Ultrafast Battery Recharging Breakthrough

The Ars Technica article lithium breakthrough could charge batteries in 10 seconds reports on a Nature article describing a very fast way to charge or discharge batteries. The upshot is that an electric-car battery could be charged in five minutes (“which would make electric vehicles incredibly practical”) but would pull 180,000 Watts (“which is most certainly not practical.”). I would think you could use a two-stage process (whereby the filling station’s bank of batteries would “trickle” charge from the grid and then discharge them rapidly), but I would also think that would generate huge amounts of heat unless you had a handy room-temperature-superconducting charging cord.

3 thoughts on “Ultrafast Battery Recharging Breakthrough

  1. Pulling 180kW is not only possible, but entirely practical:

    The Magna-Power electronics MT series ranges from 100kW up to 900kW.

    http://www.magna-power.com/mtoverview.html

    Yes, you need a 3-phase 480V line coming in that can handle that sort of power, but converting it to DC on the fly is very possible.

  2. Yeah, I too don’t get what the big deal is with 180 kW. The combined power rating of all ACs in our residence is 17 kW. An electrical furnace for a 2,000 sqft place in a cold climate consumes 26.5 kW. The combined power rating of a small factory is orders of magnitude more. 180 kW? At dedicated charging stations, easy peasy. Sure seems like it would beat having to install enormous underground gasoline tanks. And if the electric company were willing to do that, it sure seems like it would be possible to bring that sort of power to a home.

  3. Capacitors, flywheels, heat storage all come to mind as reasonable solutions. The heat problem is getting that much power through the wire and into the battery.

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