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In 1986 I was talking to a man about computers. The first CGA monitors were hitting the market.

I commented that I didn’t see the point of anything other than a green screen if one couldn’t print in color. He said, “Never happen; it would take a megabyte of memory to hold a color page.”

Just read two articles, one about a scam company that says they are currently building a battery (they quit using super capacitor because everyone immediately rolled their eyes.) I point it out because in the 1970’s there was a special carburetor that would make a car get 80 miles per gallon.

It took a while, but at 55 miles hour a slimmed down Prius might get 80 miles per gallon.

While the carburetor was a fraud, the dream was real.

Dreams matter

“A computer on every desk”
Microsoft

“Organize all the information in the world”
Google

“Make education available for every person for ever”
Khan Academy

Elon Musk has taken the dream of electric transportation and infected the whole world with it.

It will never happen, just like those color printers are just a pipe dream.

I just read an article, it had a couple of facts. one fact and one projection. The fact. in 2018 lithium ion battery storage dropped to 175 dollars a kilowatt hour. The projection is that it will take 20 dollar a kilowatt hour to get to 100 percent renewable energy in the
electric grid.

I recall that batteries are dropping in price by about 1/2 every 3 and 1/2 years. We will call it 1/4 every 7 years.

2018 175 per kilowatt hour
2025 44 per kilowatt hour
2032 11 per kilowatt hour
2039 3 per kilowatt hour

Moores law worked for about 30 years.

The lithium ion battery made its wide customer debut with the I-phone 3 about 2008.

We can realistically expect to see 3 dollars a kilowatt hour. Additionally, it has been noted by executives in the industry that the cost is closely related to energy density. The higher the energy density the lower the cost.

In other words, a Tesla with the same sized battery pack in 2039 as it had in 2018 would have a range of 10,000 miles.

Of course nothing works in a linear fashion. I just point these numbers out to say that before mid century we will dramatically change the way we produce and consume energy.

Cheers
Qazulight
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<<Of course nothing works in a linear fashion. I just point these numbers out to say that before mid century we will dramatically change the way we produce and consume energy.
>>



If we believe environmentalists, the ice will all be melted and the Polar Bears dead by that time. Al Gore's hockey stick will be through the roof by that time.


Or are we the victims of panic mongering for political purposes?


Seattle Pioneer
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In 1986 I was talking to a man about computers. The first CGA monitors were hitting the market.

I commented that I didn’t see the point of anything other than a green screen if one couldn’t print in color. He said, “Never happen; it would take a megabyte of memory to hold a color page.”


Interesting because Gordon Moore first described Moore's Law in ~1965. And so chips of all kinds, including memory chips had been doubling in density every ~2 years for over 20 years at that time. So the guy you were talking to didn't know much.

Moores law worked for about 30 years.

More like over 50 years. Transistors density is still increasing while the side effect of clock speed increases ended 10-15 years ago.

The lithium ion battery made its wide customer debut with the I-phone 3 about 2008.
Assuming you don't count Sony's use in camcorders over 10 years before.

In other words, a Tesla with the same sized battery pack in 2039 as it had in 2018 would have a range of 10,000 miles.

Doubtful. What is the underlying physical property(s) that you think will be exploited to do this? For computer logic processing and memory chips there is a solid basis for what has happened. And it is the fact that we are storing, processing and transmitting "information" which can be represented by smaller and smaller numbers of electrons or electrical charge. This is limited primarily by our ability to reliably detect these subtle changes and/or apply mathematical error detection and correction to allow some errors that are corrected as we shrink the device size and lower the power required.

Batteries store energy. I don't know what the limit is in some given volume. But I doubt we can exponentially just cram more and more electrons into a given space in the same way that in computers we cut the required number of electrons in half a couple of dozen times.

This doesn't mean batteries won't get better. It is just that applying Moore's Law to it is a bit nonsensical.

Mike
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Batteries store energy. I don't know what the limit is in some given volume. But I doubt we can exponentially just cram more and more electrons into a given space in the same way that in computers we cut the required number of electrons in half a couple of dozen times.

A suitcase room-temperature-fusion reactor might do the job of giving a car 10,000-mile range.

Note, however, that this is unlikely to come about by developments in battery technology.
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<<Batteries store energy. I don't know what the limit is in some given volume. But I doubt we can exponentially just cram more and more electrons into a given space in the same way that in computers we cut the required number of electrons in half a couple of dozen times.>>



I'm sure everyone has seen pictures of the fires that can be caused by the short circuiting of a conventional lithium battery. Now consider what would happen with a battery storing 1,000 times that amount of energy.


The practical limits on battery technology may have different limits that you think.

