The Swiss company Innolith claims to have developed a battery that can store 1.0 kWh per kg, that is three times as high as the Tesla-3 achieves, extending the range of a single charge to 1,000 km. Innolith expects that the innovation will hit the market in 3-5 years time. If true, the Asian and US competition would be crushed. Innolith has its HQ in Basel, Switzerland, but the innovation was developed in Bruchsal, Germany. The technology is based on Lithium-ion, but with modifications and the specs are almost too good to be true. 50,000 charge cycles, no exotic materials, no fire hazard. The innovation was enabled by using pure materials. Innolith wants to focus on reserach and development and outsource production under license.
Tellingly, Innolith has received endorsement by Microsoft’s principal battery engineer Walter van Schalkwijk.
[innolith.com] – Company site
[cleantechnica.com] – Swiss Startup Innolith Claims 1000 Wh/kg Battery Breakthrough
[dailymail.co.uk] – A battery breakthrough?
[theverge.com] – Electric car battery with 600 miles of range?
[welt.de] – Verhilft die deutsche Superbatterie dem E-Auto zum Durchbruch?
Tomorrow, a new service will start that can be seen as a prelude towards a national car robot, aka public autonomous driving, cashing in on the new possibilities of location aware mobile smart phones. In Hamburg, Volkswagen will start a fleet of initially 100 MOIA’s (see video), with drivers included, that will be able to pick up people from 10,000 unmarked designated stops, distributed over 200 km2, delivering transport-on-demand for a price of 1 euro/km. The vans have a range of 300 km on a charge of 87 kWh, sufficient for a shift. The fleet is to be expanded to 1,000 e-vans eventually. In Hannover, a similar test on a smaller scale is already underway. The current competing regular bus-service operates with 1327 stops.
Farmer’s dilemma: should I use my land for electricity production or should I stay with farming. Do both! says the renowned German Fraunhofer Institute. In a time of global warming, growing crops actually get too much sun, even in Europe. A little shade won’t harm crop yield but will bring extra revenues from electricity harvesting.
Easy choice to make: either 100% crop or 100% solar? Wrong! Go for a combined 103% solar and 83% crop instead!
It is no surprise that salt water batteries are attracting a lot of attention in Holland, a country famously lacking altitude differences and hence no possibilities for pumped hydro storage, although exotic work-arounds do exist.
[deepresource] – Green Village Taking Shape in Delft
Here a comparative battery storage price indication, from a German producer of salt water batteries.
Salt water batteries win with domestic battery storage cost of 11 euro cent/kWh, set off against a storage volume of a few kWh’s.
[bluesky-energy.eu] – A cost comparison of battery storage at a glance
[bluesky-energy.eu] – AIB Saltwater Battery – Aqueous Ion Exchange Battery
[ft.com] – Beyond lithium — the search for a better battery
Robert McConaghy created the first flying stirling engine powered aircraft in August 1986. The Beta type engine weighed 360 grams, and produced only 20 Watts of power. The engine was attached to the front of a modified Super Malibu radio control glider with a gross takeoff weight of 1 kg. The best published test flight lasted 6 minutes and exhibited “barely enough power to make the occasional gentle turn and maintain altitude”
The main argument against using a Stirling engine in an aircraft was its weight. But with the rise of new strong and lightweight materials, conditions could change.
[wikipedia.org] – Airbus (formerly EADS)
[wikipedia.org] – Stirling Engine
[freepatentsonline.com] – Stirling Engine for an Emission-free Aircraft (EADS, 2016)
[patents.google.com] – Stirling engine with flapping wing for an emission-free aircraft (EADS, 2011)
[uspto.gov] – Solar thermal aircraft (2004, Lawrence Livermore)
[banggood.com] – Aircraft Hot Air Power Generator Innovative Stirling Engine
One of the largest advantages to PEM electrolysis is its ability to operate at high current densities. This can result in reduced operational costs, especially for systems coupled with very dynamic energy sources such as wind and solar, where sudden spikes in energy input would otherwise result in uncaptured energy. The polymer electrolyte allows the PEM electrolyzer to operate with a very thin membrane (~100-200 μm) while still allowing high pressures, resulting in low ohmic losses, primarily caused by the conduction of protons across the membrane (0.1 S/cm) and a compressed hydrogen output.
The polymer electrolyte membrane, due to its solid structure, exhibits a low gas crossover rate resulting in very high product gas purity. Maintaining a high gas purity is important for storage safety and for the direct usage in a fuel cell. The safety limits for H2 in O2 are at standard conditions 4 mol-% H2 in O2
For obvious reasons, the Belgians have been pushing hardest for a revitalization of the IJzeren Rijn (Iron Rhine) railway between the Antwerp Harbor and German Ruhr-area industrial heartland. The Germans had a prudent approach, but the Dutch were least enthusiastic in cooperating with a project that would create an outright competitor with their own existing railway-lines between Rotterdam and Germany. Now the Germans are changing attitude and offer to take the lead in revitalizing the old railway-line. And there is a reason why even the Netherlands should reconsider its position. And that reason is the zinc-plant in Budel-Schoot and its potential to become a renewable energy fuel source, see previous post.
[deepresource] – Nyrstar – The Next Royal Dutch Shell?
A new proposal for revitalization of the Iron Rhine can be best accomplished using the 3RX-tracé, the ‘Rhein-Ruhr-Rail Connection’ (3RX), from Antwerp, via Mol and Hamont to Roermond and Venlo and finally to Viersen. It would be just as good as revitalizing the historic Iron Rhine, but at half the cost.
[nnieuws.be] – IJzeren Rijn : ‘Duitsland bereid overleg over 3RX-tracé te trekken’
[atv.be] – Opnieuw beweging in het dossier van de ‘IJzeren Rijn’
[mobielvlaanderen.be] – 3RX Feasibility study alternative Rhein – Ruhr Rail Connection (dec 2017)
[n-va.be] – Ook Duitsland nu gewonnen voor 3RX-tracé (IJzeren Rijn)
[wikipedia.org] – Iron Rhine
[wikipedia.org] – Zinkfabriek (Budel)
[statista.com] – The largest zinc smelters worldwide in 2017
Korea Zinc – 1,183
Nyrstar – 1,019 (Budel 350)
[gemeenteraad.weert.nl] – IJzeren Rijn: resultaten 3RX-studie (jan 2018)
Within the EU Project HELMETH, Efficiency of Methane Gas Production from Renewable Electricity Increased to more than 75 Percent due to Thermal Linking of Chemical Processes. The natural gas network may serve as a buffer for weather-dependent electricity from the wind and sun. This requires economically efficient processes to use electricity for the production of chemical energy carriers. The EU project HELMETH coordinated by KIT has now made an important step. It has demonstrated that high-temperature electrolysis and methanation can be combined in a power-to-gas process with an efficiency of more than 75 percent.
One of the participants in the Helmeth project is the German company Sunfire, specialized in hydrogen production via high-temperature electrolysis of water. In the diagram above they do the conversion from O2 and electricity in and H2 out.
[source] Sunfire’s key technology is the PowerCore — a stack of high-temperature solid oxide cells (SOCs). The PowerCore can be used both as an electrolyser to convert electrical energy into chemical energy, and as a fuel cell to convert various liquid and gaseous fuels based on hydrocarbons (natural gas, LPG) into electricity and heat.
Siemens video highlights HVDC technology as the effective solution to transmitting renewable power over long distances.
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