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Making Safer Lithium-Ion Batteries

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the for-some-values-of-safe dept.

Portables 77

itwbennett writes "Exploding iPhones may be a thing of the past. Researchers at Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute have developed a new polymer, STOBA (that's self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture to you and me), that is added to the cathode material inside a lithium-ion battery to keep them from overheating. 'Fires or explosions in these batteries are caused by short circuits,' said Wu Hung-chun, a researcher at ITRI, explaining that even minor mishandling such as dropping the handset could result in damage causing a short circuit. 'The technology is ready for lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, mobile phones, laptops,' said Wu. And ITRI has started testing STOBA on electric car batteries."

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God I LOVE THE SMELL OF BURNING FLESH IN THE MORN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535117)

From those exploding iphones !!

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!11""!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535323)

FUCK YOU, /.!!!!!!!!!11!!

filter food filter food too much repetition my dick is in your mouth slashdot

Re:FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!11""!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535569)

How can /. have a mouth to put a dick in?

Hot or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535141)

They may be safe from overheating and exploding, but what about general overheating and becoming fairly hot for no reason?

Re:Hot or Not? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29537029)

No worries. These new, Safer Li-ion batteries will implode instead.

Half the fun is in the danger (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535147)

A few years ago, you could crack open the older Lithium batteries and extract a ribbon of pure Lithium, which of course was fun to douse in water and other stuff to make explosions and other shenanigans. I don't necessarily want safe.
I also want the old liquid mercury thermostats and thermometers... mercury is fun to play with as long as you don't eat it.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (4, Informative)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535193)

From the wikipedia article on "Lithium": . Lithium batteries are not to be confused with lithium-ion batteries, which are high energy-density rechargeable batteries.
So I'm thinking it was the old non-Lithium-ion batteries that you could get ribbons of Lithium metal from. TFA is discussion the -ion variant battery.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (3, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535431)

dude... you're harshing my buzz... and I've already got my laptop's battery in pieces....

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535561)

Yeah, it is lithium not lithium ion. Meth cooks use it to replace the sodium in the Birch reduction process AKA Nazi Method. It is far easier to get the lithium from a battery than it is to get pure sodium.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536347)

It is far easier to get the lithium from a battery than it is to get pure sodium.

Eh, rob a high school. I've never heard of a high school chemistry teacher without a good sized chunk of sodium in a jar in the classroom somewhere.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536373)

Yeah but most meth cooks are also high school chemistry teachers. You do your cooking on the side and keep your reagents at work with the kids.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536767)

Yeah but most meth cooks are also high school chemistry teachers. You do your cooking on the side and keep your reagents at work with the kids^h^h^h^hcustomers.

There, fixed that for ya'.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#29542567)

Oh, your comment is indented so far that it doesn't fit on one line like it should. I guess it is Breaking Bad.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (-1, Offtopic)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535943)

And mercury light switches! So essential one's safety when married gentlemen come to bed late.

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (4, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536311)

You can buy pure lithium from chemical supply shops. Most people buy batteries to use as batteries. And you can experiment with potentially dangerous compounds and still be safe about it. The danger isn't the fun part. If danger is what you're after then go play Russian Roulette or go streaking across a busy freeway. Having your electronics ruined by a defective battery is neither fun nor entertaining. And the normal risk of it happening is too low to be exciting even if you are looking for danger.

Also, elemental mercury ingested (or injected intravenously) is normally not that dangerous except in cases of chronic exposure, as only 0.01% is actually absorbed by your gastrointestinal tract. It's inhalation of mercury vapors that is dangerous as even small quantities inhaled can cause acute toxicity. But even without experiencing acute mercury poisoning, its cumulative nature can still cause subtle negative health effects (such as higher chances of having children with birth defects in the case of women).

Re:Half the fun is in the danger (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29537773)

I bet you ate a lot of leaded paint in school too, right?

How about exploding colons first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535179)

The rain was getting harder. It was now precisely 11:51 PM, and Mark was into his fifth beer. He was feeling pretty invincible but the night was young, and he intended to get wasted before it was all over. He had put in a rough week at work and he deserved it.