But perhaps they could be used as a replacement for conventional chemical warheads.


Seattle Pioneer
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I'm sure everyone has seen pictures of the fires that can be caused by the short circuiting of a conventional lithium battery.

Which is why research is going into batteries beyond lithium. This is a great documentary on where things are going. I saw it on Netflix but I think its not there anymore. Would be worth trying to find it to view:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_for_the_Super_Battery

As an example, they show someone actually cutting into a battery. Nailing a battery. Nothing bad happening. And with energy densities above lithium ion.

There is a lot of research going into the next battery because the potential pay-off is huge.
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This is a great documentary on where things are going.

https://www.pbs.org/video/metrofocus-nova-search-super-batte...

The Captain
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This is a great documentary on where things are going.

In 2017, there was a blurb on the plastic electrolyte that makes lithium batteries non-flammable, as shown on the Nova program you mention, as described at the following link:

https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/the-plastic-battery-t...

Two years is a pretty long time for a new revolutionary technology to remain off the market. Why is there still no announcement of a switch from the flammable to non-flammable batteries?

I'm guessing it has to do with patent problems and/or intellectual property licensing disputes.
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Qaz,

Why would batteries follow Moore's law?

Equating batteries to transistors seems a stretch.

Manufacturing scale up to lower costs seems a very different process.

Any explanation welcomed.
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Which is why research is going into batteries beyond lithium.

Doesn't matter. If you pack a lot of energy into a small space, you have to carefully and rigidly limit how fast the energy can come out of that space under all plausible conditions - otherwise you have at least a fire hazard and possibly an explosive.

Exactly how you manage to pack so much energy into such a small space, doesn't affect that basic truth. (It may affect how hard it is to enforce the needed limit.)
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A suitcase room-temperature-fusion reactor might do the job of giving a car 10,000-mile range.


But now you are basing your energy density on the atomic level strong force and not electromagnetic forces (in physics there are 4 forces: gravity, electromagnetic, weak and strong forces -- and that is about all I know about it)

The table in this link says that the strong force (released in nuclear reactions is about 6 x 10^5 stronger than the electromagnetic forces. So one might estimate that compared to a nuclear reactor the best a battery can be is, roughly, a 0.6 million times less energy dense...assuming you could even engineer such a small fusion reactor and control and capture the energy released.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_interaction

Mike
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Two years is a pretty long time for a new revolutionary technology to remain off the market.


From lab to prototype to production is more like 5-10 years.

Mike
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Why would batteries follow Moore's law?

Equating batteries to transistors seems a stretch.

Manufacturing scale up to lower costs seems a very different process.

Any explanation welcomed.


Batteries are not following Moore’s law. Moore’s law stated a doubling every year. The capacity actually doubled about every 18 months until about 2000. It slowed further after that.

Lithium Ion Battery capacity has been doubling about every 42 months. This is just what the people that are involved have noted. There is no deductive reason to believe that it will not slow down or accelerate. However, at some point the physics will take over. One simply cannot store more energy in a chemistry than in the neutrons.

When this will happen is not known.

As we are dealing with man’s ingenuity, his hopes and dreams, we can only use intuition.

It has been so in the past, and until we see a change, it will continue into the future.


I used Moore’s law because it had a good run in excess of 20 years. Not because batteries will proceed down the same path.

I will note that this does not happen by magic, it takes effort, which takes knowledge and tools and money and time.

As more knowledge and tools and money pours into the research, we may see the time remain stable for doubling or it may accelerate. The safe bet is that neither happen, it slows.

But, to dismiss the possibilities is to miss the opportunities.

Cheers
Qazulight
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Mike:"From lab to prototype to production is more like 5-10 years."

And at least 90% of the ideas and 'new things' die long before production due to inability to mass produce whatever it was.


t.
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Batteries store energy. I don't know what the limit is in some given volume. But I doubt we can exponentially just cram more and more electrons into a given space in the same way that in computers we cut the required number of electrons in half a couple of dozen times.

This doesn't mean batteries won't get better. It is just that applying Moore's Law to it is a bit nonsensical.


Mike,

I do not know what the maximum amount of energy a battery can store either. I suspect that the absolute energy density will be less than hydrocarbons. The usable could be much higher though. Notice the weasel words. Could.

The battery development has proceeded along a slow Moore’s law for years. The batteries have roughly dropped in cost by half and doubled energy density about every 42 months since they came to the general public’s attention about 10 years ago. (The relationship between the two is causal not just a correlation.

What it will do in the future? I do not know. All I can do is point out that I was taught one thing about the limits of technology in the 1980’s and those limits are as laughable as people saying you could not break the sound barrier.

