MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

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Carl White
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MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Carl White » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:14 pm

http://fortune.com/2016/08/21/mit-batte ... rket-2017/

* double the energy density of a standard lithium-ion battery

* demonstrated a working prototype in October 2015

* uses existing lithium-ion manufacturing processes

* "will be powering drones by November of this year, and will begin offering units appropriate for smartphones and wearables in early 2017"

ladajo
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby ladajo » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:55 pm

See my comment in the EM Drive thread...
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

PNeilson10
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby PNeilson10 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:55 pm

This is just a first shot in the race to commercialize Lithium Metal Anodes.

This 'advance', though maybe not this companies version, is the real deal.

Multiple players have more or less figured out the electrolytes that allow the all metal anode.

And making the anode is pretty simple - just a sheet of Li metal.

As to a realistic time frame, that is very hard to say. My guess is 3 to 5 years before its a mainstream component. This guess is not all that informed so don't rely on it.

The money involved in getting a new battery component to market is pretty large. So business considerations will do more to determine the ultimate winner from the gaggle of players along with the time frame to availability.

hanelyp
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby hanelyp » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:23 am

As I understand it, batteries with a lithium metal anode tend to have problems with dendrites growing through the electrolyte during recharge, shorting the cell. If they've solved that problem it is indeed a breakthrough.
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

ladajo
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby ladajo » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:21 pm

Yup. I put these guys on my IPO/buyout watchlist.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

PNeilson10
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby PNeilson10 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:40 pm

The dendrite problem seems solved by a number of researchers using a few different methods.

Having more than one group with more than one solution indicated a robust understanding of the issues and a decent path to commercialization by at least one of the groups.

In general -

Anode is a solved problem just use Li Metal

Electrolytes seem well understood as solving dendrites is a good example of deep understanding

Cathode is still very much an unsolved mystery.

For every cathode change - the electrolyte needs changes to match the needs of the cathode. Therefore, electrolytes are not solved as they depend on the cathode.

The SolidEnergy battery is 1200 wh / liter. For 100 kilowatt Hours - about 83 liters or 22 gallons. Add in an improved cathode and that gets you to say 2000 wh / liter. 50 liter tank is 13 gallons. This is at gasoline levels of volumetric energy density in terms of miles traveled per unit volume of fuel Tank

The numbers are not so attractive in mass energy density terms. Solid Energy is at 400 wh / kg. 100 kw hrs is 250 kg - 550 pounds. With a better cathode at 1 kw - hr /kg - 100 kg or 220 lbs still not at gasoline but close enough to not matter.

Figure that battery cost is roughly the same on a pound basis - so cost comes down roughly proportional to mass decrease.

Metal anodes are a good improvement.

As to investing - the SolidEnergy group might be first - but there are others in competition that are close to market. The investment required for a go to market with a complete battery strategy is up to about the $ 1 Billion level. Picking the winner out of the flock of wannabe's will not be easy.

ladajo
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby ladajo » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:59 pm

Yes, at roughly 6 lbs per gallon for gasoline, that means a nominal 22 gallon tank (full), weighs 132lbs. The difference being regarding overall vehicle efficiency, for general purposes you can run numbers for weight of fuel at 66lbs (half a tank). With a battery, you incur the full weight all the time. Over hundreds of miles this matters.

That said, in general, they have made a big leap if what they have is commercially viable and as claimed. It would certainly change a lot of things.
And I agree, picking the horse for investment purposes is far from set at this point. However, they certainly have made the list.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Tom Ligon
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Tom Ligon » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:38 pm

Not mentioned above is charging time and safety.

To be a gasoline replacement, you need the ability to pull into a charging station and recharge your hundreds of miles of capacity in the time it takes to pee and get a cup of coffee. Can this tech handle it?

If it can charge fast, presumably it can discharge fast. How robust are these things in an accident? Keep in mind, existing lithium batteries already have energy densities pushing a megajoule per kilogram. Nitroglycerine is 6.38 megajoules per kg. So 100 kg of quick discharge battery under your seat ought to make your butt itch.

My wife and I have a 2013 Prius. I was surprised to learn that those use NiMH batteries, not a lithium chemistry. Long distance automotive batteries are an especially challenging application. Energy density is wonderful, but not the whole story by a long shot.

