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Old 16-03-2010, 08:26   #1
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The Ultimate Battery Solution

It seems there is a new composite material that does double duty as a battery - imagine if significant portions of a boat were made of this material - the electric drive option suddenly becomes viable.
Cars of the future could be powered by their bodywork thanks to new battery technology
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:35   #2
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I'm wondering, if it's part of the boats superstructure then how would one change it out when it's useful life is over? I have never heard of a battery that never needs to be replaced. Perhaps this is a first?
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:40   #3
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Quote:
It seems there is a new composite material that does double duty as a battery - imagine if significant portions of a boat were made of this material - the electric drive option suddenly becomes viable.
Not sure that it changes much. Perhaps the space / weight distribution would be better. Sounds like it would be expensive to integrate even more to replace. Electric drive boats are less about batteries and more about charging.
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Old 16-03-2010, 13:59   #4
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It’s beginning to appear that engineering is going the way of politicks. Scientific evaluation by press release.
Substance not required, just a catchy sound bite for the newsies.

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Originally Posted by henryv View Post
... imagine if significant portions of a boat were made of this material - the electric drive option suddenly becomes viable.
Cars of the future could be powered by their bodywork thanks to new battery technology
Imagine a boat constructed of an air-fuelled battery, which charges in seconds!

New Battery Technology Charges in Seconds
New Battery Technology Charges in Seconds

Air-fueled Battery for Electric Cars
Air-fueled Battery for Electric Cars

Or

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace ...
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Old 16-03-2010, 15:39   #5
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High speed charging sounds nice for electric cars where blasting 600 amps into a battery might be safe to do with a heavy duty commercial setup and limitless AC power. Be nice for cell phones and other small electronics as well. Charge while you stand there then leave.

Generating that much power so fast on a boat seems the harder problem than the battery that can absorb it faster. A modest genset can do 300 amps or more but the genset uses burning fuel. The process of burning fuel into electrical power is still about as good as it can get. So we build bigger generators that are water cooled so they don't melt and burn larger amounts of fuel rapidly. Trade your propulsion engine for a genset. Net gains = nothing if it works perfect.

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They believe this could lead to a 15 per cent reduction in the car’s overall weight, which should significantly improve the range of future hybrid cars.
While the battery make be made of a material that is structural there still is nothing new claimed about the battery properties itself. Using the same approach the keel already has more mass than required for storing energy of within a great mass. It seems pointless to think there is an application for boats in such a material.

In general these technology s are not claiming that much yet the authors of the stories would have you think they are. If the people doing the research are not hyping at all and taken to their word I still don't see anything to them as far as boating If they could make a 10,000 amp batter that could accept 500 amps charging it would still take a bit less than a full day to charge it and last say 2 months assuming you didn't make lightning with it. At that level I could see cruising with it. They could sell them at 4,000 amps.

I'm think all these are missing the target by a lot. If this stuff really existed now it wouldn't do what is expected for a boat application well enough to use. We really need perpetual motion. A hole in reality seems to fall too far short of something that actually works. At least if they were making this stuff up out of thin air you would think they could make up something that could work even if they didn't know how to build it.
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Old 17-03-2010, 07:52   #6
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OK Paul - let's agree that there is still a significant gap between these ideas and reality however I believe that in terms of energy generation and storage solutions we are going to see some exciting developments in the not too distant future. With so much money and talent focussing on these matters we should see advances similar to what we have experienced with computers and internet over the last dozen years. The technologies may not all make sense for boaters but I am sure there will be some worthwhile spin offs.
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Old 17-03-2010, 09:37   #7
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From the description, not using a chemical reaction and depending on surface area, this sounds more like a super capacitor of some kind rather than a battery. Capacitors do not typically wear out in the sense that a battery does. There are a number schemes for making so called ultracapacitors that show promise. My oncern would be one of safety. While a conventional capacitor cannot hold nearly as much energy as a battery they can discharge their energy in microseconds should they fail. To move a car or boat any significant distance one of these capacitors would have to hold as much energy as an equivalent tank of petroleum products, but maybe only half as much since a pure electric system can be nearly twice as efficient. In the case of my boat that would be 55 gallons of diesel fuel. If that much fuel was sprayed into the air and ignited it would make a huge fireball that would burn for at least a couple of seconds. Now imagine the effect if all that enegy was released a thousand or maybe a million times faster. I've seen relatively small capacitors short and explode, I would not want to be anywhere near one that had the power to push my boat any significant distance. Can you imagine the effect of a fender bender if the damaged fender held the energy equivalent of a few gallons of gasoline and could release it in a microsecond if shorted. I think I'll pass on this technology for a while.
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Old 17-03-2010, 10:08   #8
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Batteries that use polymers as solid fuel and carbon coated catalysts are out there already. Aparently nanotchnology allows the chemical reaction to take place at a scale that doesn't cause the material to degrade so if it is real I don't see it having the danger inherit with large capacitors. Whether this is the battery of the future or not remains to be seen. Carbon polymers are very strong materials. Now if they could charge from the sea water we'd really be getting somewhere.
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Old 17-03-2010, 10:18   #9
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Refering to the article at the beginning of the thread, it clearly states that there is no chemical reaction involved which means it's not a carbon/polymer battery. The photo in the article shows a control device that clearly says capacitor charge/discharge. Perhaps a small illustration of the difference between a capacitor and a battery. I read once where a big thunderstorm releases the energy of a nuclear explosion every 5 seconds. The nuclear weapon releases the energy in a microsecond. Do you understand the difference?
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Old 17-03-2010, 10:52   #10
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Yes I thought I read in another article that a chemical reaction does take place but happens at a nano level where it has no effect on the material. I just took a look for it but instead found yet another where they say there is no chemical reaction because of the nanomaterial : Electric cars: put a battery in your roof

I do understand the difference thanks and I'm well aware of the dangers of capacitors. You better send yuor analogy to the EU since they seem to feel there's potential in this material:
The car in front will be carbon fibre - Telegraph
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