A Few Things Ill Considered

If you’re in the same boat as I am (ie, you have a job and/or a life) you probably never get a chance to read every last article linked to in the latest “Another Week of GW news” posting (or even 1 in 100!) So I just wanted to point to the set of stories about “spin batteries” or nanoball-batteries (scroll down a couple of pages from this page anchor), an example of which is here at New Scientist.

Cell phones recharging in 10 seconds and electric car batteries in 5 minutes, sounds promising!


  1. #1 Adam
    March 16, 2009

    Well, that would certainly completely change the necessary infrastructure for electric cars. Rather than having to have overnight charging stations, you could have gas stations equivalents for electric power, and completely invalidate one of the most common complaints against electric cars. Which would certainly make the concept much more attractive to the general public.

    I just hope this isn’t another technology of perpetual tomorrow, like hydrogen. Or that’s it’s feasible on a large-scale at all.

  2. #2 MRW
    March 16, 2009

    The paper on this doesn’t actually demonstrate fast charging, only fast discharging. It’s a good bet that fast charging is also possible, and it’s possible that the researchers have done that as well, but they haven’t published it.

    The complication is that to have something *charge* quickly, you need both a fast charging battery and a power supply that can quickly and controllably charge it. This is probably why the discharging was published first.

  3. #3 DrCarbon
    March 16, 2009

    I’m dubious. If this was a promising technology it’s unlikely it would appear in a peer-reviewed science journal. Shouldn’t this be in a proprietary business plan/patent right about now?

  4. #4 bobh
    March 16, 2009

    A battery that can power a car for significant distance needs a large amount of energy. To charge it fast you need a very large amount of power – a very larger voltage. Large voltages are dangerous. You don’t need to charge fast if you can go to “filling station” and replace the battery. There is a silicon valley firm (name forgotten) that has contracts with Israel, Norway, city of SF etc to install charging stations and battery replacement stations. The real problem is the total electrical energy generation required to replace fossil fuels in transportation. We are near using total capacity during peak periods. For the near future, significant charging of electric cars will have to be done overnight. We got to the fossil fuel infrastructure we have in 100 years. Changing to all electrical is not going to happen quickly – whatever the battery technology.

  5. #5 MRW
    March 16, 2009

    “Shouldn’t this be in a proprietary business plan/patent right about now?”

    According to an interview with the inventor, it is already patented and licensed to a company.

    “To charge it fast you need a very large amount of power – a very larger voltage.”

    You do *not* need a large voltage to charge quickly; you need the same voltage as to charge slowly. You do need a larger current, and, yes, more power.

  6. #6 Zensunni
    March 25, 2009

    That is true, but his point about quickly transferring that much energy being dangerous is still valid.

  7. #7 Agencja Kreatywna
    July 13, 2009

    That will be nice. I think that sooner or later somebody must invent something that will replace the standard fuel or even cars. I hope I will survive to this times.