He lit another cigarette. He and his drinkin' buddies sat in their traditional circle, in Ian's apartment. The talk wandered from sex to work, back to sex, to basketball, finally settling on sex. Mark had eaten lunch at Taco Bell, and had drunk four cups of coffee between lunchtime and quitting. In addition, the beers were beginning to settle in. And now, at 11:51 PM, Mark had to take a shit. He stood up. "Shit break," he announced. It was customary among this group to make such an announcement.

Mark walked to the bathroom. As he locked the door behind him, thunder boomed. It was storming out there.

He pulled his pants down and sat on the toilet. Ian's bathroom was a mess. He counted five empty toilet paper rolls, two paperbacks, and yesterday's newspaper. His friends laughed about something. The lights flickered for a moment, and the pre-shit growl came from within. He could feel the product lined up inside him for disposal. Then, he began to push.

Plop. The first piece fell to the water. Then some movement, and Mark felt the main feature inside him, the mother lode. He grunted softly as he squeezed it out. It crackled past his sphincter, and splashed neatly into the bowl.

Then another one queued up, and came out. It was almost as big as its predecessor. Mark would have well-purged bowels tonight, he realized with a smirk. He heard thunder again, closer this time.

Another one? Jeez, he thought. When was my last shit? It ventured forth, Mark's muscles helping it out. It was the biggest one so far. The shit's passage through his anus, that rarest mix of pain and pleasure, was longer than any he could remember. Ahhhh...the stout log advanced with conviction. This was definitely going to be his finest creation; this was a huge one. Still grinning, he wondered if Ian had a camera.

He pushed. Peering between his legs, past his genitals, he saw that it had reached the water. This was like seeing the longest freight train ever. Damn, it was a wide one. And it was still attached! And there was more! He pushed more, harder. It kept coming. He couldn't even feel the end of this one yet; soon it was bending, folding on itself like a sundae topping. Mark stopped pushing and caught his breath. He was sweating; he realized that however long this piece of shit was, it wasn't nearly all the way out yet. He still couldn't feel the end.

He pushed, he strained, it kept coming. His intestines couldn't be that damn long, but this shit just wouldn't quit. In fact, he was feeling the diarrhoeal urgency of *having* to shit. He dutifully answered nature's call, and pushed harder. His efforts were rewarded with more shit. His sphincter was too strained to even pinch the loaf off. It was whole and complete.

He couldn't feel the end.

Fear now came to Mark. He flushed the toilet to make room for more. Even as the bowl refilled, the cramps rose up, and he pushed. Within seconds, the shit extended from his anus to bottom of the bowl. The harder he pushed, the more he had to shit. And it was getting worse. He scarcely had time to catch his breath; his face was quite red as he grunted and struggled to keep up. The shit seemed endless. He looked between his legs again, and gasped as he saw that the bowl was fully a quarter filled with his product, the water dangerously high. The tank wasn't even done filling, but he flushed again. Unfortunately, the plumbing was unable to handle the volume of feces, and the toilet backed up. Mark jumped when the cold water touched his buttocks.

It was now 11:57. Thunder roared outside as water and shit particles flowed onto the tile.

Mark's pants were bunched about his ankles, and he was in pain. The shit advanced relentlessly as he stumbled into the bathtub. He was almost panicking now, and didn't notice the trail of solid feces he had left. Gripping the tub for support, he squatted and kept pushing.

The conversation in the front room had stopped. Eddie smelled it first, and blamed a fart on Ian, but this was no fart. This was pure and concentrated; this was the smell that only the freshest shit can make. The four looked at each other, puzzled. Then they heard Mark's groaning from the bathroom.

"Mark, are you beating off again?" Doug asked. No answer.

The smell was worse. Brian sniffed deeply and gagged. "Jesus H. ...". Ian grimaced. "Goddamn...". They all went for the bathroom door at the same time. Ian jiggled the locked doorknob. Brian pounded on the door. "Dude, what the FUCK did you eat today?" No answer. Mark groaned. "You all right in there, Mark?"

They looked at each other again. Eddie sniffed and winced. There was no answer from inside. Brian knocked again. "Hey man, you OK?" No answer. A short scream came from within the bathroom.

Brian kicked the door open. Nobody spoke.

