Monday, November 09, 2009

Super Battery Development


Professor Cody Friesen
and the
of the
Metal-Air Ionic Fluid
Super Battery

As already discussed, “Fluidic Energy” led by Professor Cody Friesen of Arizona SU is working to build a Metal-Air Ionic Liquid battery that has up to 11 times the energy density of the top lithium-ion technologies. The other bit of encouraging news is that they aim to have the x11 strength battery for less than one-third the Li battery cost.

Professor Cody Friesen strikes me as being one of a new breed of scientist; he is young, popular with students, and a real tryer. There also appears, to my limited view, to be a rare and pleasing lack of spin doctoring, hype, and sales talk, and he seems realistic when he talks about the developments made to date.

Popular Prof.

Rate my professor.
Prof. Cody Friesen's Scorecard:
* Average Easiness: 3.0
* Average Helpfulness: 5.0
* Average Clarity: 5.0
* Hotness Total: 0
* Overall Quality: 5.0

In an interview he said that their team has not achieved the ultimate goal of a fully working battery yet. That one statement alone sorta indicates openness and honest – I like openness!!!

On the right in blue shirt

Cody Friesen and his ASU team have been experimenting with various ionic liquids, and anode materials for several years.

Some Goal!!

The team have a short-term goal of energy densities around 1Kw/h per Kg of battery weight – that is some serious punch - - and they are aiming eventually at 1.6Kw/h per Kg!!!!! That means a battery weighing just 50Kg could hold a charge of 80Kw/h – hard to credit this sort of energy density?

Ionic fluids or liquid salts have electro-chemical stability of up to 5 volts – way better than water based electrolytes. This would give much more stability and punch in any battery. Right now ionic fluids are not made in commercial quantities and are therefore very expensive; this is an area of intensive research and development in several research centres. Another problem is finding just the exactly right type of ionic fluid for the job.

Naturally enough “Fluidic Energy” and the professor are a bit coy about specifics on what they have achieved in the development of the super fluids. They are also careful when talking about another key part of their research, that is the development of the metal electrodes.

Battery electrodes essentially corrode under the intense electro-chemical activity. They grow crystal like structures or fur that can eventually lead to breakdown of the cell. Word is that “Fluidic Energy” is working at ‘encasing’ the electrodes in some form of nano-technology coating to prevent the build-up on the electrodes.

Where would you place your bet?

It is a great race, this Super Battery Race, and its good to see that there are several hopefuls in the running. Of the two we have discussed to date, which would you bet on?

Would place your money on the very secretive EEstor and its UltraCapacitor, or would it be the young and hopeful team at Fluidic Energy?


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