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 Post subject: Grid level storage - liquid metal battery
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:26 am 
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Quote:
Donald Sadoway is working on a battery miracle -- an inexpensive, incredibly efficient, three-layered battery using “liquid metal."

TED talk ....

His company - Liquid Metals Battery Corporation (LMBC)

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 Post subject: Re: Grid level storage - liquid metal battery
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:04 pm 
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NetNanny here at the office will not let me see the video.

But it is not a good sign that the comments promptly go into railing against The Establishment and wondering why Tesla's ideas have never been implemented.

Liquid metal: Either the battery is kept very hot, which does not seem like a recipe for efficiency or safety, or it uses low-melting metals. That means mercury, cesium, or sodium-potassium alloy. Mercury is scary toxic and cesium is obscenely expensive and mildly toxic, and cesium or sodium-potassium are both huge fire hazards.

Or maybe he's dissolving the sodium in ammonium. Not that this solves the fire hazard problem.

I guess I'll have to see the video when I get home, unless y'all tell me that I've already hit the reasons why I'm wasting my time.


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 Post subject: Re: Grid level storage - liquid metal battery
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:28 pm 
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Here's a trifle more information and the metals are sodium, magnesium and antimony.

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22116/


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 Post subject: Re: Grid level storage - liquid metal battery
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Ah, that video I can play.

Okay, this is actually pretty interesting, maybe even exciting. Clever idea. Antimony has low toxicity for a heavy metal and magnesium isn't toxic at all. Magnesium is as abundant as seawater. One little problem is that antimony is not terribly abundant and China has most of the reserves, but then it's a recyclable commodity so large amounts aren't needed.

Still wonder about the temperature. Magnesium melts at 650C and almost any ionic compound is going to melt at an even higher temperature, so you'll need heating. Once the battery is going, resistive losses may be enough to keep it hot, but there's no getting around heating coils for startup.


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 Post subject: Re: Grid level storage - liquid metal battery
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:28 pm 
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He's starting with Mg / Sb, but not limiting.

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lane h. can be reached at laneman@verizon.net
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 Post subject: Re: Grid level storage - liquid metal battery
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:56 am 
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The first seven minutes of the video reminded me of a Ronco commercial for steak knives. No substance, stating the obvious, priming the audience. Pure salesmanship.

At ~7:50 he very briefly describes the battery concept on a chalkboard. Substantive but just barely. No new information really. He's explaining how his--and all--batteries work. This goes on for 3 minutes. Then back to the salesmanship for the rest of the video. They have a 1kwh prototype. The rest is vapor.

There's not enough information in the video to make an informed opinion. Given the amount of salesmanship in the video, I don't have high hopes for this yielding a viable cost effective storage solution.


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