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[CNET] Liquid Metal Battery snags funding from Bill Gates

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Liquid Metal Battery, as its name implies, is building a battery where all the active materials--the cathode, anode, and electrolyte--are in a liquid form at high temperatures. In most of today's common batteries, such as lead acid and lithium ion batteries, the cathode or anode are solid.
Quote:
The all-liquid approach reduces the degradation of electrodes that can happen in batteries and allows for the high flow of current needed for bulk storage on the grid. Most importantly, though, it means the battery can built using relatively cheap components...
Source:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20064404-54.html
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post #2 of 26
Costco - 40pk -$10

Edit: If they can make it so it's $3.75 for 8pk I'll be all over it. Till then i'll continue to get el cheapo's from Costco.
Edited by Coolio831 - 5/20/11 at 10:17am
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post #3 of 26
Very interesting. Nice to see someone with power backing it up. This may go far...
    
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post #4 of 26
How do they intend on keeping it at a high temperature... It is a battery after all, isn't it's main usage storing power, not using it?
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madman340 View Post
How do they intend on keeping it at a high temperature... It is a battery after all, isn't it's main usage storing power, not using it?
It says
"the battery itself can heat itself once it has reached the right temperature"
which is kind of confusing to me tbh.

And since
"For the metals and salt to remain liquid, researches have been working with metals at temperatures between 400 degrees and 700 degrees Celsius"
it seems like these might be used more for commercial/ industrial than home use.

Which is probably the point, anyways.
I like the parts where it talks about using something like this to supplement solar/ wind power, which is what I believe we should be looking at as the power sources of the future.
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post #6 of 26
Its not a power source just a storage...
post #7 of 26
This could make Solar energy more viable?
    
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post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP View Post
This could make Solar energy more viable?
Batteries used in conjunction with wind turbines or solar panels could help by
"storing energy at off-peak times and releasing it onto the grid at peak hours"
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post #9 of 26
If they can make the battery feel cool enough on the outside without roasting us, much more our laptop, I'll get it.
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post #10 of 26
This is really old technology. Some prototype vehicles have already been made (and are in use) with molten battery tech. Which begs the question: why isn't it more prolific?

I can't imagine a storage unit like this being energetically viable on any scale beyond demonstrating a functioning prototype. I don't doubt it would work in theory, but to just keep something the size/scale of the mock-up for the prototype at 400-700 degrees Celsius would take a lot of energy/power, and I can't see the battery sustaining its temperature without a significant amount of draw which would still offset the capabilities of conventional storage media. Also, they discuss how this is much more scalable than conventional batteries--again, from a design standpoint I don't doubt that, but from a functioning standpoint, the amount of energy it would take to sustain this would increase exponentially with an increase in size (volume).

Also, this is sufficiently vague:
Quote:
The target is to make a grid storage device able to deliver a few hours of power to fit into a shipping container, while a home battery would be about the size of a basement freezer, company executives said.
Since a basement freezer really isn't that much bigger than a "shipping container" (and depending on the size of a shipping container, the freezer could be much smaller), I don't see the relevance of this statement.

Unless they're farther along than they let on, or MS knows something about the tech that is not conveyed in the article, I am surprised that MS dished out money on this, since it's not a new battery technology, and prototype units have been demonstrated a long time ago, with nothing in the way of industrialization to show for it.
    
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