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nomadpete

Household energy storage?

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The development of an Australian designed, cheap, non toxic, bulk storage battery storage (not funded by Aussie dollars) has now reached production.

 

Can we hope to see the average punters buying these, and rearranging their rooftop solar to store the power needed to watch the footy after dark?

 

http://www.gelion.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Gelion-brochure-Usyd-launch-FINAL.pdf

 

So far, they are trialling these batteries in the university campus to provide street lighting. So it works!

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A new development, by Thomas Maschmeyer, from the University of Sydney, replaces the liquid with a gel. Zinc-bromine batteries use a liquid to transport the changed particles, which makes them unsuitable for mobile use. Gel is neither a liquid nor a solid, but has the advantages of both. Ions can move quicker, decreasing charging time. It is also more efficient, longer lasting, and cheaper than lithium, and the gel is fire retardant. As the batteries are also flexible, they can be incorporated into the fabric of buildings. This creates the possibilities for new housing developments to be completely powered by solar systems which are off the grid. The measured potential difference is around 1.67 V per cell, which is about the same as any other "dry cell" battery.

 

The zinc–bromine battery can be regarded as an electroplating machine. During charging zinc is electroplated onto conductive electrodes, while at the same time bromine is formed. On discharge the reverse process occurs, the metallic zinc plated on the negative electrodes dissolves in the electrolyte and is available to be plated again at the next charge cycle. It can be left fully discharged indefinitely without damage.

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It would be good to get a battery that lived up to its advertising hype. So far I have not found one, but the nearest is the old lead acid battery. Sadly it is not good enough. All the other batteries I have tried have promised a lot and fallen short, resulting in high cost for storage. It is going to take some time for any new technology to earn my trust.

At the moment I have standby lighting for my house running of a lead acid battery that was retired from my 4WD, and it is pretty sick. Will replace it when I need to replace the aircraft battery or next time for the 4WD.

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I much prefer lithium batteries. They are light. They hold their charge. But they are easy to bugger up, and the Li-Po's can catch fire.

My Jabiru has had a LiFe battery for a couple of years now and it cranks well and saves 5kg, which is a real nice weight saving from the front of the firewall. And half the price of the Odyssey it replaced.

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OME, it will be great if a cheap battery is developed. the zinc-bromine might just be the one. It is the cost per kWh of output that matters. For the LiFe battery, 13.2 volts and 8.4 amp-hours for $100 is 110W for 1 hour or 0.11kWh . This makes $909 per kWh stored. ( capital cost of the batteries )

Maybe if they lasted ten years, this is not so bad but I reckon its too high for me.

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" I much prefer lithium batteries. They are light."

Bludi heavey on my wallet. !

I need two for the old mobility scooter, I guess it.s going to be Absorbed Glass Matt, (cheapest) would prefer, flooded Lead-acid.

Am I on my own with AGM batteries "Drying out ", I cut one open & it was Bone dry,

At least the FLA batteries can recycle into fishing weights. LoL

spacesailor

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What a coincidence! Yesterday after saying how Li-Pos can catch fire, there I was flying my new foam model glider-plane when it went off the air and crashed into the top of a tree then caught fire and flaming bits fell out of the tree. I've kept this quiet cos its fire ban time around here. Not even the missus knows.

For sure it was the Li-Pos did that. I don't recommend them for anything carrying a passenger. And a good thing there was not much fuel in the paddock.

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Space, are you being careful with the maximum charge voltage? An old-type charger will dry batteries out because they don't stop charging when the battery is full, so they electrolyse the water and it disappears.

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Hi Bruce,

" sure it was the Li-Pos did that. I don't recommend them for anything carrying a passenger. And a good thing there was not much fuel in the paddock"

It was hit with a laser ray gun.& incinerated.

My AGM batteries usually have built in chargers, ( the ones you carry out to the car with the flat battery)

Even the one out of the "Pegasus" died (agm), & it was never charged other than when on the Rotax. One day great, next day (or week) dead as a Dodo.

My Grandson borrowed the fridge power-pack, and it was suss, so he put two new batteries in it, I never saw the old ones.

The Li FEPO4 batteries, are they able to be charged the vehicle charger, or will The Rotax motor have to be modified.

Haven't had one to play with.

spacesailor

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...For sure it was the Li-Pos did that. I don't recommend them for anything carrying a passenger. And a good thing there was not much fuel in the paddock.

