Friday, March 13, 2009

Full speed ahead, Cap'n: Charging Li batteries in seconds!

I was reading the Technology blog of the Houston Post. It pointed to an Ars Technica article that just about made my hair stand on end. The new processes it discusses are all physical chemistry success stories that (without the limiting that any practical implementation of the battery would entail) could result in an electric vehicle battery hooked into the power grid in a home charging fully in FIVE MINUTES. Convenient, you say? Well, the problem is that would suck 180 kilowatts from the grid for that time. The typical peak for a residential dwelling is on the order of 20-25 kilowatts, so you can see this would cause wiring, power grid and power utility problems. The practical aspects would have the charge take quite a bit longer, but the article mentions the limit just to astound the reader, I believe.

A recommended read.

Any comments?


  1. Read about it on a couple of other web sites. Just think of a million or more electric cars sucking about 180 KW each all at once from the present (antiquated) grid. Staggering thought. Even more so, imagine trying to charge it from a home solar array. Good luck. It is, however, IMHO, a step in the right direction.

  2. Yep, well, imagine everyone driving in the driveway from work and plugging in at 5:45 pm. Ugh. A whole time zone's gridlock. Couple that with air conditioning peak in the summer and brownouts will follow. There has to be some time randomizing to allow things to settle. But, the folks who arrive home with their electric car batteries on .001 full won't be able to go out to dinner if they don't get an instant zap to at least partially fill the battery "tank". Problems, problems.