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Transportation Science

Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range By 300% 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-like-a-helmet-but-with-celery dept.
LesterMoore writes "Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries have developed a new material that they believe can significantly improve the capacity of EV batteries. The material is a form of porous aluminum called 'Aluminum-Celmet.' 'The positive electrode current collector in a conventional lithium-ion secondary battery is made from aluminum foil, while the negative electrode current collector is made from copper foil. Replacing the aluminum foil with Aluminum-Celmet increases the amount of positive active material per unit area. Sumitomo Electric’s trial calculations indicate that in the case of automotive onboard battery packs, such replacement will increase battery capacity 1.5 to 3 times. Alternatively, with no change in capacity, battery volume can be reduced to one-third to two-thirds. These changes afford such benefits as reduced footprint of home-use storage batteries for power generated by solar and other natural sources, as well as by fuel cells."
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Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range By 300%

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  • Alumninum Cermet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:41PM (#36790572)

    I suspect this should be "Aluminum-Cermet" since the metal apparently is deposited on a ceramic base.

    Japanese often mismaps the "R" sound into an "L" sound ... perhaps that happened here?

    • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:03AM (#36790662) Homepage Journal

      I thought it odd as well, but checking the company's website [global-sei.com] it is in fact "Celmet".

      It appears that Celmet is a proprietry compound they've been making for a while from nickel and chromium which is designed to be very porous (and high surface area). This announcement seems to just be that they've created an aluminum variant and figure it should work well in lithium batteries.

      However, like others have noted, it appears to be pure conjecture on the company's part. There's no mention of creating an actual battery using this method and, if I were to guess, this whole thing is just an attempt to generate interest in their new (patented, trademarked, and whatever else-d) material.

    • Or maybe it's a reference to all the little cells in the metal?

    • NO! Celmet is their brand of super-porous metals, Celmet being a brand name. The name is composed of Cell and Metal, thusly Celmet. http://www.sei-toyama.co.jp/2-3.html [sei-toyama.co.jp] They have made working samples too, but only the briefs are in English: www.sei.co.jp/tr/pdf/energy/sei10498.pdf .

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Chinese guy comes to visit on a business trip.
      Over lunch, he and his American hosts chat and of course the theme turns to politics.
      One of the Americans challenges, "So do you have regular elections?"
      "Oh yes, evely molning!"

  • by clinko (232501) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:45PM (#36790590) Homepage Journal

    I'm working on a battery entirely powered by stories about battery improvements. It is due "within the next 3-5 years" and should improve our buzzword threshold by 2 fold!

    • I would not bet on any battery tech..., but magnetically levitated (in vacuum) flywheel might actually be a power/energy storage miracle, it is much more viable now then any chemical battery. I would dare to say flywheel is back - big time.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage [wikipedia.org]
      • by Locutus (9039)
        Mr Rosen, is that you? Rosen Motors did this in the '90s but based their business on getting the US Big Three to buy into it. Silly boys for thinking Ford, GM, or Chrysler cared about efficiency.

        LoB
      • Re:Power Miracle (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:33AM (#36790976) Homepage

        Flywheels come with their own set of problems. They exhibit gyroscopic effects. The heavier the flywheel, the more energy it takes to accelerate or decelerate, fighting against itself. You have to maintain it in a vacuum. My 10-year-old car can't even keep the exhaust from breaking every five minutes, let alone maintain anything vacuum tight.

        Also, you're not really talking about THAT massive a store of energy. Gasoline is at 47.2 Megajoules / Kilogram. LiOn batteries used in cars are at 720 Kilojoules / Kilogram. The article you list refers to commercial flywheel power storage at 40 Kilojoules / Kilogram. That's 10x less than Lithium Ion batteries. For the equivalent amount of weight, a Ford Volt could drive a paultry 4 miles between charges.

        I wouldn't be surprised to see flywheel regenerative braking and acceleration take off... Momentarily store energy at a dead standstill before harnessing it to launch forwards. That's what it is used for in motorsports and it works well there.

        But it would take a bit of a leap to get from there, to a car whose flywheel is spun up in the morning before driving out. Remember, once all of the physics conversions and equations are stripped out, you would need to spin a big honking physical something fast enough to power pushing around a 2k pound car for a day's driving.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Flywheels come with their own set of problems. They exhibit gyroscopic effects.

