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New All-Solid Sulfur Based Battery Outperforms Lithium Ion

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the here-comes-the-power dept.

Power 322

olsmeister writes "The new all-solid battery design uses solid sulfur and lithium, and outperforms existing lithium-ion batteries with four times the energy density. The battery can maintain a capacity of 1200 milliampere-hours per gram after 300 charge-discharge cycles. More work needs to be done, but one would think this new technology could have applications in renewable energy storage, electric cars, and consumer electronics."

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...and device runtime with stay the same (0)

Aboroth (1841308) | about a year ago | (#43923729)

Don't get me wrong, I like the added features, but I hope nobody expects laptops that can be used for multiple days in a row without recharging (with sleep mode enabled between sessions of course) or next-gen smart phones that can go a week without recharging. They will figure out how to use that extra power somewhere, leaving us at around the same runtime as before.

Re: ...and device runtime with stay the same (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923779)

Really? Cause Macbook Pros have significantly better real world battery life than laptops from 5 years ago b

Re: ...and device runtime with stay the same (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43923955)

Battery runtimes have improved enormously in the past five years; the bottom-end machine I bought then could barely break two hours, my new low-end laptop easily manages four. However that's more due to improvements in the computer hardware's power efficiency than the battery's capacity.

Re: ...and device runtime with stay the same (3, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#43924015)

If the battery capacity increases as well then its a double win. Power efficiency in chip design is beneficial for all sorts of reasons, not just battery life, so will continue to improve. Having increased battery life will impact the current devices. It should also make others more practical as a given capacity battery will take up less space.

I think the GGP is overly pessimistic.

Re: ...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43924131)

It's going to happen, yes, but I want to emphasise that it's not why these very palpable gains in battery life are being made at the moment.

Re: ...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43924865)

Except that has nothing to do with why we don't see it.

Much of that has to do with that it's not a manufacturer's top priority, and also that just because a research battery achieves this doesn't mean it's ready for prime time. They still have to manufacture it into the form factors they want and test those, etc.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (5, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43923833)

They will figure out how to use that extra power somewhere, leaving us at around the same runtime as before.

"They"? Either the device is doing work four times more consuming, your device can stand by four times longer, or your device's battery is approximately four times lighter. Sure, retarded marketing drones are going to figure out a way to stuff four times the amount of adware onto a new laptop, but let's face it, they were going to do that regardless.

Assuming a 4 times increase in battery life at all scales and no size decrease, this would quadruple the range of electric cars - all for a simple battery tech switch. And the batteries are made partly from waste in another industry.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (3, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43924909)

>all for a simple battery tech switch

Not so simple, except in terms of the mechanic doing the battery replacement. (which of course is one of the beauties of electric vehicles - really easy aftermarket mods to the power system) Battery tech is *the* bottleneck for electric vehicles, and so far it's proved anything but easy to improve on significantly.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#43923845)

I think we're probably long overdue for a decent energy solution for consumer electronics. Hydrogen fuel-cell batteries still seem to be some way off, and cold fusion is just a pipe-dream. So in the meantime, if someone can supply a battery with four times the energy density of Li-ion cells, then I say "bring it on".

Re: ...and device runtime with stay the same (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923921)

cold fusion is not a pipe dream, it's a carefully orchestrated fraud accepted by some heretical physicists that really don't understand their religion.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43923943)

Don't get me wrong, I like the added features, but I hope nobody expects laptops that can be used for multiple days in a row without recharging (with sleep mode enabled between sessions of course) or next-gen smart phones that can go a week without recharging. They will figure out how to use that extra power somewhere, leaving us at around the same runtime as before.

I'm much more interested in it for electric cars.

Four times the batter life in a cellphone? Meh - mine already lasts for days.

Four times the range of electric cars? World-changing technology.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924195)

What kind of smartphone lasts days?
Maybe two days tops, if you barely use it on a brand new battery. Under heavy use most of them can be totally dead in under 4 hours.

Simple mobiles phones are all but extinct.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43924353)

USB chargers are cheap. Leave one at work, one in car and one at home. I wish the smart phones will have a dumb phone mode that automatically shuts off everything other than the phone function when the remaining capacity falls below 3% or so and becomes a dumb phone. May be there is an app for this. But with touch screens there are no buttons and it is impossible to shut down the most energy consuming part of the smart phone, the screen.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924397)

I already do that.
The car one is only 500mA though so not very good.

