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Graphene batteries

Old 02-20-20, 11:51 PM
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MarcusT
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Graphene batteries

I've just watched a few Youtube videos regarding the latest in battery tech called graphene.
The theory seems simple enough, but I take anything on Youtube with a grain of salt.
Any thoughts or experience with this type battery?
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Old 02-23-20, 01:57 PM
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Wikipedia doesn't have a lot to say on their page for graphene applications:
Silicon-graphene anode lithium ion batteries were demonstrated in 2012.[126]

Stable Lithium ion cycling was demonstrated in bi- and few layer graphene films grown on nickel substrates,[127] while single layer graphene films have been demonstrated as a protective layer against corrosion in battery components such as the battery case.[128] This creates possibilities for flexible electrodes for microscale Li-ion batteries, where the anode acts as the active material and the current collector.[129]

Researchers built a lithium-ion battery made of graphene and silicon, which was claimed to last over a week on one charge and took only 15 minutes to charge.[130]

In 2015 argon-ion based plasma processing was used to bombard graphene samples with argon ions. That knocked out some carbon atoms and increased the capacitance of the materials three-fold. These “armchair” and “zigzag” defects are named based on the configurations of the carbon atoms that surround the holes.[131][132]
a look at trade magazines doesn't turn up a lot.
Didn't find anything about graphene batteries at Electronics Weekly.
Electronics Design did have an article talking about the benefits of wrinkled graphene for battery electrodes. This was more of an article about some quirky research that will likely never get to production rather than something with immediate and obvious benefits.

That doesn't mean that there aren't products with "graphene!" on the label. No idea if there is actually any graphene in the battery, though.
When a major manufacturer is producing a graphene battery with a data sheet that shows distinct benefits.... then I'll start thinking about buying one.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 02-24-20, 12:18 PM
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Being a trained (electro)chemist (albeit more on the fuel cell side), i watched one of the YT vids and quickly scanned a publication on that matter. Probably graphene will appear soon in some cells, but even the usage of graphene doesn't really allow much higher energy densities, as it still is a Li-ion cell. Benefits of these cells are imo mostly irrelevant in consumer electronics (ok, might have a bit higher cycle stability and you could charge faster, but the issue with consumer electronics are mostly products which are not designed for repair). Those benefits are more relevant in high power applications (cars, high powered tools and machines)
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Old 02-24-20, 12:29 PM
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According to this video, the first batteries to incorporate graphene are hitting the market. Benefit seems to be faster charge times

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Old 02-24-20, 12:34 PM
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I'd keep an eye on Tesla. As soon as something like graphene or solid state batteries become commercially feasible at large scale, they'll be all over it.
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Old 02-24-20, 01:30 PM
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The new hotness is going to be glass batteries, invented by John Goodenough, the same guy who won a Nobel for inventing LiIon batteries. Recently signed a licensing agreement with Hydro Quebec, which immediately relicensed the technology to Mercedes Benz. Purportedly they are much safer than LiIon, have vastly more charge/discharge cycles, faster charging, and higher storage density. If that's not good enough (heh), storage density is said to increase with use.
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Old 02-24-20, 04:43 PM
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5 years ago the hotness was li-air batteries and that concept proofed to be pretty complicated and by far not yet ready for market. so let's talk in five years, whether those special solid electrolyte batteries invented by goodeneoughs team is still the new hotness.
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Old 02-24-20, 07:44 PM
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A fair point.
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Old 02-25-20, 03:33 AM
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Thanks for posting everyone. I cannot add to the discussion on how fast, nor what tech will impact bikes next. But I have enjoyed the impacts of increase battery longevity in biking tremendously in the last ten years. My favorite areas that have been impacted tremendously by battery tech are night riding, saftey lights, navigation/gps in touring/bikepacking... and potentially ebikes!

Before I jump into that. Someone was telling me about LiFe batteries starting to come to cars. Specifically they were going to use them in their Sprinter camper conversion for a battery bank for solar, generator and trickle charge off the motor. I am not sure if this tech is somehow related to LiPo4 or unrelated? I had been hearing about that but I am a little out of the loop.


​​​​​​Bike Lights

I am please with the evolution of bike lights. My new favorite is the Lezyne 1300xxl that goes for some 2.5 hours at 1300 lumens only runs $90 MSRP. That said I'm not as on top of the market as I once was in that category, would love to hear if there is something else that will beat it, it is a bit of a brick.


GPS and smart phone tech.

Likewise my favorite GPS right now for touring is the Lezyne Mega XL that will do up to 40hours on a charge. The Garmin bike unts are still a little lacking in battery life, although I have a Gamin fennix watch that I horse traded for that has awesome battery life. GPS are starting to be capable of running on external battery packs so maybe not an issue in the near future. Would love to here on others views on this.

The other big change is smartphone battery life..My Moto G7 Power will go days on heavy use. There have been huge strides there as well. With apps like Gaia GPS and googles MyMaps integration it makes a good secondary resource for biking navigation and as an aggregator for data from my lezyne and Garmin but I am still not going to use it as a live recorder or mount it on my handlebar for navigation though I know some who now do with decent success.


eBikes!?