          So you install them in counterrotating pairs.

          The heavier the flywheel, the more energy it takes to accelerate or decelerate, fighting against itself.

          That's a feature, not a bug.

          You have to maintain it in a vacuum. My 10-year-old car can't even keep the exhaust from breaking every five minutes, let alone maintain anything vacuum tight.

          And yet I have two 20 year old cars without exhaust or vac leaks... while the flywheel systems are sealed, these systems are NOT closed systems.

          In any case, flywheels are best suited to use in trains and in stationary installations due to their weight...

          • Counter-rotating pairs aren't magic. They have to be connected by something. The stress on the connecting member will be huge. How do you plan to attach them?

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              It's how KERS works ALREADY, so I'm not really sure of the nature of your complaint. They don't have to be directly physically coupled in any case, making your question all the more perplexing. They only need to come in pairs, be mounted along the same axis, and both be solidly mounted to the frame.

          • by cgenman (325138)

            The heavier the flywheel, the more energy it takes to accelerate or decelerate, fighting against itself.

            That's a feature, not a bug.

            Not if you're trying to accelerate the whole thing down the street. The more massive the flywheel system, the more energy it can store. But the more energy it can store, the heavier the car is. That's more energy you need to accelerate the car, or bring it up hill. Then you have additional weight in the structure to handle cornering with a heavy flywheel system, stronger br

      • by bertok (226922)

        Flywheels are a huge safety risk. You either run them at low speeds, making them less efficient than batteries, or you run them at very high speeds, in which case a mechanical failure leads to an explosion. Check out this video [youtube.com] for an idea of what happens when a lot of stored rotational energy is suddenly released. Now imagine that in every car!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          And that is different from gasoline powered cars in what way?

      • I see no need for such complex vehicles for the majority of uses. While autonomous vehicles certainly are necessary for many uses, the majority of the trips are along regular routes - city streets and freeways - and adding some sort of tracks with a power source in some sort of third rail is old tech. We only don't have it because it doesn't sell cars, but that's an economic problem, not an engineering one. Yes, lots of people are crazy about cars and proclaim public disasters and military dictatorships a

    • by Locutus (9039)
      Exxxxcellent. (said as I twiddle my thumbs and snicker).
      www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKUOB8MN4Kc

      LoB
      • Your doing it wrong. You're supposed to just touch your finger tips together, forming a pyramid, and peer through the center of it.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Except guess what, battery density actually has improved [kk.org] steadily over time, and dramatically overall [mpoweruk.com]. It's not automatic, it's the result of many improvements just like this one.
      • by russotto (537200)
        Your charts are not consistent; the second one shows a maximum of 350 Wh/l, whereas the first shows 580 Wh/l.
        • by timeOday (582209)
          Good point. There are no dates on the second one, so I wonder if it is outdated. The lower range of energy density for lithium-ion is about the same for both, whereas the upper end is much higher on the first.
    • by cgenman (325138)

      I believe you've just violated my 2002 patent on true random data compression algorithms. That's due 5 years out from my Israeli start-up.

    • You don't actually remember how crappy batteries used to be, do you?

      Battery tech is improving steadily, and a surprisingly large number of the big breakthroughs we hear about become standard equipment within a few years of their announcement. Batteries aren't flashy like processors or displays, so people tend not to notice, but in fact batteries have been following their own version of Moore's Law for quite some time now. Even cursory research will show you that batteries of all kinds are longer-lived, mo

      • by zmollusc (763634)

        I haven't noticed the improvements in battery tech because every time the batteries improve, the manufacturers use smaller ones.
        My first cellphone used six AA nicads (which gave a day or so of use when new) whereas now my current (hah!) cellphone has a battery the size of an After Eight mint (which gives a day or so of use when new).

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          So you have not noticed that your cell phone no longer weighs as much as a brick?

          For real fun check out the latest AA and AAAs these are still NIMH but will now hold a charge for years. Sure only 1.2v but the discharge curve is a hell of a lot flatter than alkaline.

          • by amorsen (7485)

            I wish they would do 5 NiMH cells shaped like 4 AA batteries in the most common configuration. There are quite a few things which require 4 AA batteries but only runs briefly or not at all on 4.8V. Obviously joined-up batteries wouldn't fit in every device, but it would help in some of them.

