Batteries & Future

I have a small but very valuable tip for you if you are an entrepreneur or an angel investor. Invest your money and you time into a new type of battery if you want to become succesful and if the environment is important to you.

The current Lithium-ion batteries are almost “ancient” technology because of the safety problems they have and the limitations they face. They were proposed by a chemist while working for Exxon in the 1970s.

Problems?

  • Requires protection circuit to maintain voltage and current within safe limits.
  • Subject to aging, even if not in use – storage in a cool place at 40% charge reduces the aging effect.
  • Transportation restrictions – shipment of larger quantities may be subject to regulatory control. This restriction does not apply to personal carry-on batteries.
  • Expensive to manufacture – about 40 percent higher in cost than nickel-cadmium.
  • Not fully mature – metals and chemicals are changing on a continuing basis.

Big petrol companies have been researching and developing new batteries for over three decades now but they don’t reveal much information. They know that petrol is going to end some day and they want to be prepared.

A big obstacle are the materials which are going to be used into the batteries. They have to be common enough and available all over the world and not only in one country like many times happens with rare minerals like cobalt, which are used in modern electronics, if we want the prices to be affordable by everybody.

The second big problem are the interests by companies and organizations. You see we don’t live in a utopian place where information and ideas are shared freely by everyone but unfortunately there are patents and other restrictions and governmental laws which don’t allow researchers to do their job and if the do it the product never commercialize for some apparent reasons.

Sometimes, I compare the fundings researchers reserve to find a cure for the HIV virus with the fundings researchers reserve for the development of a revolutionary battery technology. In both cases are not enough and in both cases are very important for the future of the individual or of the society.

Conclusion

We need a safe and a dense enough battery if we want to move forward and away from fossil fuel. These batteries are the keys which will allow us to live in a sustainable future powered only by green energy.

 

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