This from Friday's Washington Post on the key role played by battery technology in the Obama administration's energy strategy:
PWithington2: I would think that fast charge would be an option rather than a requirement. Most households would stick to recharging slowly overnight using conventional 100-240VAC to take advantage of off-peak electric rates, plus slow daytime charging using solar arrays. This takes care of 90% or more of driving needs.
The fast charge capability allows drivers to charge quickly at an electric station if far from home. This eliminates the main problems many people have with electric cars: (1) that they'll be stuck far away from home with no way to get back, and (2) they won't be able to use an EV on a long trip.
What would be the impact on a household electrical system if it were possible to charge a car up in 1/10th the time? Wouldn't that mean 10X current flow? So would that mean that a house would have to purchase some sort of power storage system to be able to supply that current?
Such a reduction in the charging time will be a great boost in promoting EVs, as the battery recharge time will become comparable to time spent in filling gas. Currently the long battery charging time is the most deterring factor in EVs becoimg popular with a normal consumer
PNNL says the graphene-electrode technology is compatible with both traditional sealed lithium-ion batteries as well as the new "air" variety that take their oxygen in from the air like a fuel cell. Adding graphene electrodes to a lithium-air battery could enable larger capacity cells to nevertheless still charge very quickly. Does anybody know of other efforts to combine lithium-air batteries with graphene electrodes?
Battery technology is increasingly becoming a strategic area of energy research. It is significant that DOE and Princeton University are trying to move this technology from the lab to commercialization. Their industrial partner, Vorbeck Materials, is already featuring its graphene-based conductive ink on its Web site.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.