The odor was intense, feces was piled on the floor and in the bathtub. Mark was squatting next to the wall, his face impossibly red, his eyes helpless and terrified. Firm stool thrust forward from his anus like meat from a grinder. It landed in his pants bunched about his ankles, spilling over and piling up. He gritted his teeth and strained; all he could do was keep pushing. There was a sound like a ripping sheet and Mark's colon came loose from his now shapeless sphincter, oozing to the floor. His friends watched as the slimy organ descended, with shit still flowing from it. Mark screamed again, and somebody's watch beeped.

Brian got the worst of it, since he was closest to the door. He would later tell the police that he thought he had seen Mark's abdomen expand for an instant before it happened. None of the others had reported this. But they had all described the sound as a "dull thud", they had all been splattered with innards and feces as Mark's torso separated from the rest of his body.

"Massive gastrointestinal rupture/trauma secondary to indeterminate blockage" was noted in the medical examiner's report. An "unusually large amount of fecal matter" is also recorded, though the amount was not measured.

The funeral was closed-casket. Brian and Eddie seem to have recovered pretty well, though they never talk about Mark. Doug moved away, and nobody has heard from him lately. Sometimes, when he has to shit, Ian waits until the rain stops.

Re:How about exploding colons first (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535605)

That'll teach Mark to eat exploding iPhone batteries.

Re:How about exploding colons first (1)

Mad-Bassist (944409) | more than 5 years ago | (#29537041)

...or not switching the phone off before going to movie theaters, which is a common reason they end up in people's colons.

Re:How about exploding colons first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535643)

Offtopic, but it was a neat shit story! :-)

Re:How about exploding colons first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536287)

Must have been those bean burritos he ate at Taco Bell.

Been there done that (-1, Flamebait)

plague911 (1292006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535209)

"Exploding iPhones may be a thing of the past. Researchers at Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute have developed a new polymer, " Exploding batteries have been a thing of the past for years already. This may as well say "Horse and buggies may now be a thing of the past due to the new honda civic comeing out this year"

Re:Been there done that (3, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535281)

"Horse and buggies may now be a thing of the past due to the new honda civic comeing out this year"

You got that right! I'm finally ready to trade in ol' Bessie.

Aww, no more fall down go boom? (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535279)

"drop phone watch it overheat" is the latter-day version of the halt and catch fire [wikipedia.org] "instruction" of days gone by.

Battery-related paranoia (5, Interesting)

agorist_apostle (1491899) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535335)

We looked at using these kinds of batteries for an engineering applicant for a client, so one of our engineers got a sample package of different sizes and shapes of batteries along with a handy CD of what you could and could not do with them. Unfortunately, the application involved possibly putting a battery on the end of an armature to power a light, something the disc explicitly warned against NOT doing -- it came with a nice set of exploding battery clips. Our client saw those and promptly refused to carry a cell phone in any piece of clothing attached to his body from there on it. I think his laptop no longer ever rested on his lap, either...

Re:Battery-related paranoia (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536483)

Watch your double negatives. You're saying that the disc told him NOT to NOT put the battery there, which would be the same as putting it on the armature. You meant to say that it warned him against doing it.

Step 1 (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535373)

Step 1: Stop manufacturing them in China

Nearly all Li-Ion battery failures (going out with a boom, pop, or fizzle) are a result of inferior materials being substituted in the manufacturing process.

Li-Ion battery cells (the individual cells containing your delicious electrons - millions in a single manufactured cell, several of those in a single packaged battery) are expected to pop.

Over-charge them? Pop.
Drain them too fast? Pop.
Result? Slightly diminished capacity.
Over time, the capacity gets lower and lower.

The trick is they're isolated, and you don't get enough of them popping at once to cause a noticeable failure (flame, explosion, etc.).

But when you have shitty charging circuitry, shitty components measuring and regulating the current and voltage, and shitty material (like fucking paper) inside the thing, yeah, shit's gonna go up in flames.

Ni-MH is the superior fucking choice. But the self-discharge rate is too high for the plebes to accept. They've got ones that sacrifice capacity for a lower self-discharge rate (such as Sanyo's Eneloop design), but Li-Ion is firmly entrenched, unfortunately.

Re:Step 1 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535517)

it's not just discharge rate. it's pure energy density.

ni-hm just can't store as much energy compared to lithium ion for the same size. The new hybrid Ni-HM probably has a far lower discharge then lithium-ion but that still doesn't solve the problem of lack of energy capacity. People want things to run long on a single charge (like laptops lasting 2 hours vs laptops lasting 4 hours). Most low drain devices where battery energy discharge would matter generally aren't on the radar for most people since charging within a few weeks span is simple compared to charging every few hours which is annoying and impractical.