Skipjack
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Skipjack » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:49 am

Tom Ligon wrote:To be a gasoline replacement, you need the ability to pull into a charging station and recharge your hundreds of miles of capacity in the time it takes to pee and get a cup of coffee. Can this tech handle it?

Tesla super chargers essentially do that already.

Tom Ligon
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Tom Ligon » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:19 am

Well, at least until Tesla announced they're putting in better batteries a little earlier this week, that recharge was for a range of what I used to call a short bike ride. With the new batteries, we're talking maybe century (100 miles) to metric double (200 km)? Something like that.

To make people give up their gassers, we want range like our Prius, which can get 50+ mpg on a nice summer day, and has a ten gallon tank. Or at least enough range to require a bathroom break. So we need a quick charge several times larger than present.

But the question is not if some battery and charging tech can do it, it is if THESE batteries can do it. Solid electrodes, electrolytes are still a bit of a question. I'm not suggesting it can't be done. I am saying its a little early to declare victory. A lot of engineers are going to work a lot of late nights, and leave a lot of smoking prototypes behind to get there. This is harder than designing, say, submarine batteries. Vibration, crashworthiness, and other factors unique to driving make this whole field a heckuva challenge.

Meanwhile, several other approaches will be competing.

Frankly, I'm getting a kick out of watching the process. One of the things I find remarkable is that useful electric sport aircraft are coming out.

Skipjack
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Skipjack » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:38 am

Tom Ligon wrote:Well, at least until Tesla announced they're putting in better batteries a little earlier this week, that recharge was for a range of what I used to call a short bike ride. With the new batteries, we're talking maybe century (100 miles) to metric double (200 km)? Something like that.

??
The new Tesla has a range of 300 miles now. The 85 kWh model already did 285 miles. Not sure where your numbers come from.

ladajo
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby ladajo » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:13 pm

That's interesting Tom, is there a hidden point there with Tesla regarding "Fast Charging" and "Normal/Slow Charging" that folks are unaware of in the mainstream?
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Skipjack
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Skipjack » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:28 am

ladajo wrote:That's interesting Tom, is there a hidden point there with Tesla regarding "Fast Charging" and "Normal/Slow Charging" that folks are unaware of in the mainstream?

Fast charging at super chargers fills the battery to 80% in 40 minutes . It takes a lot longer (75 minutes) to go all the way up to 100%, though.
80% gets you a lot further than 100 miles ( 228 miles for the 85 kWh model and 240 miles for the new 100 kWh models).
https://www.tesla.com/supercharger

ladajo
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby ladajo » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:10 am

Thanks! Had not really paid any attention to Tesla charge protocols.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Tom Ligon
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Re: MIT spinoff to market breakthrough batteries by 2017

Postby Tom Ligon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:07 am

Skipjack wrote:
ladajo wrote:That's interesting Tom, is there a hidden point there with Tesla regarding "Fast Charging" and "Normal/Slow Charging" that folks are unaware of in the mainstream?

Fast charging at super chargers fills the battery to 80% in 40 minutes . It takes a lot longer (75 minutes) to go all the way up to 100%, though.
80% gets you a lot further than 100 miles ( 228 miles for the 85 kWh model and 240 miles for the new 100 kWh models).
https://www.tesla.com/supercharger


OK, ya got me, I was working with battery data a couple of generations old. I have not been looking at electrics since we bought the Prius. Range is greater than I thought.

Charge time? Well, that's a disappointment. 40 minutes is a leisurely lunch, not a bathroom break and coffee. Although an improvement over earlier systems. Picture the load these things could have on a grid. Ten thousand vehicles heading for a major event, hitting the stations at once. A million kWH demand suddenly decending on a few charging stations around, say, a stadium. Mount Storm (my favorite example of a local coal-burning monstrosity) can handle that without a hickup, but I think it would swallow the output of the string of wind turbines going in on our mountain. My 128 W solar installation could could not charge one of those 100 kWH batteries in a month. Actually, with 4 hours a day of full sun, it would take more like 200 days of good sunlight.

Now, picture the demand of an interstate highway with 100,000 vehicles per day.

There's some serious re-jiggering of the power grid needed to get enough quick charge capacity in place to make electric cars attractive. Each charging station may need its own power substation.

Neighborhood Polywells would be a big help. :)


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