            Alternatively, device makers should add a 5th battery slot for NiMH batteries, but that would require people to be sensible or device makers to add protective circuitry. Neither seems likely.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              Those devices must eat alkaline batteries. Alkalines are down to 1.2 quite quickly. Check out a discharge curve for them one time.

          • by zmollusc (763634)

            Meh, I would happily have my cellphone four times the weight and twice the thickness if it meant the battery was ( squints at battery and makes estimate ) eight or ten times the capacity.
            Cellphones can stand some increase in weight. My keys weigh more than my phone.

            • by phaggood (690955)
              The ex head of GM recently gave a talk about how the advances of the early 20th century are due to the engineers calling the shots at corporations, after MBA's took over the products started to suck. Looking at the design of my Sanyo Zio it appears that there was a REALLY great phone in there during the engineering phase, then the marketing ppl made a bunch of stupid-ass decisions (pertaining mostly to battery life and those ridiculous little doors all over the sides, I expect Scooby and the gang to chase
      • Re:Power Miracle (Score:5, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @05:57AM (#36791694) Journal

        Someone was complaining to me recently about rechargeable D cells only providing the same capacity of AA cells[1]. I told him he should check the capacities before buying them, since all rechargeables list their capacity in mAh on the side. I told him 650mAh was about what he'd expect from an AA, because that was about the most I could find when I last bought AAs. Then I decided to actually check. It turns out that these days 2-3Ah is normal for AA batteries. I used to have a Psion Series 3, which ran on alkaline AA batteries and had a battery monitor that told you how much it had drained - that's more than I got out of alkaline non-rechargeables back then (mid '90s).

        It's easy to miss these advances, but I was really surprised how much cheap rechargeables have improved. The other thing that really brought home the improvement to me recently was a toy helicopter that I got for my birthday. I got one a few years ago, but it had a much smaller and lighter body, and didn't fly as long. In the early '90s, I asked about building electric toy helicopters, and was told that there was no power source that would work for them. The person I was talking to went through the calculations - batteries of the time simply did not have the energy density to lift themselves. That was just before LiIon started to become commercially available. Now, not only is it possible, it's so cheap that you can put them in toys for children / geeks. Oh, and as an aside, I also remember seeing the first prototype for a helicopter with counterrotating rotors on Tomorrows World. It's really amazing seeing a toy containing so many technologies that were totally unavailable just a couple of decades ago.

        [1] This is actually true for Duracell - their rechargeable batteries all seem to use the same cell, irrespective of the size.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          New NIMH AA are about 2Ah and can hold 80% of their charge for 6-9 months. After that the self discharge losses are even less. Using alkaline batteries today is silly. If you need long self discharge times, like in a remote, get a modern NIMH if you need high voltage and high energy density get a non-rechargeable lithium cell. These NIMH cells pay for themselves in about 2 uses.

          • by timeOday (582209)
            Agreed - the only place I use disposable AAs now is in cheap flashlights and toys I know my kids will lose :)
    • Re:Power Miracle (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @05:30AM (#36791626)

      Nickel foam is already used in NiMH batteries to improve storage capacity, it's just expensive, so most often used in high-density NiMH car batteries. They already produce a low-nickel variant of this foam that's cheaper and simpler to produce, called celmet, that's comparable [global-sei.com] in performance to more expensive production methods - Sumitomo are not a fly-by-night company, this is part of their bread-and-butter business.

      They've now applied the same foam technique to creating aluminium foam instead of nickel foam, so it can be used in Lithium batteries instead of NiMH. Given their focus, I imagine it's going to be more suitable to larger Li-ion batteries for EV purposes rather than smaller consumer electronics, but there's no fundamental reason it won't work for Li-ion batteries. After all, all you're doing is increasing the surface area of the electrode with a foam-type material; the trick is making it cheaply enough while maintaining mechanical strength. That appears to be the problem they have solved for aluminium, using their existing technique.

      • by haruchai (17472)

        One advance I'm looking forward to from Sumitomo is their lower-temp ( below 100 deg C) molten-salt battery as it could finally be cheap storage for electric buses / trucks.

