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  1. #11

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    I love the thought of Alternative Fuel. Unfortunately, In my opinion the battery/toxic is much more of a DANGER to our environment than the internal combustion engine. I have seen what ships have done to our ocean floor by discarding their batteries overboard. Nuclear energy is by far the cleanest energy source for the money but what do you do with spent rods? The same is for ANY car that relies on batteries and capacitors to store electricty. I am going to support a hydrogen resolve and not be fooled by the marketing of Toyota, GM and the rest....

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  3. #12

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    It seems to me that we are on the verge of a new era in the use of batteries and supercapacitors for propelling our transportation vehicles. Valance, A123 and Toshiba have already made major contributions to Lithium Ion battery technology. Further advancements in applying nanotechnology to the electrodes may bring the technology to the point that it is much more economical.

    It hasn't been pointed out the Li-ion batteries are lighter than other batteries which is important for fuel economy. Li-ion batteries are also potentially more economical to produce because they require less cells for the same amount of power. The economies of scale afforded by mass production are very attractive. The hybrid vehicle is not a mature technology and it takes time for all of the required components to reach maturity. Almost no one thought that they would sell so well. With this incentive the larger producers like Johnson Controls and Saft are now gearing up and will be able to capitalize on the achievements to date.

    Another technology that has been advancing very rapidly in parallel to batteries is the supercapacitor. Supercapacitors can absorb the energy from regenerative braking much more efficiently than a battery, adding significantly to the fuel efficiently of a vehicle. They are especially suited to stop and start driveing and are becoming widely used in transit buses. They are lighter than batteries which adds to their attractiveness. Costs are coming down rapidly as the technology is improved and production volume increases. Only one manufacturer, Maxwell, has any significant presence in this market. Vehicles can now be made with no batteries, just a supercapacitor. While this only increases mileage a small amount, when a supercapacitor is wired in parallel to the battery pack their is significant synergy by reducing the size of the battery pack and increasing the amount of energy recovered from regenerative braking.

    Yes, I have much more optimizium about battery technology and the future of electric and hybrid electric vehicles than I did just a year ago.

  4. #13

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    u mention johnson controls as the only USA player in the production of batteries .. what about ENER
    energy conversion devices...they are from michigan ..last time i checked that was still in the usa ?
    seems that its their technology that is in the prius and civic u talk about so much ..

  5. #14

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean


    http://www.cleveland.com/printer/pri...6433227560.xml ?bates&coll=2

    GM finally takes a green view
    2007 Saturn SUV boasts hybrid system
    Sunday, January 08, 2006
    Christopher Jensen
    Plain Dealer Auto Editor

  6. #15

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    This article is about Lithium batteries or batteries in general but we shouldn't forget they are just means of soring energy. Where's the energy from?
    Just read the article about the concept car Reflex from Ford with solar panels on the roof to recharge the batteries, at the same time reduce the heat of the car if you park it under the sun. Solar power is free and if you can lower the cost of solar panels, it's really a very good idea and Japanese car companies should learn from that. If the panels works well enough, we can also forget "Plug In" vehicles.

  7. #16

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    Sean, we've discussed solar panels here on hybridcars.com before. They're essentially useless because it would take many thousands of square feet of solar cells to power an automobile. See the article and pictures at http://www.speedace.info/sunraycer_general_motors.htm which describes Sunraycer, an ultralight one-person solar-cell-powered "automobile."

  8. #17

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    Pedmac, I finally got around to reading the Cleveland Plain Dealer article you posted about the 2007 Saturn Hybrid SUV - thanks for posting it.

    Wow, a whole 5 HP electric motor on this "hybrid"! This is pitiful - looks like the geniuses at GM have struck again.

  9. #18

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    Photovoltaics can't currently come close to providing motive power for vehicles. But photovoltaics on vehicles are far from useless. Just keeping the insides of our vehicles cool on sweltering days would be a worthwhile benefit. Applied to the top of refrigerated delivery vans, photovoltaics could provide much or all of the energy needed to run the refrigeration unit. And recreational vehicles are able to benefit greatly from the electricity provided by rooftop photovoltaics.


  10. #19

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    Lee, I'll admit photovoltaics are not _completely_ useless. But your EarthRoamer doesn't exactly seem economical: "Typical prices for completed 2006 model year EarthRoamer XV-LTs range from about $190,000 to over $200,000." That's pretty pricey for a pickup-mounted camper shell.

  11. #20

    Lithium Batteries & What They Mean

    RE: Energy Storage Problem: About 13 years ago, IEEE Journal devoted half an issue to electric propulsion systems and analysed all the battery systems on the market or then forseeable. They concluded none had the energy or power density needed for all-electric vehicles (no mention of hybrids back then). They also had a sidebar about a different kind of energy storage: not a chemical storage battery, but a MECHANICAL storage battery. It was a proposal from a professor at Stanford Univ for a high-speed flywheel made of cabon fiber and resin that depended on its high speed rather than a high mass to boost energy storage (recall E=mv^2, so increaseing speed has much greater effect than increasing mass of the flywheel).
    Because it spins so fast it would have to be in a vacuum can and run on magnetic bearings for low friction. It should have the long life of a sealed refrigerator compressor. A motor /generator in each modular storage unit would be used to put energy in or take it out of the flywheel. (Magnetic bearings are just coming into use for commercial water chillers, and large flywheel enery storage are available for commercial computer UPS systems)

    One advantage over chemical batteries and fuel cells is that in a serious accident no toxics or high temperature chemicals are released, and you don't have a lot of energy in a heavy spinning mass that emits shrapnel. The carbon fiber flywheel turns into a fluffy mass like cotton candy when ruptured. Best of all, this system would rival gasoline in its energy and power density, something no battery could do.
    The professor admitted that these things would be a technical challenge to build, but they were not magic, and we have lots of aerospace companies who often face difficult technical challenges. But I have seen almost no R&D along these lines. Another technology where the US could excel, but no one has taken up the challenge

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