I am often not in my car, or at work, or at home. I have looked into getting a portable battery to carry around as well. The phones are already thin enough. My Galaxy Nexus could double its thickness and still be comfortable to handle.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about a year ago | (#43924813)

That's what I thought until I bought a double size battery for my Galaxy S3, it was horrible. Ended up with the Samsung larger capacity one that is only slightly larger, it's the battery they should have put in it in the first place.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43924893)

try getting a new phone, and you will experience what you have from the post you replied to. Under nonstop use new phones get about 8 hours now, which is a drastic improvement over previous models (even if we have a long way to go).

As 140manda notes is correct, use a USB charger in the car (that relies on simple USB cables) and take the cable with you wherever, if you need to. Then keep AC adapters wherever you need them. done.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Shortguy881 (2883333) | about a year ago | (#43924895)

He said cell phone, not smart phone.

Simple mobiles phones are all but extinct.

Go to walmart's prepayed phone section. I have one of those dinky $15 virgin mobile phones and that thing lasts about four days with no charges. Awesome phone

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43924651)

It may finally be enough to overpower "range anxiety."

Or on the other hand, to make cars lighter and/or cheaper. I considered EV-swapping my sports car late last year but went with another ICE because of the expense and weight. I figured I only needed 30 miles range, but it still would have added about 500lbs to the car and the battery alone would have been over $10k.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43923977)

> They will figure out how to use that extra power somewhere

Isn't that what you want? You're suggesting we should just stop looking for better power sources because it'll be 'used' anyway?

You can save power now, on smartphones for example, if you do stuff like underclock the cpu, turn brightness down, handle wifi/gps etc more intelligently.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#43923979)

As a new smartphone user (Galaxy S), I find my Android OS lasts around a week because I use it mostly only for phone calls/messages. You're right, bloat can sometimes fill the void, but not if you're relatively careful. See: http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/476/what-can-i-do-to-increase-battery-life-on-my-android-device [stackexchange.com]

(Just to also add, I thought I'd hate the touchscreen compared to tactile buttons, but using Swype, I'd NEVER go back to a 'normal' button phone again).

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (2)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | about a year ago | (#43924551)

If you are only doing phone calls and text messages, you do not need a smartphone.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#43924707)

You don't 'need' lots of things, but that doesn't mean they can't help. Have you ever used something like Swype? It's far superior to any button phone I've used. The much larger display you get (due to no wasted space for meatspace keys) is a real boon, and the touchscreen itself is obviously more intuitive than messing about with arrow keys etc. for navigation.

Yes, they're sometimes expensive if you don't shop around, but I almost guarantee 'button' phones will be the exception rather than the rule in a decade's time.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924057)

The pinacle of /. cynicism, seeing every news no mather how good as pure crap.
"Oh, nothing will change, life is crap, everything is crap"

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (2)

Mystakaphoros (2664209) | about a year ago | (#43924093)

Don't get me wrong, I like the added features, but I hope nobody expects laptops that can be used for multiple days in a row without recharging (with sleep mode enabled between sessions of course) or next-gen smart phones that can go a week without recharging. They will figure out how to use that extra power somewhere, leaving us at around the same runtime as before.

If someone will finally make a netbook with an e-ink screen, we could get around to that kind of battery life. I know the refresh rates suck, but the equivalent of a Kindle Paperwhite with a full keyboard, a basic word processing app, and a battery that lasts for days on end would be a writer's dream.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (2)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#43924097)

what i really forsee is this would alow even smaller/lighter battery packs. with less space/weight devoted to power, devices can pack in other things, or simply be smaller lighter themselves.

course charging time is another factor. does this material have the same, more, or less time required for an equivalent charge? does it develop memory?

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43924209)

Why does everyone want devices to be even smaller and lighter? Have we gotten unable to lift the ones that we have?

If I could get a smartphone that weighed twice as much, with all that extra weight devoted solely to battery, I would.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43924419)

There's a tension between the advantages of bigger displays and more battery capacity, and the reality that smartphones are stepping into a niche in people's pockets normally occupied by a cellphone the size of a deck of cards. I certainly can't fit anything bigger than a 4-inch screen in my usual jeans pocket.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924519)

Sure, but it could be 4" screen and as thick as a deck of cards and still fit in your pockets. If not, stop wearing your wife's/girlfriend's jeans.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924441)

Runbo X5
http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/15/runbo-x5-x3-x1/

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43924181)

Same idea as Wirth's Law [wikipedia.org] :

Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster

Running the same stuff, we'd see battery life go up. But for the same reason my desktop doesn't really feel that much faster than the one I had 10 years ago, I tend to agree ... better batteries will just let us run what seems like the same stuff for the same amount of time.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924287)

They will figure out how to use that extra power somewhere, leaving us at around the same runtime as before.