        • Instead, focus on ultra-caps and then have charging stations every so often that allows for FAST charges. For example, from stop to stop, a bus can pull up and charge in 10 seconds with enough power to go to the next 2-3 stops. With that approach, you can have a VERY lightweight, efficient, and CHEAP bus.
          • by haruchai (17472)

            That won't help trucks and that sounds like a very awkward way to charge city buses. It would be better to charge them at the bus garages or have a few designated swap stations. Lightweight is good but, for a bus, not a deal breaker. And for buses and trucks that are out one the highway, range and drag are of greater concern.

    • Just as soon as I have perfected my system for harvesting and refining fairy farts and unicorn sprinkles. I'll just need about $50 million in grant money, half of which will go to procuring a 30,000 acre ranch in Wyoming where the fairies and unicorns will be grazing.

  • by mark_elf (2009518) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:55PM (#36790632)
    TFA is full of words like "reportedly" and "could". It's marketing baloney. If this stuff is so great, let's have a story about a working battery. Also, the technical details in the summary about electrodes and battery size reduction don't appear in TFA. Please remember, No Original Research is one of the core content policies of /.
    • by Iskender (1040286)

      It's true that this is not ready. However, the basics are probably sound - changing battery electrodes can boost power significantly. They're pretty much the movers and shakers in batteries, after all.

      Lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries probably started this way too. There will always be a lot of fluff but it's important to keep an eye out for technical developments since some will actually be the next big thing, like powerful LEDs. New electrodes in some shape and form are probably it when it comes t

  • by fotbr (855184) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:02AM (#36790660) Journal

    http://xkcd.com/678/ [xkcd.com]

    As a side note, a hovercar might be nice later this summer when my commute floods.

  • Slashvertisement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:16AM (#36790718)

    Search for the term "Aluminum Celmet" and all the returns are from the last month or so, all reference the company mentioned here, and are either press releases, stories on tech sites made from press releases, or astroturf on forums. The term "celmet" appears to be a trademark of the company.

    I'm very interested in novel battery research, but this one tastes like Ovaltine.

    • Search for the term "Aluminum Celmet" and all the returns are from the last month or so, all reference the company mentioned here, and are either press releases, stories on tech sites made from press releases, or astroturf on forums. The term "celmet" appears to be a trademark of the company.

      I'm very interested in novel battery research, but this one tastes like Ovaltine.

      Ovaltine? Are you sure? I'm in! *yum*

    • OVOMaltine!

    • Actually the information just isn't available in English. Aside from the Celmet site there are numerous documents on prototypes, samples, and working production models if you simply search for the name in Japanese: .

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:08AM (#36790898)

    ...and can be applied at sizes smaller than a car battery, the first practical applications of it won't be car batteries. They'll be consumer electronics. If you've ever seen the inside of an iPad or iPhone, you already know that the largest single component is the battery. Being able to shrink it means that the technology companies can shrink the form factors of devices like those. I know in the case of the iPhone, the camera is one of the current major constraints on thickness, but for laptops you may be able to see drastic reductions in thickness and weight. And for smaller electronics, you may be able to simply make the device lighter, or else can afford to make fewer compromises due to space constraints. It could be very interesting indeed.

    Now, granted, this sounds like a lot of astroturfing, but if there is any worth to it, you can bet that the technology companies that are trying to make slim and stylish devices will be all over it. Apple in particular, since they've already started developing their own battery technologies to save space and increase capacity.

    • ... means that the laptop falls over backwards when you open the screen! the reason is that the screen weighs 0.5kg and the rest of the laptop is now only about 300 grammes - including only a 100 gramme battery. so it's necessary to put a counterweight at the front, or to redesign the laptop and have the screen moved forward. no, you can't reduce the weight of the screen, because it's thin glass (which is heavy itself) but it's not self-supporting and so needs to be surrounded by a metal frame.

      so, yes, l

    • by yodleboy (982200)
      "Apple in particular, since they've already started developing their own battery technologies to save space and increase capacity."

      Apple in particular so they can continue to justify non user replaceable batteries because their new batteries are "special". Come on Apple, if you just want more money admit it. Don't tell me it's because you couldn't find a way to package the internals so that the battery is accessible. Every other manufacturer seems to be able to make thin phones with replaceable batteri
      • They are a profit-making venture just like every other company on the planet. Are you new to the planet? is this why you are confused by this phenomenon?

        Why are you so off-topic? Are there not enough Apple-themed threads that you have to find a way to dig at Apple on a topic about battery technology?

