh if you like! It was a FREE Universe when I arrived. Go for it!

    • Ray McCrea

      Also weight. I am waiting for battery technology to power my plane.

    • guymark

      It might come eventually Francis, but it is not just the battery that is an issue with ultra fast recharging of an electric car.

      If you take the new Tesla 100KWH batteries, then to charge them even in an hour needs a power supply capable of handling 100KW. To charge them more quickly needs proportionally more powerful chargers.

      To recharge in 6 minutes needs a 1 megawatt charger (and suitable cable / plugs).

      To recharge a 100KWH battery in 1 minute (even ignoring losses etc), means for that 1 minute, the charger (and cables and connectors) have to be able to handle a fairly stonking 6 Megawatts of power. With the present battery voltage of around 400v, that’s a cable good for 15,000 Amps.

      Alas, that is simply way to hefty for people to be able to physically lift as you will appreciate.

      That said, conventional cars with BIG fuel tanks can still take three or four minutes so if we allowed for a 6 minutes for an electric car, this is not a HUGE burden on us – but DOES mean we can reduce that 6MW charger down to a 1MW charger.

      It’s still a meaty beast – and with the 400v battery pack in question, charging it in 6 minutes needs a 2500 Amp supply at 400V. Those conductors are still mighty hefty to handle simply due to physical size needed to handle that level of current.

      It may be, that newer batteries will push for ever higher battery voltages (at least in charging mode when they could all be in series – and then revert to a series / parallel configuration for “run mode”).

      2KV battery pack (or 5 strings of 400v in series for charging and parallel for driving) would allow for a reduction down to a much more modest 500 Amps for 6 minutes (hefty cable but manageable if you have a bit of muscle on you!)

      It may end up, that the fastest, safest way is to have inductive charge pads on the base of cars at a standard height (even if that means it is raised / lowered hydraulically to the charger pad.

      THEN the problems with the cables being too bulky vanish – as it is simply a close coupling to a charging “pad”.

      That though, needs car manufacturers and charger manufacturers to start trying to establish some new standards.

  • Captain Slog

    I first heard about this exciting new Aluminium Battery this morning in the News on TV. Its all very new and Experimental, and I understand that there are a lot of bugs to be weeded out until it is at the “WHOO_HOOOO!” Stage.
    On behalf of the developers may I suggest Patience people! Patience. From the comments I’ve read below, everyone else is excited about it, too and are even offering potential uses for the new batteries. Food for Thought, so to speak and that is how all these things get done. This very same excitement is what came over me when I first heard about LEP’s in 1995. Now we know them as OLED’s. My mind went BONKERS with ideas for the use of these new AMOLED’s and I even made Notes with a young friend of mine, of all the ideas we could put into a PADD. After not seeing these notes since then, I recently found them and had a real good laugh. I not only made these notes, but I told ANYONE who would listen about my ideas, and they looked at me like I was an idiot. I HAD to laugh, because I was laughing at THEM! They’re the idiots now, because EVERYTHING in my notes CAME TRUE! And there’s MORE to come!!
    Watch out for your NEXT Xmas Card! When you open it, it won’t just play a beautiful tune in Rich Clear Sound, it will have a Video Clip embedded into it. I dreamt about that in or around 1995-97, except it was a Coke Ad in a big glossy magazine. Open the mag. get to the rather stiff middle pages and suddenly, after the few seconds you’re reading the other stuff, one of the pictures comes to life and you hear, “Things Go Better With Coke!”
    Laugh now, Enjoy later and Laugh again!

  • Doug

    Great news. Can’t wait to see the technoloy reach the car industry. What ever happened to the promise of organic batteries?

  • Anas

    Who ever thought that some aluminum, graphite and some salt could be this revolutionary!!! this guys got lucky and I salut them for this quantum leap.

  • Abigail Pine

    Wow! I should really investin these whwn they come out!

  • moderatelymoderate

    Add solar for recharging and you’d have the ultimate power source/delivery system.

  • Andygsept

    This is indeed good news. With the long battery life and over 7500 charge cycles, the ESOEI(Energy Stored on Energy Invested) of this battery could be high enough so as to represent an economically viable form of bulk energy storage. Currently the ESOEI of batteries, and the EROEI of solar-PV are both terrible, such that the only potentially economically viable set up for intermittent renewables is wind combined with pumped hydro energy storage.

  • johnst1001a

    What people have not mentioned, at least in the first several comments, is the amount of amperage required. If you had a car with these aluminum batteries, somewhere around 30kw of storage worth, the amount of amps required to charge in a few seconds would be huge. Power(watts)=volts x amps. Charging 30,000 watts would require 136 amps with 220 volts if charging in an hour. Most houses today only have 200 amps. That’s a big load. And think of a “gas” station. Charge it in a minute? And have 10 cars all charging at the same time?? Not going to happen, at least not more than once.

  • sultan

    very good invention it is .in poor countries such as Pakistan Nepal and India theres batteries can be used for UPS to power up their houses.

  • sultan

    As a chemist i studied this reaction every thing is good but i think that i can use a chemical that will increase out put volt.
    any one want to to have a discussion email me or have a chat on face book my Email id is

  • Batterybhai

    Thanks for the information. Yes the battery is coated with Aluminum layer takes less time to charged. In may car the battery is installed it’s plates is coated with Aluminium after star the car in 5-10 min battery is fully charged.

  • Florence Eva

    That’s a good news. As aluminum is already know for its wide usage. Now this is the another update that aluminum battery takes 60 second to charge. We can save lot of energy while using aluminum batteries


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