Re:Step 1 (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535865)

But if they weren't made in China, they would cost twice as much. That is a non-starter.

Sorry, but everything has to be as cheap as possible, even if it only lasts a short while. Built-in obsolesence is being replaced by built-in short life.

Re:Step 1 (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29537915)

But if they weren't made in China, they would cost twice as much. That is a non-starter.

That's not true. There are countries that have the Rule of Law and are not much more expensive than China. Taiwan or Malaysia being my favorites.

Plus a lot of electronics is not labor intensive if you do it right. Most of the labor intensiveness comes from people that make stuff badly so that the failure rate is high and then employ huge numbers of people to screen out the failures. Still if you get it right and source the components from people you can sue or at least not pay if they send you bad components this won't be necessary.

In fact I've met people who manufactured PCI cards in Australia. Basically once you've got it right you end up with a machine about the size of a photocopier that you feed in boards and components and it will apply solder paste, pick and place the components and then heat the board up. He reckoned said he had one in his office and it would occasionally beep when he needed to reload supplies. This is what the factory in China did. He'd designed the ASIC and bought the boards in. Since his design was stable and the components were sourced from reputable suppliers that cared about their brands, he wasn't screening.

In the China case it seems cheap at the start. But the workers are basically serfs who don't care about quality. The suppliers don't have brands so if they can sell you fake components they will. Even if they don't the quality levels will be terrible. So you end up with things coming off the assembly line with a very high failure rate. Then you employ a load of people to screen out the failures. Go to any Chinese factory and you'll see a few people running a production line and many, many more sorting. Basically they're sorting to find the minority of machines that don't have fatal defects. In a sane world the bugs would get fixed and the sorting would not be necessary. Still China isn't really set up for this - the factory provides a load of unskilled, underpaid labor to screen and the suppliers will get leaned on to provide more.

Re:Step 1 (2, Funny)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#29538631)

Built-in obsolesence is being replaced by built-in short life.

Is that the "short life" of the battery, or the "short life" of the person who had the battery explode in their pocket?

Re:Step 1 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535997)

But when you have shitty charging circuitry, shitty components measuring and regulating the current and voltage, and shitty material (like fucking paper) inside the thing, yeah, shit's gonna go up in flames.

Go talk to any real life RC community or online forum and you'll hear stories of li-ion and lipo failures from people who use quality chargers and cells. I know more than a few guys who store/charge/transport their lithium batteries in a box full of sand, just in case.

Re:Step 1 (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536401)

Ni-MH is the superior fucking choice. But the self-discharge rate is too high for the plebes to accept. They've got ones that sacrifice capacity for a lower self-discharge rate (such as Sanyo's Eneloop design), but Li-Ion is firmly entrenched, unfortunately.

Yeah, NiMH is way superior to lithium ion. Well, except the memory effect, self discharge rate (near 0 for lithium ion, high for NiMH), the energy density (higher for ordinary LiIon, much higher for LiPo), charging efficiency (~70% for NiMH, ~95% for LiIon), and power density. Except for all that, NiMH is way better than LiIon.

Re:Step 1 (4, Interesting)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536719)

Actually, you're thinking of NiCad [wikipedia.org] , which does suffer from memory effect and actually has a lower ampHr/kg ratio.

NiMH have no memory effect and can now come in a low-discharge (15% a YEAR) variant. They're pretty nice actually since they are several times cheaper than the equivalent li-ion. The Li-Ion/Li-Poly's come in handy since their ampHr/kg is much higher and therefore can fit in tiny spots when scaled against the larger Ni-MH. Nasty stuff to not charge a liion though.

Re:Step 1 (2, Interesting)

LionMage (318500) | more than 5 years ago | (#29544401)

I know there are plenty of sites that claim that NiMH doesn't have a memory effect, but some manufacturers apparently claim otherwise in their data sheets. I found this discussion [electronicspoint.com] initiated by a man who was testing some Sanyo NiMH batteries; the Sanyo data sheet definitely did claim they had a memory effect, and his tests confirmed this. The effect is small but apparently measurable, and apparently also easy to undo with a normal discharge cycle.