  • EESTOR had a super capacitor storage technology that was supposed to work at 1800 (V). They have filed 30+ patents. Last I checked, I couldn't find any announcements from them. I couldn't even find an EESTOR sign in front of the EESTOR office building on Google Earth.

    Anyone know if they are still alive?

    • They are still in business.
      They have not demonstrated any products or prototypes.
      Many believe that the tech doesn't / can't work.
      Some believe they are frauds.
      Some believe they are real.
      The site theeestory.com follows the company, though in the absence of any actual news, the site has devolved into other topics.

      • And oddly, they still have money coming in and they are working. Even more interesting is that they now have some type of feds working with them.
  • The Sinclair C5 ran for 40 kilometres with a fairly simple battery, so this is clearly just another excuse for the car industry to not bring out more electric vehicles, or to bring out only highly inefficient ones.

    • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @02:55AM (#36791222) Homepage

      The Sinclair C5 - cool though it was, and I still want one - was a small electric recumbent cycle. Its real range was closer to 25km than 40km, and at a top speed of 25km/h. It had pedals, but then the aerodynamic design was compensated for by carrying around 30kg of deep-cycle lead-acid battery. It needed to charge up overnight from flat, giving about an hour's run time for a full 12 hours of charging.

      I'm not a particularly hardcore cyclist, but even I can beat the C5's range and speed, powered only by a pint or two of beer and a couple of pies...

      • by Alioth (221270)

        I'd love to get hold of a C5 (unfortunately, they are all now collectors items) and re-motor it with a modern brushless motor (something like the Scorpion HK-4025 650kv that I use in my T-Rex 600 RC helicopter, the motor itself has a maximum of 2.6kW and easily fits in the hand - it's small) and ESC, and use a bank of Li-Poly batteries (which would end up being much smaller and lighter than the original lead-acid). Unlike in my heli, the motor wouldn't be really running all that hard (but would have plenty

    • by cvtan (752695)
      Looked up the C5. As the review said: "Nothing good was ever said about the C5..."
  • This might be real (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @01:43AM (#36791004) Homepage

    The actual press release is rather conservative.

    This is Sumitomo Electric, annual sales about US$20 billion, not some startup. Their major businesses are wire and cable, which includes fibre optics and associated laser diodes. Looking back at their press releases, there are items like "Arrival of the "Era of High-Temperature Superconducting Wire with 200-A-Class Critical Current", followed a few months later by "World's First In-Grid High-Temperature Superconducting Power Cable System is Now Online at Albany, New York". This company doesn't typically overhype their technology.

    Their "celmet" materials have been around for a while, but until recently, they were nickel-based only. They've made some NiMh batteries with this technology, but there wasn't a big win. Now they have an aluminum version, which is more useful for batteries.

    This might actually work.

    • Thank you.. probably the most informative post in the thread so far. I would love to see longer battery life in consumer electronics too though... I just hope that someone does a reliable, peppy EV/Hybrid. Will probably see biodeisel make a comeback first though.
    • by lkcl (517947)

      Aluminium is 8% of the planet's crust. it's not a rare earth metal: it's available in unbelievably large quantities. Europositron, a company that has also developed a 100% rechargeable high-capacity cell (5x that of NiMH) - that doesn't degrade or require chemical or mechanical re-processing - has recognised the capacity of aluminium for years. unfortunately, despite working demos, nobody's believed them.

      the problem with aluminium as a high-capacity rechargeable battery is that the energy storage capacit

      • the problem with aluminium as a high-capacity rechargeable battery is that the energy storage capacity is so high (80kWh in a 100kg cell is not unreasonable) that it can easily be classified as a weapon (in the same way that a molotov cocktail can be classified as a weapon).

        The energy content of 100 kg of TNT is 115 kWh, so this is almost 70% as high. Thermal destruction of a battery like this won't be pretty. (Well, maybe it *would* be pretty in a Myth Busters/fireworks kind of way, but you won't want to be close by.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And what about 100 liters of gasoline? In more *useful* terms,

          gasoline - 45MJ/kg
          100kg, 80kWh (magic) battery - 2.9MJ/kg
          TNT - 4.7MJ/kg

          So, what's the problem? gasoline is 10x as much energy dense as TNT. But then the comparison is kind of ridicules. TNT is designed to release all energy at once. A battery or gasoline, generally cannot do that. Gasoline can only do that under very specific circumstances. Batteries are even less likely to be destroyed as rapidly as openly burning gasoline.

          http://en.wikipedia.or [wikipedia.org]

        • by hitmark (640295)

          That depends on it being able to release the stored energy in as short a time as TNT.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          By that logic you should be really worried about butter. 100 kg of butter has an energy content of 830 kWh after all. What makes TNT dangerous isn't the energy density, which is pretty low, but the speed of the reaction.