Yes, exactly as it happened when Apple got into the tablet market and killed everybody with 10h. Yeah, why would firms not want to have such a feature.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43924369)

Laptops? Smartphones? I'm more interested in applications for ultra-low power consumption devices. The devices I'm installing at work currently run off batteries for around 3-4 years at a time. I'd love to see these increased. I wonder what the shelf life / self-discharge rate of this new battery would be.

How about a camera? My camera only takes around 2000 photos on a single charge of it's two batteries. That's fine normally but a bit of a pain for multi-day timelapse footage where I invariably bump the camera while swapping out the batteries.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43924433)

What about a nuclear battery? I knew a guy who had one of those for his pacemaker. They would last for years.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43924617)

That won't be a bad thing for smartphones (I say that once you can go maybe 18 hours of average use between charges, that's enough), laptops could use more power though and electric cars sure as shit won't be wasting any of it.

Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43924847)

except your statement doesn't reflect on reality.
a: batteries have increased in both runtime and capacity
and b: there's nothing wrong with expecting that trend to continue as it has. There are 8+ hour laptops now that don't involve carrying a brick with you - in fact, the only brick-carrying laptops now are the gaming laptops and that's the AC power brick they use.

Aside from that, your statement is completely wrong.

Marketing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923739)

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great post (-1)

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That is very energy dense (4, Interesting)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year ago | (#43923785)

I use a 30 amp-hour 12 volt battery when camping, it's about 20 pounds (for fans, lights, bug zapper, , phone charger, electric blanket, inverter for laptop, etc). I've saved a ton of money not having to purchase D batteries and I can expect 5-8 years of use (hundreds of duty cycles).

"1200 milliampere-hours" is 1.2 amp hours. A battery of this type would weight 25 grams, or less than an ounce. If it's at 12 volts, which per the article (I read it!!!) doesn't sound like the case. But I bet a comparable 12 volt version would weight just ounces rather than pounds.

Battery tech is a primary lagging technology in my opinion.

Best hopes for this technology.

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923879)

You use an electric blanket while camping? Wuss.

Re:That is very energy dense (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43923911)

Says the Anonymous Coward

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43924279)

Hey, if he uses electricity during camping he is not a wuss. Lugging 30 pounds of batteries plus a electric blanket fans, lights, bug zapper, phone charger, electric blanket, inverter for laptop 40 miles into the backcountry is not for a wuss. I know I get bogged down when I have to carry a 20 pound Dutch oven in addition to my camping essentials.

Unless, of course, he is not going into the backcountry. Then he is a wuss.

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924549)

He actually hauls all that with him when camping? A laptop? Why? Or are you talking about camping the american style where you put your tent right next to your huge car? Then turn on the fans, and sit in a well lit tent posting to facebook how it feels good to be close to the nature? :D

Not that there is actually anything wrong with that, it just seems so funny.

Re:That is very energy dense (3, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43923929)

"Because lithium-sulfur batteries deliver about half the voltage of lithium-ion versions"

Li-ion is around 3.7V (+-0.4, depending on exact design). So this is about a 1.8V battery. So for a reasonable approximation, multiply by about 7 for a 12v version. That puts a 12v, 1.2AH version at 175g. Plus a little more for the casing. Not bad at all. Add case, and your 30AH battery can be replaced with a five-kilo battery. A bit heavy for a pocket, but but by much.

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923963)

It's not +-0.4V depending on design, lackwit, it's depending on CHARGE.

Re:That is very energy dense (3, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43924099)

It's +- a lot more than 0.4V depending on charge. One of the problems with li-ions is the substantial difference between charged and discharged voltages, requiring devices be able to operate efficiently right across the range.

I've seen li-ions/lipo rated from around 3.2 to 3.9 volts nominal, depending just upon the exact design of the cell - there are a few variations of the chemistry in use. They all function much the same, and the vast majority of cells are labeled 3.6 or 3.7.

Re:That is very energy dense (4, Informative)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#43924561)

No, it is a function of the battery chemistry. You have LiCoO2, LiMn2O4, LiFePO4, and others, each with different charge voltages. A good read: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion [batteryuniversity.com]

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year ago | (#43924013)

"Plus a little more for the casing."

Sure, ignore what you don't understand. If you don't know it. it can't possibly matter, right?

