Contest for lighter weight batteries

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Contest for lighter weight batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jul 17, 2007 12:25 pm

Million-dollar prize offered for soldier 'power pack'

It would be great for cavers if we had lighter weight batteries! :kewl:
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Postby Scott McCrea » Jul 17, 2007 1:04 pm

One million dollars? meh. Seems like someone could make a lot more if they developed such technology and got a ridiculously lucrative gov't contract.
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Postby David_Campen » Jul 17, 2007 4:29 pm

Story Highlights
Military: $1 million prize for a wearable electric power system for U.S. troops

Power system must weigh 8.8 pounds (4 kilograms) or less

It has to produce 20 watts average power for 4 days

So, the requirement is that the battery pack be able to delivery a little less than 2000 watt-hours.

An Energizer Lithium AA cell can supply in excess of 4 watt-hours and weighs 15 grams. So 500 Lithium AA cells would meet the power capacity requirement and weigh about 7.5 kg. I would imaging that the Lithium AA cell chemistry could be repackaged to met the 4 kg weight limit.
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Postby Dwight Livingston » Jul 17, 2007 8:39 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:One million dollars? meh. Seems like someone could make a lot more if they developed such technology and got a ridiculously lucrative gov't contract.

I agree. I think prize money may work to draw out new solutions in a field where not much money is being spent on research. In a field like batteries, though, where millions are spent every year on R&D, a million dollar prize will not do squat.

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Postby potholer » Jul 19, 2007 5:53 am

Well, for cavers, presumably it's lighting that's the main power drain.

Currently, LEDs are filtering through to products that are roughly 2x as efficient as the older Luxeon LEDs were (vaguely 33% efficient at turning electricity to white light compared to 10-16%), and there are things close to available that are approaching 50% efficient.

Even if things level off a bit in terms of further future improvements, the great recent improvements in efficiency, added to the possibility of running LED lights at lower power when maximum power isn't needed probably dwarf any likely changes in battery technology.
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