Bruce could you clarify exactly what type of lithium battery was involved.

We're told that the LiFePO4 (also sometimes called Life or Lipo) can't catch fire.

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Space, no lithium battery can be charged with a vehicle charger. You need a special charger. And Lithium Ferrous ( LiFe) batteries need a different charger from Lithium Polymer ( LiPo). Get this wrong and you will ruin the battery.

Model planes usually use LiPo batteries. they have 3.7 volts per cell and they can catch fire, as mine did.

LiFe batteries are supposed to be made with no flammable ingredients, and they have 3.2 volts per cell.

If a LiFe battery were shorted out, I bet it would make lots of fumes ( as would a lead-acid) but not catch fire. However a LiPo will catch fire under some circumstances. My son hung a LiPo on a fence and shot one , with the result that it went off like a firework, spurting flames out of the bullet-hole.

LiPo batteries can also catch fire when on charge.

So the moral is, don't use LiPo batteries in your plane.

There are lots of Lithium Ion batteries around now. Power tools use them and yet it was these batteries which caused an incident on an airliner when they started smoking under the instrument panel.

But you don't hear of Bunnings shops burning down and they don't seem to take special precautions with them.

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I've still a trick or two for charging batteries,!.

I have an alternator that is 240 volt,!. That means I can use a "wall type" charger.

BUT (always a but).

The alternator still needs a 12v battery to excite it, or nothing happens.

SO 12v battery in charging circuit, gives 240 volt for wall charger, charges LiFePo4 battery.

It's a bit of a mismatch as the engine RPM determines the max volt output.

I bought it for the big boat I had & when I disposed of the boat, I kept the 240v alternator, now to find a use for it.

spacesailor

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You have …. Topic of conversation. I have a 32 volt engine-generator that could be suitable to anchor a house down in a hurricane. Nev

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AND Here's one no-one's said anything about,!.

Compressed air storage & air motor-generator.

The industrial air tanks come in large sizes to run the genny all night.

Would have to be acoustically insulated as the air tools we use are noisy.

Matter of fact the old Steam engines will run on compressed air.

Back to charging LiPo's, we only need a small 12 volt Inverter, to power the 240 volt LiPo charger, like the small coke can inverter.

spacesailor

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Not so sure of the efficiency of compressed air and you would need a walloping big one to do much. Not good if it failed. Easier to pump water uphill and let it run back down again to get your money back.. Nev

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I have a pneumatic drill and also use electric. To use the air drill the compressor seems to be going just about all the time and that compressor motor is way bigger than a 1/2" mains powered drill.

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Yes to the compressor running a long time.

BUT

If the electricity is Free. & the air-generator only runs 1/4 of the time.

Surly some smart kid will make a combine Pump:Motor, as well as the Generator:electric motor.

I wouldn't be surprised to find it's already been done before.

Like Mercedes in flywheel starter/generator, Mosler Two cylinder generator.

spacesailor

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Zinc Bromine has been around for 100 years. Until Prof Maschmeyer and his team at Sydney University developed a gel as the substrate, zinc bromine batteries only worked as a flow battery with liquid bromine and were large and not mobile. The gel allows them to become non flow and scalable depending upon the thickness of the gel. The theory is that they can be small enough to use in mobile phones and large enough to run buildings including being able to form part of the building structure. The good things are that the materials are cheap, they will not burn and there is very little degradation over time.

 

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And the great thing with zinc bromine is that you don’t get sunburn and you don’t look for sex.

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Lithium Ferrous from Hobbyking cost me $370 per kWh ( One hundred for an 8.4 amp-hour at 13.2 volts ).

If the zinc-bromine come out at 100 dollars per kWh and they are good for a thousand cycles then I may buy some.

The battery capital cost would be 10cents per kWh and the panels etc would add another 30 cents per kWh ( I guess ) making 40 cents which is what I pay now. But at present on the grid, I use now and pay later, which is better that paying up front.

Gosh the lead-acid manufacturers will go out of business. They want $150 to $200 for a 20 amp-hour 12 volt car battery. ( $625 to $833 per kWh ).

Feel free to disagree with my figures.

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You are all heart, Bruce . Bromine is one of the Haleides. Fluorine bromine iodine chlorine .ALL very chemically active and poisonous. Nev

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