Re:Step 1 (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29540313)

You have confused Ni-MH and Ni-Cad.

Re:Step 1 (2, Interesting)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29539743)

Try LiFe-Po batteries. Same energy density as Li-ion, but they survive an order of magnitude more charge cycles.

Re:Step 1 (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29540413)

If the charging circuitry and materials are up to snuff.

New shit is always great.
Then they outsource to China.
Then they substitute shitty materials.

Then the product is barely any better than the last generation.

There are no "charge cycles" for Lithium based rechargeables. All charging is based on the individual cells, and any "charge cycle" is based on the average of all cells. Cells get irreparably destroyed if completely drained or overcharged, and lose capacity over time. All three of these effects cause the battery as a whole to lose capacity over time.

New materials only help one aspect (individual cells losing capacity over time).

so this is how it works... (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535385)

Apparently the polymer (as far as I can tell) undergoes a cross-linking reaction that acts to slow the movement of Lithium ions following puncture of the battery thus keeping the reaction relatively under control.

http://www.itri.org.tw/eng/Research/Focus-Area/focus-sub-area-category.asp?RootNodeId=0301&NodeId=03013&FieldCD=03200 [itri.org.tw]

Not about energy density (4, Interesting)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535469)

I'll post this preemptively since usually when battery fires are discussed some people insist this is unavoidable if you want a high energy density, but this is not true. Whether batteries can fail catastrophically or not is mainly down to two things:

a)Whether the energy released when a cell fails is sufficient to cause nearby fails to fail, thereby causing a cascade of failed cells.

b)Whether the materials the battery is made of can react violently with materials it is likely to come into contact with when it does fail.

For traditional Lithium ion batteries the answer to both these questions is yes. The temperature necessary to cause a cell to fail is easily within the range of what is generated when a nearby cell fails. Furthermore the lithium batteries and their electrolyte burn quite well upon contact with air, adding even more energy to the reaction.

There's however no principal reason why this has to be the case. As an example if the heat capacity and conductivity of the battery is good enough it is possible to design batteries so that the failure of one cell won't heat nearby cells enough to cause them to fail. Different chemistries also have different activation energies, as an example lithium iron phosphate batteries are much safer for this reason. It is also quite plausible that one might be able to create a battery from a chemistry that doesn't react violently with oxygen.

Many batteries that use a water-based electrolytes qualify for both these criteria. Water has a high heat capacity and doesn't burn in oxygen. Unfortunately such batteries have other drawbacks. In particular while water itself won't burn it is susceptible to electrolysis at typical battery voltages, producing flammable hydrogen.

Re:Not about energy density (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535601)

I'll post this preemptively since usually when battery fires are discussed some people insist this is unavoidable if you want a high energy density

Too late. You posted emptively.

Nothing to do with iPhones (2, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535481)

Ugh, exploding iPhones again... And yet another misunderstanding about what's going on.

iPhones do not use lithium ion batteries. They use lithium polymer batteries.

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535519)

Preach it, bro'. They don't explode because they're full of shitty batteries, they explode because they're full of extreme awesomeness.

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535587)

...they're full of extreme awesomeness.

And when that comes into contact with the anti-particle of awesomeness, the average iPhone user, they annihilate each other, releasing enormous amounts of energy.

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (1, Troll)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536205)

the anti-particle of awesomeness

Isn't that called a zune?

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29541513)

The Zune has no awesomeness polarity until we get Linux ported to it.

Actually a user is not necessary (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 5 years ago | (#29538747)

The iPhone's hardware is composed of awesomeness, but the software is made of anti-awesomeness. If the containment shield between them fails, they will annihilate each other, and the iPhone will go up in flames all on its own.

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29542767)

and thats a matter of opinion as well scumball contraptions BAKED APPLE WILL DO VERY NICELY THANKS

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535655)

So you're telling me that exploding iPhones is not a thing of the past? Well, at least I can see Sony will be happy about the news :)

Re:Nothing to do with iPhones (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536763)

You realize that a lithium polymer battery is a lithium-ion polymer battery? If it were a true lithium polymer battery, you'd have to buy a new iPhone every time the battery ran down. Wait, crap, don't tell Steve Jobs!