Energy density is fine but it's the final product that matters. Packaging is a significant penalty for LiIon, it's important to know the difference here rather than pretend it's all rosy.

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924077)

such hostility. don't you have some masturbation and crying to do

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924579)

The article states that there's no danger of fire with ORNL batteries, unlike Li-ion which can explode or catch fire if improperly charged. I would imagine that the fact that these cells cannot catch fire would cause their packaging to be lighter.

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924205)

That puts a 12v, 1.2AH version at 175g

Huh? I fly my RC models with 11.1V (nominal, 12.6V when fully loaded), 1.2Ah lipos at 110g, including casing and wires.

Re:That is very energy dense (4, Informative)

hlavac (914630) | about a year ago | (#43924559)

What? 1.2Ah per gram, thats like 7g for 12V version, not 175g!

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924713)

Assuming your math is correct, I am not impressed. I can right now purchase a Li-Poly battery that is 1300mAh 14.8v (4S) 20C battery that weighs 151g for $11.80 USD plus shipping. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=21118
The drawback to Li Poly is that it can catch fire if damaged too much. The only advantage would be if it's more stable.

 

Re:That is very energy dense (2)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43923953)

The article states that the voltage of the LiS cell is 'about half' the voltage of a Li-ion, so that's about 2V/cell. You'd need at least 6* to make 12V, so that means a 12V, 30Ah battery would consist of 25 parallel sets of 7 cells in series and weigh in at 175g, or about 6 ounces - quite a weight savings.

*"12V" isn't really 12V exactly. It's more like 13.8 under charge and as low as 10.5-11 at discharge. Most gizmos expect the voltage toward the higher end, so using 7 cells isn't uncommon among DIY-ers (It allows you to use your devices longer with the battery still in the higher voltage sweet spot).

Re:That is very energy dense (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924503)

Anyone know why we name batteries the way we do?
Car batteries for instance are normally charged at around 14V and under heavy load dip to 11v. NIMH AA float at 1.45v and are generally 1.2v loaded. Alkaline start at 1.6v and drop down very fast past 1.5v. They probably spend very little of their lives at 1.5v since their discharge curve sucks out loud. At high enough dishcarge currents they can drop from 1.6v to below 1.5v almost immediately.

At half the voltage we are talking 1.8v, that means some normally alkaline powered devices might be ok taking them. Assuming you can get them rolled into a AA shape. The LiOn cells are never good for that since they are 3.6v.

Re: That is very energy dense (0)

G-News.ch (793321) | about a year ago | (#43924001)

In Li-Ion batteries the average cell voltage is around 3-3.2V, so you need about 4 cells minimum for 12V. Arguably this would be the case for these new batteries too.

Re:That is very energy dense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924021)

From TFA: their voltage output is half that of lithuim ion (~3.7V), but the output current was an 8x increase. So a 30 amp-hour 12V equivalent would be roughly 25g to get 30amp-hour @ 1.8V. Then x8 is only 200g for a 30 amp-hour @ 12V (plus a casing and terminals of some kind)

Re:That is very energy dense (2)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year ago | (#43924037)

The article says that the battery delivers about half of the voltage of a typical lithium ion battery (which is usually around 3.7V).

So 1.2Ah/g * 1.85V = 2.22Wh/g

Your battery is 30Ah/20 pounds * 12V = 18Wh/lb = .04Wh/g

So yes, this new battery is extremely energy dense. If you needed it to be 12V, though, you'd have to wire them in a series of 6, which would reduce the energy density by a factor of 6. Still a big improvement, but more like .35 Wh/g @ 12V, which is about 9 times better than your camping battery. Not bad.

Re:That is very energy dense (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | about a year ago | (#43924355)

I use a 30 amp-hour 12 volt battery when camping, it's about 20 pounds (for fans, lights, bug zapper, , phone charger, electric blanket, inverter for laptop, etc).

"Camping" /fingerquotes

Re:That is very energy dense (1)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#43924599)

I use a 30 amp-hour 12 volt battery when camping, it's about 20 pounds

Thats awful. Current mainstream Li-Ion cells get around 200Wh/kg, so 2kg (4lb) to replace yours. (Like a 36-40 cell battery used in electric bikes.)

LiS rigged demos in the lab claim 1200x1.8V= 2000Wh/kg (10 x current consumer Li-Ion) but TFA also says 4x, so lets realistically hope for a one pound LiS battery to replace your boat-anchor. That'll be ten years after they first appear in mobile phones and tablets, assuming not too many explode.

