Category Archives: Batteries

Why aren’t there battery powered airplanes or flying cars?

Preface.  Batteries are too heavy for airplanes to get off the ground. These two articles explain that in further detail. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Energy | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Can Zinc batteries save us?

Preface: The New York Times had two articles about zinc air batteries in September 2018.  Right now, finite natural gas is the dominant way of balancing unreliable, outright missing, or intermittent power from wind and solar.  So other energy storage … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Energy Storage, Lithium-ion | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Want to go off-grid? You might need hundreds of Tesla batteries

Preface. Although you may not be as far north as Victoria, British Columbia (48.4 latitude), you’d ideally want to be at 30 degrees or less latitude from the equator to even consider the expense of off-grid solar power.  And even … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Photovoltaic Solar | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Given the laws of physics, can the Tesla Semi really go 500 miles, and what will the price be?

Preface: Most people think that electric truck makers need to tell us the specs — the battery kWh, price, performance, and so on — before we can possibly know anything about their truck. But that’s simply not true.  We know … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Trucks, Electric trucks impossible, Fuel Efficiency, Lithium-ion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Anyone who whines about airplanes should have to take the Oregon Trail

Source: Book cover of “Oregon Or Bust: True Short Stories from the Descendants of Oregon Trail Pioneers, Prospectors, Trappers, and Settlers in the Great Northwest Hardcover” by Gentry Ward Cutsforth (2012), XLibris. [ In addition, I recommend the Louis CK … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Lithium-ion, Transportation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

How are energy storage batteries coming along? U.S. House hearing 2015

[ My favorite quotes from this U.S. House of Representatives session: THOMAS MASSIE, KENTUCKY. I want to say this has been a very enlightening hearing, and it confirms my personal experience, which is batteries are not sexy. Buckets of acid … Continue reading

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How is California’s AB2514 experiment with utility scale battery storage coming along?

[ This is an excellent article by Tod Kiefer about tests of sodium-sulfur batteries, which are the only kind of battery for which there is enough material on earth to make. Battery electric storage is meant to “replace nimble, fast-ramping … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Battery - Utility Scale, Electricity | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Notes from “The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World” by Steve LeVine

[ My notes from 2015 “The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World” by Steve LeVine follow this introduction. I read this book because I’ve done extensive research on batteries and was surprised by all the … Continue reading

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Heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell trucks a waste of energy and money

Preface. Sir William Robert Grove invented the fuel cell or “gas battery” in the 1840s, but the discovery of the “fuel cell effect” by Christian Friedrich Schoenbein dates back to 1838. The first practical fuel cells were not built until … Continue reading

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Utility scale energy storage batteries limited by materials and few locations for pumped hydro, compressed air

[ Natural gas is finite, but aside from (pumped) hydropower, natural gas is the main way wind and solar are balanced now. Therefore, a tremendous amount of energy storage will be needed in the future as natural gas declines. The … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Batteries, Energy Storage | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments