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  1. #81
    polyglot's Avatar
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    So, the Kodak reactor. It was for Neutron Activation Analysis, i.e. finding impurities.

  2. #82
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    What's the difference?? Energy is energy!!
    1.21 gigawats of energy, to be exact!
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Gray View Post
    On the batteries, I'll have to see it to believe it.
    Well, the Chinese are already mass-producing comparably cheap and long lasting lithium-ion battery chemistries such as LiFePO4 that do not use any inherently expensive materials. They are still high in price because the technology has been there for just a few years. I personally believe those will be going down in price quickly, but of course that may just be my unrealistic hope as I'm planning an EV conversion. But I cannot see why they would remain expensive. Lithium is quite abundant and easy to recycle, and the Chinese have a HUGE EV market. They are converting their buses, for example.

    Then, lithium sulfur batteries seem to be the "next thing" with a doubled or tripled energy density. The latest innovations on the battery field have been around solving the degradation problems of LiS. If LiS could be made to the same cycle durability as LiFePO4 without expensive or hazardous materials, that would be really sensational.

    Today's electric cars can hold about 40 kWh in their batteries and drive about 200 km, and this kind of battery pack currently costs about $15000. It has been estimated that a simultaneous doubling in capacity and halving in price are needed to bring them to wide use and this may be seen in next 15 years. Technology is mostly there already, and, most importantly, motivation is there. When this happens, then we also get a huge distributed energy storage system as a side product. This is a great synergy, because the cars are needed ANYWAY, and due to a high cost of gasoline, electric cars are ALREADY taking off a little even given the current batteries.

    Pumped hydropower is a very simple and efficient energy storage, but it doesn't work everywhere; the suitable geography is needed.
    Last edited by hrst; 05-17-2012 at 04:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Someone should make a better capacitor.

    PE
    That is actually a pretty active avenue of research right now. They have solutions for short term current demands (like starting a car), but getting a more sustained and controlled release of the energy is problematic.

    Ed
    "I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary's laundry, and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and 78 trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It's a generous medium, photography." -- Lee Friedlander

  5. #85
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    Capacitors have progressed HUGELY and are already used in electric vehicles to provide very high power for short peaks to some extent. The issue still lies in fact that the capacity/weight ratio is far from batteries. Something like 10% compared to batteries. Which, for a capacitor, is still something remarkable. Formerly, it has been something around 0,1 - 1 % compared to batteries. An another issue is that if you want any usable capacity/weight or capacity/price ratio, you need a very high power switch mode regulator to adjust the voltage, as the voltage discharge curve goes linearly down; in batteries, the discharge curve is almost straight line and drops suddenly when the battery is empty.

  6. #86
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I agree! That is why I said that someone should invent a good capacitor.



    PE

  7. #87
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    I suspect in the future we'll see a combination of (cheap, low-power (e.g. 2C), energy-dense) Li cells for cruising and MAYBE some capacitors to handle peak current at start/stop. I've been looking at building an electric clubman and if you buy the cells direct from china you can get a pack for about $10k with enough energy+power for serious acceleration (0-100 in 5s) and a range of 200km+. Probably $15k once you include motor-control and charging electronics. Then go have a look at the price of commercial PMDC motors coming out of the RC-model world; they're under $30/kW for decent sizes which means a pretty cheap, yet epic drivetrain.

  8. #88

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    High efficiency equals low profit and that doesn't support a pyramid fiat economy. It'll never happen unless we do it ourselves on an individual basis.

  9. #89
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    I think we are seeing this drive back to small and medium-sized businesses after a century of giants. In fact, those giants usually have very low "efficiency", whereas it is more natural to have smaller businesses; it simply starts by "doing it ourselves" and then expand. Those giants have also started this way, so it is natural that the cycle starts over every now and then. Many industrial giants were started in 1900-1950 and now many of them are in weak state. They are speaking about recession, but that's only a symptom; the cause is elsewhere. Do they have anything to offer like they had in history? Especially, do their products and services justify their huge corporational expenses that go up all the time, anymore?

    Currently, we have got so used to the giants that the phrase "we have to do it by ourselves" has an interesting "DIY" tinge to it, even though in reality everything is done by us, the people who are interested in doing these things. Serving a huge corporate bureaucracy that will suck at least two thirds of the resources is nothing absolutely necessary. Ford became big by inventing cheap car. Kodak became big by inventing film. These all started from a real need as relative small businesses with a really new product to sell. Now the big companies won't do electric cars or battery R&D unless they ABSOLUTELY need to. If they did want to do that, with their technical resources, we would have been driving electric cars for 30-40 years at least.

    You can expand that for film. If there is (were) a REAL need for Kodachrome, then Kodachrome will (would) be reinvented by someone other than Kodak, simply because given enough mass of people, there will inevitably be enough of those capable of doing that. I just have a feeling that the drive for electric vehicles is a bit higher than for Kodachrome .

    The giants simply have keys to make certain processes go a bit faster and hold up some other processes for a while.
    Last edited by hrst; 05-17-2012 at 08:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #90
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    OTOH, if there is no market for something, or that "something" is expensive or hard to make, then it will never come to be. Kodachrome is an example.

    PE



 

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