Lithium air (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#43923791)

Off-topic, but can Lithium air be used for laptops/gadgets etc. too, or only for cars? No one ever seems to say.

But do they explode? (1)

telchine (719345) | about a year ago | (#43923809)

Lithium and Sulphur! Will these explode more or less violently than Li-ion batteries?

Re:But do they explode? (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43923859)

Not a chemist, but the article specifically points out that the materials are not flammable, so I guess no?

Re:But do they explode? (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43924343)

Also not a chemist, but if it can store more energy than an equivalent lithium ion battery then my guess is yes.

Re:But do they explode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924575)

solid electrolyte in the new battery, liquid electrolyte in the old ones.

Solids are more stable then liquids, which explains the non flammability thing

Re:But do they explode? (2)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43924791)

Try shorting that battery and watch how quickly that electrolyte turns liquid.

Re:But do they explode? (2)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#43923861)

more smellily for sure

Re:But do they explode? (3, Interesting)

Mystakaphoros (2664209) | about a year ago | (#43924211)

more smellily for sure

Oh, you discovered the "leakage alert" feature!

Re:But do they explode? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43923937)

What explodes in an li-ion battery failure is usually the flammable electrolyte, fed oxygen by cathode decomposition products, and not lithium itself.

Re:But do they explode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923973)

SOLIDS rarely explode - it's the liquid-to-gaseous issue that makes things go BOOM with a spark

Re:But do they explode? (2)

jbengt (874751) | about a year ago | (#43924359)

SOLIDS rarely explode . . .

<sarcasm>Yes, that's why gunpowder is made of liquids.</sarcasm>

BeelzeBATT! (1)

tippe (1136385) | about a year ago | (#43924207)

Will these explode more or less violently than Li-ion batteries?

More! And when it does explode and you've got a flaming smartphone in your pocket, it will both feel *and smell* like you're in hell!

By the way, I hereby claim the name "BeelzeBATT" (TM).

Re:But do they explode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924315)

Less but they will smell like farts.

Re:But do they explode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924491)

Can't wait until they start making batteries from potassium nitrate, sulfur, and carbon.

Re:But do they explode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924747)

Pretty much all batteries types I have used over the years let go at some point. Due to whatever reason. Can you imagine them smell? Bleeeech.

Biobattery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923837)

Biobatteries [wikipedia.org] look interesting. In the future, laptops will be powered by Gatorade, just like the hackers using them.

What about other key parameters? (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43923871)

This is an impressive achievement, and interesting even if they report a relatively low (300) number of charge cycles. Too bad the article doesn't mention some other parameters:
- The article mentions power density "after 300 charging cycles". Is that the limit, or does it actually last for more cycles, and how fast does it drop off?
- How well do these batteries retain a charge? Li-Ion is quite good on that score; if I leave my cordless drill of the charger, it'll still be ready for use after a year.
- How well do these batteries deal with half-cycles (recharge when only half empty)? Is there a memory effect?
- What is the max rate of charge?

Re:What about other key parameters? (2)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#43924067)

This is an impressive achievement, and interesting even if they report a relatively low (300) number of charge cycles. Too bad the article doesn't mention some other parameters:

- The article mentions power density "after 300 charging cycles". Is that the limit, or does it actually last for more cycles, and how fast does it drop off?

I recently replaced the battery in my 2008 model Macbook Pro. It was the original battery and had done 450 charging cycles. The run time was down to about a third of the new battery I replaced it with. So from a computer use 300 cycles is a good measure.

Re:What about other key parameters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924081)

a relatively low (300) number of charge cycles

Not low. If a battery can be charged only up to 300 times but has 10x times the capacity of a smaller battery, then its number of cycles translates to 300x10 = 3000 cycles of that smaller battery.

Are these marketing guys egging us on ? (0)

axonis (640949) | about a year ago | (#43923877)

Sound like a rotten use of a common waste product in LNG and in decline ... smells BAD to me .... go and sniff a volcano to get the positive Charge you need

Re: Are these marketing guys egging us on ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923985)

Are you mentally ill?

Hail Satan, who powers our many useful devices! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923909)

n/t

Whoa! Did you just eat eggs or something? (1, Redundant)

pr0t0 (216378) | about a year ago | (#43923965)

No, sorry. I just pulled my phone off the charger.

Must targeted at Android devices (1)

axonis (640949) | about a year ago | (#43923983)

Solves their depression AND their BAD diet

Aviation uses? (1)

srbell (164773) | about a year ago | (#43923987)

With a higher energy density, and if the size and weight are low, it could help make electric motors a viable option for light general aviation aircraft. I'd love to see this work out.

