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Old 10-02-09, 06:20 PM   #1
malachi
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MIT developing some bling batteries (read and drool).

The blingest battery (coming soon): http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/fuel-cell-0516.html


And it will recharge on the road with this:


http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html


*accessories not included.
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Old 10-02-09, 07:44 PM   #2
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For all the sporadic publicity, fuel cells still aren't appearing main stream. Given the current economic downturn, I'm not sure they'll be able to gain a foothold anytime soon. I'd love to see improvements in energy technology, especially batteries and solar panels but I'm not holding my breath. I'd like to see solar panels that are efficient year-round in northern climates, plus I'd like to seem them go down in price. As for batteries, well, they're still the Achilles heel in green endeavors, despite some progress recently.
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Old 10-03-09, 08:00 PM   #3
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True, but their 50 percent improvement on the conductivity of Nafion membranes in the DMFCs (direct methanol fuel cells) brings us 50 percent closer to a commercially viable fuel cell. Once these things reach the market, you'll probably only have to rent them from gas stations (where you'd swap out a drained battery for a recharged one) making them both affordable and convenient.
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Old 10-03-09, 08:13 PM   #4
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I agree with you that it sounds great on paper, but we've been hearing about fuel cells being just around the corner for about 4-5 years now. They're still not readily available and I'm afraid with the world-wide economic downturn that they may turn out to be vaporware and will never become a commercially viable product.
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Old 10-04-09, 06:58 PM   #5
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I agree with you that it sounds great on paper, but we've been hearing about fuel cells being just around the corner for about 4-5 years now. They're still not readily available and I'm afraid with the world-wide economic downturn that they may turn out to be vaporware and will never become a commercially viable product.


I think they're probably the most promising thing we've got at the present. Though, if they prove to be impractical or uncompetitive for some reason, then it will be because something more practical and promising took their place.


That word ‘never’ is one of the most loaded and reviled words for young professionals pursuing R&D. It is only rarely applicable to scientific endeavors (or so they teach us).
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Old 10-04-09, 07:58 PM   #6
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That word ‘never’ is one of the most loaded and reviled words for young professionals pursuing R&D. It is only rarely applicable to scientific endeavors (or so they teach us).
Maybe, but I'm not convinced fuel cells are part of our energy technology future. It's possible, but it's also possible they'll be eclipsed by supercapacitors and it's possible the technology isn't really going to be more economical than cheap high-quality LiFePO4 batteries (which are already impressive). Supercapacitors and algae-biodiesel are a couple of other energy storage solutions that make impressive claims, and prompt me to say: I'll believe it's economically viable when I see it economically viable.

Making something technically possible is a much lower standard to reach than making it commercially viable, and I think there are tons of nice ideas that will never be commercially viable on a large scale.
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Old 10-05-09, 04:51 PM   #7
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Maybe, but I'm not convinced fuel cells are part of our energy technology future. It's possible, but it's also possible they'll be eclipsed by supercapacitors and it's possible the technology isn't really going to be more economical than cheap high-quality LiFePO4 batteries (which are already impressive). Supercapacitors and algae-biodiesel are a couple of other energy storage solutions that make impressive claims, and prompt me to say: I'll believe it's economically viable when I see it economically viable.

Making something technically possible is a much lower standard to reach than making it commercially viable, and I think there are tons of nice ideas that will never be commercially viable on a large scale.


Yeah, I was wondering about the use of ultra-capacitor batteries. Have any been made available or put into use for electric bikes yet?
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Old 10-05-09, 05:34 PM   #8
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Problem with ultra or super caps is that stored energy is proportional to the charge voltage squared. High voltages and bikes are never going to be a good mix IMO.
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Old 10-18-09, 10:19 AM   #9
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My crystal ball has never worked right, so I can't see or predict which of the many claims of "just around the corner" will come true or be relegated to the BS pile. At age 61, "just around the corner" may finally arrive at a time when a good BM and not falling asleep and drowning in my chicken soup may be the high point of my day.

Right now, I am thinking that other than walking, a well built, relatively light velomobile, with or without assist may be the best answer, at least for me. Certainly not the answer for the majority, as most folks are looking for transportation without any physical effort, but, as long as my old body holds up, I can't find anything that will allow me to travel the modest distances that make up most of my journeys using less renewable energy. Something like a Quest, Go-One, Mango, Cab bike or even a Glyde! When I can't pedal any longer, put the thing in temporary storage, and when I croak, bury me in it!
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