The big story for me right now is ebikes. Due changes in the market I may have the opportunity to take the plunge this year. The Bosch systems are extremely refined and reliable. The latest battery systems from them are getting 625 watt hours.... some eMTB more. Have been looking at ways to break down my 56 mile round trip car ride and turn it into something more productive. Also curious about Specialized and other alternative ebike systems to Bosch if anyone has any experience?

I think ebikes have wonderful potential as an inexpensive proving ground for battery tech. Much more suitable then a car due their superior efficiencies and lower cost to produce. I have been getting in 1-2 commute days a week this winter, usually doing partial commutes and reverse commutes when the weather is nice. I can say this, it is not any easier the way I ride but it is faster and more fun. Most importantly it neutralizes the headwind factor here in the open fields of the Midwest. For example I can pretty consistently do my commute in 1h10min headwinds or not. Cold definitely affects the ebike as it affects me.... best guess knocks about 30% off my speed and distance at below 20 degrees. Not sure how much of that is me and how much ot it is battery life. The biggest thing I have learned so far in my experiments is that ebikes don't change the nature of the way you ride. If you ride casually you will still ride casually, you will just go a little faster. If you like to ride hard you will still ride just as hard. I ride harder then ever on my commute because its who I am. That extra 90-100% effort might get me from 24 to 28mph so I have more incentive then ever to push it.

​​Also interesting is the saftey issue. My cruising speed jumps from 18-24 mph non-electric to 23-28 mph depending on wind. This incremental shift in speed has little impact on my saftey on rural roads but I am paranoid as hell about it in suburban and urban areas. I utilize daytime blinkies at all times on the ebike and as of yet have not had someone turn in front of me or cut me off. I assume drivers will always underestimate my speed. The most pleasant thing about the ebike is I mind stops FAR less. This does not mean I am going to a come to a stop at every stop sign. I observe Idaho stop rules but I am more likely to stop, slow down much further (even if no cars are present) and mind doing it far less as the ebikes biggest advantage is acceleration. I believe part of the reason I am more observant of traffic laws is because i am more paranoid about being ticketed on an ebike. From a saftey standpoint I am pleased at being possibly percieved as a motorcycle. I think I will get more respect. From a legal standpoint that means I better behave myself. That said bikes are not cars and there are still some lights I encounter that I am not sure the ebike triggers. Bicycles like pedestrians are still often forgotten about in suburban planning in particular. Overall I would say I feel more comfortable out there and more in control as I move more at the speed of traffic, and can accelerate better with traffic, particularly in suburban an urban environments.

The 8 year old me once wrote that in the year 2000 I tought I would be driving a solar powered car. While the 8 year old me failed to grasp how fast that tech would evolve I am not wholey disappointed. That Teslsa and others are pushing battery tech now as fast as smart phone development and that ebikes may cause a secondary resurgence in bikes as transportation and recreation is wonderful. I don't know where it is all headed nor how fast. All that matters to me is that I can afford to get in the game in a sustainable way.

I have thought about blogging or video blogging my observations... maybe doing some more math and picking away at the amateur science. Would love to read up on others whom have it anyone has seen someone doing the ebike commuter challenge.

I can say this on the economics. Two gallons of gas will easily get me to work and back. Currently that's about $5, but I cannot do 56 miles a day, even on ebike. I am hoping to cut car time down by 1/3 this year using partial bike commutes and reverse bike commutes. This is more about being healthier and happier. Its nice to know I have saved $2.50 or $5 in a day, but mostly it just makes me happier and healthier on a bike.

P.S. The time cost is pretty consistently an additional 30 minutes on my 28 mile commute. 1h10min vs. 40 minutes. In commute-enomics terms this means I *save* 40 minutes every time I bike to work or bike home.

As for battery tech even substantial gains in capacity will only have incremental improvements in this equation. I would certainly like a lighter ebike. I would certainly like to charge it less. However since Class 3 speeds are restricted to 28 mph this would not change my commute to much. Perhaps I could do it with less effort and therefore more often!? Other then being able to commute more and more because it takes less effort the best thing would be to see the cost drop so I could plan obsolescence faster and trade up every two years to take advantage of the new tech. After all a class 3 ebike with a 600Wh battery costs about as much as a used car right now.

Last edited by mmeiser; 02-25-20 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:02 AM
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john m flores
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I'd keep an eye on Tesla. As soon as something like graphene or solid state batteries become commercially feasible at large scale, they'll be all over it.
FWIW, I saw a presentation by engineers at Zero, makes of electric motorcycles, soon after Tesla released their technology into the public domain. The Zero engineers said that they studied the patents but did not see anything that they could use, which I thought was a bit surprising. They went on to say that while related, Tesla's application of battery tech is different enough from Zero's to not cross over.

So I don't think that you can make a blanket statement about Tesla's adoption of new battery tech. The engineering seems more complicated and nuanced than that.
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