Re:Aviation uses? (3, Informative)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about a year ago | (#43924175)

I'm sure Elon Musk is paying attention to this. He thinks an electric jet would be possible, and this would make that a whole lot easier to achieve. If they can commercialize it in the next couple of years, it would also be just in time to help Tesla develop its next-gen "affordable" EV. I wouldn't be surprised if he and/or Tesla invest in whatever company gets to bring this tech to market.

Re:Aviation uses? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43924377)

A electric jet is probably not in the cards. I think you mean electric airplane. Those do exist today, but they tend to be experiential or for the hobby market.

Re:Aviation uses? (2)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about a year ago | (#43924645)

No, he actually means a jet. In fact, he thinks he can build a supersonic electric jet, and has said so many times. [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Aviation uses? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924881)

If they can commercialize it in the next couple of years, it would also be just in time to help Tesla develop its next-gen "affordable" EV.

Stop that! I'm about to drop dead from laughing too hard!

There is no fricking way that a battery technology in this kind of shape will enter a mass-produced automobile in the next TEN years, never mind two. Portable devices, I'd give 7-8 years if everything goes well. Fifteen years for automobiles, minimum.

Let's count the issues here. The battery is tested only at 60 degrees C, which implies that its performance must suck at room temperature (not surprising--solid batteries tend to do really badly at low temperatures). The battery is showing horrendous wear--75% wear after 300 cycles--good enough to show promise, but nowhere near good enough to be considered for commercialization. The charge rate being tested is 1/10C. which probably means that the battery cannot be usefully charged/discharged unless you take at least 10 hours to bring it up to full charge.

All of these are incredibly hard issues, and only after solve all of them can you get down to the manufacturing process engineering. I'd be impressed if they get to this stage in six years. Then you get to manufacture, test, integrate--and finally you get your first shipping product. Automobiles are a different beast altogether, requiring much more testing, much bigger manufacturing capacity, different control mechanism, looooong design lead time--so add another five years.

Hopefully cheaper also (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43923991)

Since it's using sulfur, hopefully this can also help lower the cost per hour as well as longer life.

Keep in mind that the 300 charge cycle the mention isn't the limit for the battery, it's talking about how well it still works after 300 cycles compared to lithium batteries. I'll be interested to hear what it's full life is as well.

Let that Desi kid loose on this technology. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43924027)

Some Indian American teen won the intel science prize for charging a cell phone in 20 seconds. Let her loose on this technology and get that Tesla S model recharged in 5 minutes for 200 mile range! Now we are talking, baby!

But of course, all she had was just a super capacitor. It probably does not scale easily to vehicle sizes and anyway it is not an electro-chemical reaction based "battery."

When these explode ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#43924051)

... that should be quite a bad smell.

Re:When these explode ... (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | about a year ago | (#43924163)

... but only for a short time, before user faints from the toxic smoke.

source of this invention is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924155)

I wonder who is behind this. I don't know, could it be.... Satan?

Renewables (1)

xcsi (2943421) | about a year ago | (#43924199)

Hopefully this new sulfur based battery can also be a basis for the storage of energy from renewable energy sources, nice to see that things go on.

Re:Renewables (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43924299)

The beauty of storage batteries for power generation is that they don't need to be very high-capacity per unit volume or mass. They're not going anywhere, so you can go with something cheap but bulky.

Brimstone (5, Funny)

Mystakaphoros (2664209) | about a year ago | (#43924229)

You know, I wouldn't mind it if my laptop smelled like fire and brimstone when I was grading papers. It would kind of help get me in the mood.

Up all night (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924317)

I was up all night waiting for these batteries. And until I get one I'll continue to be LiS-less. ;)

but when the sulfur is mined to make black dragons (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43924657)

but when the sulfur is mined to make black dragons not much will be left for battery's.

Not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924757)

Where are cheap micro-nuclear batteries?
Unlike chemical batteries that can violently explode, it doesn't happen with nuclear materials.
And what happened with fuel cells?
We still don't have batteries that last forever, while the capacity is also stuck.
But at least we get more efficient devices. They also produce less heat and don't need as cooling as desktop PCs.

More practical questions (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year ago | (#43924785)

1) What's the sustained and peak current delivery? 10C? 25C? 50C?
2) Do you have to balance multi-cell packs like you do with current LiPo?
3) Can you use existing charging methods?
4) How much do they cost?

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