Already make safer lithium/ion (5, Informative)

Hollovoid (942476) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535651)

The additive is usually in the separator that keeps the lithium and cathode apart (which you want to do). When the battery overheats the separator breaks down and disables the battery, this has been used where I work for over 20+ years, and is in no way new tech. Putting the same thing in the cathode is like putting a guard rail on the very edge of a cliff instead of 15-20 ft from a cliff, it may stop small shorts that slowly develop in the battery, but a major short, or hole in the separator will melt down and become quite dangerous before the cathode is even involved. Plus, how hot before this effect happens? Cathode is heat treated at over 650F, I sure hope it doesnt take that much to trigger this new substance.

We Are Immersed in Energy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535657)

A huge amount of money is being spent around the world on alternate energy and environmentally friendly transportation. I think all this money is being wasted because there is clear evidence that we are swimming in an ocean of clean energy, lots and lots of it. And here is why.

Physicists believe that two particles in relative inertial motion stay in motion for no reason at all, as if by magic. The truth is that every effect must have a cause. An analysis of the causality of motion leads to the inevitable conclusion that we are swimming in energy, in an immense lattice of wall-to-wall energetic particles, to be precise.

Soon, we will figure out how to tap into the lattice for energy production and transportation. It will be an age of practically unlimited free energy and extremely fast transportation. Vehicles will have no need for wheels, will go almost anywhere and negotiate right angle turns without slowing down. Floating cities, earth to Mars in hours, New York to Beijing in minutes... That's the future of energy and travel.

The Problem With Motion [blogspot.com]

My name is Louis Savain and I approve this message. LOL.

Re:We Are Immersed in Energy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535945)

Now, here's a clever tactic -- spam your epic misunderstandings into every vaguely science-related thread, but do it as AC, but sign your name to each one. That way, you get all the attention you crave, you don't take a hit to your karma when you get modded down to your natural state, and, hey, if you somehow get some mod points, you can mod yourself up. Brilliant, I tell you!

Re:We Are Immersed in Energy (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536033)

Shhh! Don't tell him, or he'll plaster over that hole in his head and nice people will be taken in.

Re:We Are Immersed in Energy (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#29539781)

You can't mod yourself up. They keep track of the AC IP addresses. Slashdot's AC function is not intended for whistle-blowers who are likely to get sued: the addresses are stored, and therefore discoverable.

Re:We Are Immersed in Energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29540035)

I'd mod this "informative" if I could.

It's good to see that Slashdot is preventing self-moderation of AC posts for anyone who doesn't have access to more than one IP address.

Re:We Are Immersed in Energy (1)

LionMage (318500) | more than 5 years ago | (#29544577)

Hey, at least Louis Savain stopped pimping his ridiculous ideas about parallel computing on Slashdot. Now he's just spamming us with his ideas on free energy and, presumably, perpetual motion machines. The rebelscience blog he maintains (and spams links to incessantly) is amusing, but so far the only value I can disceern is its entertainment value.

When people start questioning fundamental principles of physics such as inertia, you should start asking critical questions.

Now, if he had started down the path of promoting supercapacitors as a superior alternative to LiIon/LiPo batteries, he might have seemed more credible (and wouldn't have been modded Offtopic). Not that I think supercaps are going to develop the capacities and power densities of lithium cells, but at least they represent a useful and interesting technology.

Lithium Polymer (1)

RabidRabbit23 (1576305) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535673)

This problem should be irrelevant soon with the lithium polymer batteries. The explosions are caused by the leaking organic solvents necessary for lithium ion transport. In lithium polymer batters, the ions move along solid ethylene glycol polymers and do not require any solvents. So, basically lithium polymer batteries are the greatest things ever, except we can't manufacture them cheaply yet.

Re:Lithium Polymer (1)

razathorn (151590) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536263)

Unfortunately, they go up like a road flare when damaged, overcharged, or overdischarged (generally they just puff up, but extreme over discharge or charge will cause them to go off). A good short will do it too.

Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (4, Interesting)

razathorn (151590) | more than 5 years ago | (#29535831)

In the rc car world, the two major types of batteries in use are lipo (lithium polymer) and nimh. Nimh has less energy density, self discharge, and requires some rest after discharge still to retain full capacity when charged. I run nimh due to reasons I won't go into, but I have my eye on lifepo4, or lithium iron phosphate. They are not only more robust than traditional li cells, they go off in much the same fashion as the batteries mentioned in the article. The disadvantage to them, and why they aren't 'the thing' in rc cars is that they have a voltage disadvantage. Given the strict regulation of motors in spec class racing, a voltage disadvantage is a huge issue. In other applications, where you could pick whatever voltage and number of cells to use, these batteries are awesome. In rc, their voltage makes you pick arranging them in series at a voltage level that is a disadvantage or adding another cell and making yourself have a huge advantage -- ie, their acceptance isn't based on technical merit but existing standards in racing.

Re:Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536063)

Can't you step up the voltage with a small transformer for RC use? Wind your own for performance - it's an exercise in designing the right laminated iron core and counting the number of winds in a couple of coils. Bound to be something you can do to get the voltage up. Hmmm... weight...

Re:Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536167)

Transformers don't work with DC. He would have to build a full on switching power supply. Those can be made lightly, but it's expensive to build one that can push the kinds of current that a lipo battery can produce.

Re:Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (1)

razathorn (151590) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536189)

Because it's not AC -- it's DC. There's already voltage stepping in the ESC that provides a lower (6 volts) voltage DC to the radio, servo, etc, but at a much lower current requirement. The drive motors operate, at times, at 120 amps @ 7.2 volts or more, especially in the larger classes such as 1/8 electric. We're talking 800 - 2000 watts. Good luck :)

Re:Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536183)

Cost and the fact that lipos are entrenched now with chargers everywhere. Classic first to market issues - the first product kind of sucks but gets an install base and the later ones have trouble making it in. Search lithium ion or lithium polymer battery charger IC at Mouser and you'll get a thousand hits. No where near that for lithium iron.

Oh and you can't step up with the transformer because they're DC until you get to the speed controller and after that they're PWM 'alternating' (kind of) and only when operating at less than full power. RC cars run big amperages so even if you did use some kind of inverter the transformer would have to have some pretty thick wires and be pretty heavy. You might get away with some kind of boost circuit using caps and inductors but I think you run into the amperage issue again.

Re:Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (1)

razathorn (151590) | more than 5 years ago | (#29536213)

Cost and the fact that lipos are entrenched now with chargers everywhere. Classic first to market issues - the first product kind of sucks but gets an install base and the later ones have trouble making it in.

But that's for RC. What about phones and laptops? The switch from nicd to nimh to li wasn't that hard for them. They make new models all the time with whatever charger and battery they want. It's not like they are focusing on backwards compatibility with laptop batteries or have to contend with people saying "well, I've got 5 of these dell nimh batteries for this old laptop, I won't buy this new laptop with 5 times my old laptop's battery life because I'd be wasting these old nimh batteries" -- every laptop I've ever had basically had a totally new battery profile and if they changed chemistry on me I wouldn't care one bit.

Re:Why haven't we moved to lifepo4 yet? (1)

cffrost (885375) | more than 5 years ago | (#29554145)

[...] reasons I won't go into [...]

Nerd cocktease.

Everybody Have Fun Tonight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29535947)

Anyone else read Wu Hung-chun as "Wang-Chung"?

Re:Everybody Have Fun Tonight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536137)

no, you just love the little ching dick too much.

Re:Everybody Have Fun Tonight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536323)

that's chink. not ching. if you're going to be a racist at least get it right.

Re:Everybody Have Fun Tonight... (2, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29537931)

He's not a Chink, he's Taiwanese. What you're doing is like calling an American a limey.

Re:Everybody Have Fun Tonight... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29541489)

Except that Taiwan is the largest island in the Republic of China, and so chink is a valid racist slur for its inhabitants.

Re:Everybody Have Fun Tonight... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29547125)

There are many ethnic groups in the Republic of China, chink is only a valid racist slur for the Chinese people.

inf0rmative cumWcum (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536001)

shout the loudest your own bber The wind appeared are a few good become like they most people into a

faggots are dirty people (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29536041)

they suck the shit out of the ass of other faggots and let other faggots fuck them in the ass and suck their own shit off the dicks of other faggots.
 
they spread disease and are a drain on society.

Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29537753)

Electric Car Batteries? (1)

t2000kw (1066988) | more than 5 years ago | (#29545481)

"And ITRI has started testing STOBA on electric car batteries." Is there such a thing as a NON-electric car battery? :-)
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