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Transportation Science

Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range By 300% 182

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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  • 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 nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <> on Sunday July 17, 2011 @12:03AM (#36790662) Journal

    I thought it odd as well, but checking the company's website [] 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Re:Power Miracle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @03:13AM (#36791268) Homepage Journal

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

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

    by GameMaster ( 148118 ) on Sunday July 17, 2011 @03:48AM (#36791372)

    For the most part, gasoline powered cars only explode in television shows or movies.

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