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Power Week-in-Review: Self-Healing Battery, Personal Hydroelectric Generator & Li-ion Forecast
11/27/2013

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Cracks formed in a self-healing silicon electrode due to swelling during charging (top) begin to seal back up within hours (bottom). (Source: C. Wang et al, Nature Chemistry)
Cracks formed in a self-healing silicon electrode due to swelling during charging (top) begin to seal back up within hours (bottom).
(Source: C. Wang et al, Nature Chemistry)

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junko.yoshida
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self-healing?
junko.yoshida   11/28/2013 12:56:18 AM
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You wrote:

Scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created a self-healing battery electrode, which could help pave the way toward more robust high-capacity batteries for electric vehicles and portable electronics.

So, what's the catch? What is standing in the way of getting this technology out of the labs?

prabhakar_deosthali
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CEO
Re:
prabhakar_deosthali   11/28/2013 6:27:22 AM
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My vote goes to the "Personal Hydroelectric generator". It will be great help for those campers and trekers  exploring wildlife, those surfers and water rafters. They can keep their mobiles charged while away in the wilderness.

Sanjib.A
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Sanjib.A   11/28/2013 12:05:27 PM
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I too like the concept of the personal hydro power turbine. How much flow of water is needed for the turbine to function properly? Does it work with rain or does it need smooth flow of water?

Sanjib.A
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Sanjib.A   11/28/2013 12:05:28 PM
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I too like the concept of the personal hydro power turbine. How much flow of water is needed for the turbine to function properly? Does it work with rain or does it need smooth flow of water?

prabhakar_deosthali
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Re:
prabhakar_deosthali   11/29/2013 1:27:47 AM
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@Sanjib

I guess this hydropower generator will require a flowing stream for mechanical rotation .

May be the rain water will not be able to create that much rotating torque.

Scott.Willis
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Faucet attachment seems wasteful
Scott.Willis   11/30/2013 1:09:57 AM
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Charging from a stream seems great, if one's available.  If you have a stream of rainwater coming off a roof, it looks like it could work OK as long as the rain lasted.

I'm not happy with the idea of attaching it to a faucet.  They say "only one gallon per minute" but a 2..3 hour charging time seems like it would often mean running 120..180 gallons of clean drinking water down the drain.  Power generation runs a pump, which pushes water through a network of pipes, which turns the HydroBee generator, which charges some batteries.  Then there's whatever energy is spent on water treatment and running the local sewage plant.  The faucet attachment seems like a really low efficency approach to charging batteries.

prabhakar_deosthali
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CEO
Re: Faucet attachment seems wasteful
prabhakar_deosthali   11/30/2013 4:13:06 AM
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The Faucet attachment also can work without wasting water, if the faucet water is routed through this generator and at the outlet also a faucet is attached.

So whenever the faucet is used the generator will run on the flowing water and can generate electricity. Off course the time taken for a such a charging process will depend upon the the usage of the faucet.

AZskibum
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AZskibum   11/30/2013 8:52:37 AM
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prabhakar, my vote also goes to the water-charging battery. Cell phone battery life is a real concern for backpackers on overnight or multi-day trips. Solar chargers help, but how much cooler would it be to charge your phone from a nearby stream?!

AZskibum
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Re: self-healing?
AZskibum   11/30/2013 8:58:15 AM
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One "catch" with silicon anodes has been the limited number of charging cycles. The fact that these researchers were able to get 100 charging cycles out of this battery is a huge improvement. Considering the higher capacity compared to carbon anode lithium ion batteries, 100 cycles should last the average user a couple years, which I think should be enough to make these batteries acceptable in the marketplace.

Robotics Developer
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Re: self-healing?
Robotics Developer   12/2/2013 8:50:29 AM
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Junko, my guess is both the cost to manufacture this new cell and while 100 charge cycles is a great improvement it is not enough given the cost of the battery.  It does look like this could be a promising avenue to pursue for further battery improvements!  It would be great to have this capacity in a battery both for portable use (electric cars as well) and backup storage (think off peak power storage / solar energy storage).

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