On the other hand, we still don’t have flying cars.

Cheers
Qazulight
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Two years is a pretty long time for a new revolutionary technology to remain off the market. Why is there still no announcement of a switch from the flammable to non-flammable batteries?

I'm guessing it has to do with patent problems and/or intellectual property licensing disputes.


It has been my experience that technology takes about 5 years from the lab to the market. Also, the attrition rate from lab to market is very high. In fact the large majority of discoveries never produce the results that looked promising.

I have noticed a pattern.

1st There is a discovery.

2nd Then it gets written up

3rd Depending on whether it gores an ox, or shores up somebodies pet dead horse, it will be talked about.

4th It disappears

5th It reappears in a dramatically different fashion.

One of three things happens here.
It is forgotten
It is revived by a scam artist
Or:


6th It gets heralded as the second coming of Christ and you need to buy stock in this company or a cabin in the woods and a gun, depending on who is talking.

7th It gets quiet again.

Here one of three things happen.

The company quietly goes bankrupt (This is the most common)

The company gets bought and the tech becomes some minor addition to something else and you don’t even know you have the tech in your possession.

(This is the second most likely thing)

or:

8th. Somebody uses the tech to make a huge difference in the world as we know it.

This seldom happens. Additionally, I do not recall a time when it happened the way the pundits thought it would happen.

Think Fullerenes. Cool stuff named after cool guy.

We thought Fullerenes would make really cool structures happen, some even dreamed of a space elevator.

What are Fullerenes actually doing? Stabilizing silicon inside lithium ion batteries so that it can be used to increase energy density and longevity of batteries.

Cheers
Qazulight
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On the other hand, we still don’t have flying cars.

Time to join the Air Force.

The Air Force Will Start Work on Flying Cars This Fall
www.govexec.com/defense/2019/09/air-force-will-start-work-fl...
If you thought that flying cars were just for Marty McFly or maybe Rick Deckard, the U.S. Air Force has some good news for you. This fall, service officials will kick off Agility Prime, an effort to harness the commercial world’s work on flying cars and, eventually, replace the V-22 Osprey.

Roper said he asked a team at the Air Force Research Lab “to come back with an acquisition strategy that has a variety of different options to pursue — a competition, a challenge, I think, is a very compelling option. We've been socializing the idea over at the White House and inside the Department."

DB2
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I don't know why people are fixated on current battery technology limitations, besides the fact that there's surely huge advancements to come in electrode and electrolyte materials (the NOVA episode already referenced is a great watch and shows just how much advancement there is to go with even current tech), there are ways to store energy other than electrochemical form. If I had a crystal ball I would guess that future "batteries" will very different than what we have today, and folks will view lithium ion batteries like we view floppy discs now.
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Doesn't matter. If you pack a lot of energy into a small space, you have to carefully and rigidly limit how fast the energy can come out of that space under all plausible conditions - otherwise you have at least a fire hazard and possibly an explosive.

So, premium or regular?

;-)

Desert (still waiting for my flying car) Dave
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The battery development has proceeded along a slow Moore’s law for years.


Moore's Law isn't so much about the absolute value of the rate of doubling. It is more about the fact that there is a physics-based path to achieve a repeated amount of doublings over a long time.

For example.
You could look at the hardness of glass and (maybe) see that it has doubled over some number of years through good engineering work. But (my guess) you are never going to keep doubling it until it is harder than diamonds. It is just wishful thinking that constant improvements will keep coming, even with hard work, unless there is some physics-based reason that allows you to get there. And get there safely with energy storage batteries.

Mike
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For example.
You could look at the hardness of glass and (maybe) see that it has doubled over some number of years through good engineering work. But (my guess) you are never going to keep doubling it until it is harder than diamonds. It is just wishful thinking that constant improvements will keep coming, even with hard work, unless there is some physics-based reason that allows you to get there. And get there safely with energy storage batteries.


Mike,

I agree. I don’t know when the pattern will break. It might be now, it might be in 2040.

My experience is that human ingenuity coupled with effort is a very strong force. Just simple math says that there will be more intelligent design next than last year.

So I only have inductive reasoning to go by. We ran a solid 20 to 40 years with Moore’s law in the simi-conductor industry.
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Moore's Law is about transistors on microchips, NOT people, jobs, or everything else under the sun.

Y'all need to come up with another name for exponential growth.

Moore's Law refers to Moore's perception that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. Moore's Law states that we can expect the speed and capability of our computers to increase every couple of years, and we will pay less for them. Another tenet of Moore's Law asserts that this growth is exponential.
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mooreslaw.asp
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