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Old 06-06-2017, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default A new battery better than Lithium?

The April 28 issue of Science describes a new battery that people from the US Naval Observatory and "EnZinc Inc" believe can outdo lithium-based batteries. When they envision replacing the battery in a 24 kWh Nissan Leaf with the new battery, it would be 100 kg lighter, smaller, and cheaper. The advantages are partly due to reduction of the "subsystems" Li-ions need (thermal management, electronic controls, and structural safety protections). The chemistry is nickel-zinc ("3D" zinc), globally available and recyclable elements, and nonflammable. They describe using the battery successfully for repeated 40% DOD, too. The article seems rather pragmatic, not an edgy theoretical announcement. Maybe lead battery users can hang on for this and skip a battery generation.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:31 AM   #2
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Here's a link: This new battery could save your cellphone from going up in smoke | Science | AAAS

Anyone remember the "five times more powerful and five times cheaper than today's within five years" topic from around 5 years ago?

I periodically check their site: Joint Center for Energy Storage Research - I can't say I understand much of the stuff I read there but they are working on it.

Something better will eventually come along but it doesn't seem imminent.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:12 AM   #3
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Using zinc anode in batteries is very old so from the perspective of its chemical reaction it is no brainer, but, by many zinc is consider a dead-end street due to its fatal flow of growing dendrites keeping battery life charge cycles unacceptable. The first Zn-Cu cell was developed by Alessandro Volta 200 years ago.

It reminds me a story of a blue LED, when the science world was considering the gallium nitride, partially developed to blue LED by RCA - 1971, as a dead-end street but a few Japanese scientists, today's Nobel prize winners, were persistent and developed GaN blue LED, a key to white LED light bulbes we buy today (to form white light Red+Blue+Green are needed).

Perhaps the same will happen with Zinc, I hope.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:11 AM   #4
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The trick seems to be the "monolithic 3D sponge" nature of the zinc anode which avoids dendrite formation. They say the sponge can be molded into any shape.

The article includes electron micrographs after 100 cycles showing "No dendrites are formed when the Ni-3D Zn cell is discharged at 25mA/cm^2 to 40% DOD(zn) and recharged at either 5mA/cm^2 to 10 mA/cm^2." The same after 54,000 cycles low discharges (comparable to BMW AGM "start-stop drive cycle"). But, they are testing 1 cm^2 coin cells now.

It's hard to get published in Science, and certainly a real boon for any company looking for financing. I hope EnZinc has something and they will be able to bring it to market.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:03 PM   #5
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Wow, you guys are really into these things! I don't understand a whole lot of it - but I love to read...and sooner or later - learn. Thanks for the info. Ron
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:39 AM   #6
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There are several papers by this group addressing the zinc issues. They also have some on the nickel. Good reads.

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Old 07-11-2017, 06:16 PM   #7
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Thank you so much for the info. much of which I don't understand, but am in a purchase position for a Road Trek. Packages are going from $20,000. down to $6,000 involving lithium batteries. I was told the batteries are $3500. each, yet I have read articles which state the prices are coming down fast. Yes, I would love to park, run the AC and not plug in, but I am seventy-three, female and very light electrical user. Would a solar panel or two and a regular battery suit me just as well?
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Good View Post
Thank you so much for the info. much of which I don't understand, but am in a purchase position for a Road Trek. Packages are going from $20,000. down to $6,000 involving lithium batteries. I was told the batteries are $3500. each, yet I have read articles which state the prices are coming down fast. Yes, I would love to park, run the AC and not plug in, but I am seventy-three, female and very light electrical user. Would a solar panel or two and a regular battery suit me just as well?
I'm hanging on for a better battery. If your van has a gas engine you will probably find it is quieter and easier to just idle the the van engine with the dash AC on and get a small fan to circulate air to the back. You will not need solar, a generator, or big batteries. Gas consumption is about 1/2 gal per hour (the same as an onan generator) and a side effect is that you can get hot water (if your water heater has an engine heat exchanger) and your batteries charged.

Keep it simple.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Good View Post
Thank you so much for the info. much of which I don't understand, but am in a purchase position for a Road Trek. Packages are going from $20,000. down to $6,000 involving lithium batteries. I was told the batteries are $3500. each, yet I have read articles which state the prices are coming down fast. Yes, I would love to park, run the AC and not plug in, but I am seventy-three, female and very light electrical user. Would a solar panel or two and a regular battery suit me just as well?

If you want to run AC without the generator,
you will need at least 400AH of lithium batteries.

You still need to replenish the batteries when they are depleted,
either through the generator,
or driving,
or by plugging in to an outlet.

The solar panels will not collect enough energy to fully (and quickly) replenish the batteries.


Lithium batteries are expensive.
Most roamers chase the 70F temperature so that they don't have to use the AC.

When the temperature gets unbearable,
they check-in to a campsite with electrical hook up.
It is much easier than dealing with all that high-tech and expenses.


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Old 07-11-2017, 10:17 PM   #10
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Lithium batteries have more available power, you can draw them down to 90% if needed, 80% is normal whereas your typical lead RV deep cycle battery will only provide 50% of its rated capacity and that depends on how high a load. So if you need 200AH you will need to buy 400AH of batteries. Lithium will charge must faster and provide higher voltage no matter the load and duration at around 1/3 of the weight and space and last 8-10 times longer. You can keep the cost of lithium down by visiting you local electric car conversion business in your area. They have been using and building these batteries years before they came into the RV market. They can build you a custom battery pack/system allot less than the RV MFG's charge. I built mine for less than half the cost. (900ah) for less than $5K. The place I bought the components and cells gave me all the instructions. It requires a skill level on par of a car stereo installer and lack of fear of new technology.
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