        • by Alioth (221270)

          You're comparing apples with oranges: TNT releases that energy in a very small fraction of a second. However, a lithium battery when it catches fire takes a minute or two to actually burn out, so unlike TNT it won't explode, it'll just burn. Petrol (gasoline) burns much more rapidly and ferociously than a Li-Ion battery. Also liquid fuels can spread out while they are burning and catch a lot of other things on fire, a lithium battery tends to sit and flare off in one place. It's considerably less threatenin

      • by russotto (537200)

        Aluminium is 8% of the planet's crust. it's not a rare earth metal: it's available in unbelievably large quantities. Europositron, a company that has also developed a 100% rechargeable high-capacity cell (5x that of NiMH) - that doesn't degrade or require chemical or mechanical re-processing - has recognised the capacity of aluminium for years. unfortunately, despite working demos, nobody's believed them.

        This Europositron [www.hs.fi]?

        See, it's stuff like this which makes slashdotters wary of battery breakthroughs, even

  • by ewieling (90662) <[ten.llunved] [ta] [resu]> on Sunday July 17, 2011 @02:03AM (#36791052)
    This is great news! Only 20 years until the patent expires and products can start being made using this technology.
    • by russotto (537200)

      This is great news! Only 20 years until the patent expires and products can start being made using this technology.

      Only if they're dicks about it. It seems more likely that they'd want to actually make the products and/or license the technology rather than sit on them and sue anyone who makes anything remotely similar. So you'll pay more for 20 years, but it'll be available.

  • by Xeranar (2029624) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @02:56AM (#36791224)

    I have no other definition for a group so well entrenched and yet supposedly so well educated in science. First off take a course in the history of science and understand just how developments actually work. We've been wowed by computer sciences for the last two decades and the lightning speed of updates but in the real world of mechanical parts and economics moore's law just doesn't apply. The first EVs used nickel-cadmium batteries the newest models use lithium ion technology. In ten years this aluminum-celmet which is a process that is widely known and thus likely will be trademarked but not patented. We're close to breaking the magic 300 mile range barrier and when we do the EVs will sell.

    The overall cynicism of the posters is getting depressing and irresponsible. Science occurs at the speed of humanity, advancements happen every day that takes years to filter into our world. If you don't like reading about cutting edge future technology then stop reading these articles.

    • by HiThere (15173)

      If I understand correctly, the application of this technology to aluminum *is* new, and I suspect that there will be a number of (legitimate) patents surrounding it. It's not just deciding to replace one metal by another, different metals behave quite differently.

      OTOH, it may be something that will break "the magic 300 mile range". But I doubt that it will allow for quick refueling short of a battery exchange. I don't think that even super-capacitors could do that, as the power requirements for a fast ch

    • The cynicism has everything to do with the inability to distinguish real advances from marketing hype and vaporware claims that make up just as many articles. That is the fault of poor quality moderating on Slashdot's part, not the community.
  • by stormboy (1691754) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @03:20AM (#36791292)
    Looking at the stated figures for battery volume, the increase in range is "by up to 200%" NOT "by 300%" as the title states. The correct use of the 300% figure would be "increase range to 300% of current range". An increase of range by 300% would mean the range would be 400% of the original range. It may seem like a little difference between the words "by" and "to", but misuse of words and percentages occurs far too much to exaggerate things that do not need exaggerating.
  • I fail to see how changing the wires can possibly increase the energy density of the battery. Sorry but I'm calling BS on this one.

    If they could show some actual examples of their tech in action I'd be more willing to overcome my scepticism.

  • Lets see, a 3 fold increase would be from 'a' kwh to '3a' kwh. The percent increase would be 100%*(3a - a)/a = 200%. So is it 3 fold increase or 300% increase (which would be 4 fold increase).

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