Batteries and New Battery Technologies

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by brian eiland, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I was recently researching for information on a rumored hot new battery product, and in doing so I looked thru the offerings on several of the boat related forums. I was somewhat disappointed in the scope of the information I found on these boating forums, and the fact that much of the information was so scattered thruout the forums. This has prompted me to start this new subject thread devoted to the subject of the BATTERY, both existing ones and new technologies, as we require in the marine industry.

    I must admit there was another impetus for my starting this new thread, a really excellent article in the recent Feb/March '08 issue of Professional Boatbuilder by Nigel Calder. The article is entitled "Breakthrough" and should be available at the ProBoat website by clicking 'view digital issues', then Feb/Mar, and use the navagation arrows at the top of the page to go to the table of contents find 'Breakthrough', then click it.

    You won't regret it

    He is always so comprehensive in his contributions to electrical subjects, as you might already be aware of from his series of articles on a related subject matter, Diesel-Electric Propulsion.

    I might suggest that as we add a specific new battery discussion to this thread, either thru cross-references to other discussions already posted on this forum, or from outside sources, that you 'title' the posting with the battery type discussed, ie, Li-Ion, lead acid, etc…..(just a suggestion).
     
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  2. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Thank you brian, a most interesting read... I hope it leads to the significant improvements as outlined by Nigel Calder in that article... a shorter route - go here :- http://www.proboat-digital.com/proboat/20080203/ then click on "contents" in the bar at the top & then "Breakthrough" in the index for the first page.... All good news to look forward to... Praise and points be yours.
     
  3. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Li-Ion Electrode Problems & Materials

    ...from another forum


    Be careful, not all Li-Ion batteries are the same.

    ...from Altairnano website
    New anode material
    The principal advance that Altairnano has made is in the optimization of nano-structured lithium titanate spinel oxide (LTO) electrode materials that replace the graphite electrode materials found in negative electrodes of current Li-Ion batteries. So far these have been combined with positive electrodes from common lithium ion batteries.


    Faster recharging and discharging
    An electrode made with nanomaterials does not react with the electrolytes used in most lithium ion systems. No reaction means that no Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) barrier is formed around the electrode, making it easier for lithium ions to reach the surface of the electrode. And, with a nano-structured component, there’s more surface area available to the ions—up to 100 times more surface area than with conventional, graphite electrodes.

    The nanomaterials facilitate access to the active sites required for battery operation. What’s more, the small size of the materials dramatically reduces the distance from the surface to the sites—all of which helps accelerate recharging and discharging.


    Longer battery life
    The mechanical stress and strain caused by ions entering and exiting electrodes reduces the life of a battery. We offer zero-strain materials that change little with ion movement, enhancing battery calendar and cycle life.


    Operation in extreme temperature conditions
    If a battery has a SEI barrier, it can’t be charged at temperatures below 32° Fahrenheit. The pores in the barrier close, eliminating access to the active sites. An electrode with our nanomaterials will not form a SEI barrier, allowing it to safely operate down to -30°C. Even at this low temperature nearly 90% of room temperature charge retention is realized from Altairnano’s nano lithium titanium oxide cells at 2C rates. Traditional Li-Ion technology possesses virtually no charging capabilities at this low temperature.

    High operating temperature tests on Altairnano based cells have been conducted at 65°C where we have demonstrated 9C 90% charge retention.


    Ultra-safe characteristics
    Altairnano has performed “hot box” exercises on our batteries at temperatures up to 240°C — which is more than 100°C above the temperature at which graphite-based batteries can explode — with zero explosions or safety concerns. In addition, we’ve performed high-rate overcharge, puncture, crush, drop and other comparative tests alongside a wide range of graphite-based battery cells with, again, no malfunctions, explosions or safety concerns exhibited by the nano-structured Altairnano nLTO cells. In comparison, the graphite cells, put to the same tests, routinely smoked, caught fire and exploded
     
  4. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Brian,

    Here are the batteries that Nigel Calder is thinking to use.

    http://www.hawker-odyssey.co.uk/batt-index.html

    Here are the Lithium Phosphate batteries that Gideon Goudsmit at http://www.africancats.com/ has suggested I should use for a battery powered Thames cruiser.

    http://www.valence.com/products/epoch_overview.html

    Thames cruiser discussion at Bateau.com

    http://forums.bateau2.com/viewtopic.php?t=14669&highlight=pericles

    For a Diesel Electric vessel, use Thoosa 17000 motors bolted directly to saildrives fitted with Autoprops.

    http://www.asmomarine.com/2005/asmo_uk/pdfs/Asmo_Marine_THOOSA_17000.pdf

    http://www.sillette.co.uk/elect_saildrives.pdf

    http://www.autoprop.com/autoprop/international/video.html

    Hope these help.

    Perry
     
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  5. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Thanks Pericles, a nice discussion on your thread there - bookmarked for future reference - I seem to be "swimming" in a similar direction re power - but in the tropics ONLY - can't tolerate cold... :D
     
  6. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    Very informative posts. Is there a way we can consolidate the threads on Electric power, batteries, motors, solar etc? Into an Electric Propulsion System Forum? I see I'm not the only one interested, but ignorant.
     
  7. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Automobile vs Marine Developments (Intertwined)

    Just thought it would be worthwhile to acknowledge that it will be new developments in the automobile field that will be most important for the marine users to keep track of. Hybrid cars make tremendous demands on batteries, and the automotive sector is so much bigger market and potentially profitable.

    And now that rising fuel costs are driving hybrid auto development, new battery development should grow exponentially as well....exciting times.
     
  8. masalai
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    masalai masalai

  9. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Diesel-Electric Subjects

    It would probably be a little difficult to combine all of these subjects under one thread, and that is one reason I chose to put up just a thread on the battery portion. There are several other good threads on the diesel-electric and electric subjects.

    Here are a few:
    http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9310

    http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=676

    http://boatdesign.net/forums/showpost.php?p=65416&postcount=10
     
  10. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Thanks Brian, cross linked at both my #1 posts... I hope this generates some new information...
     
  11. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

  12. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Pericles, not another site to register to get in - I am overloaded now... Copy and past into "Grumpy..." or, if you like, in one I set up (I cannot speak for the other threads)......
     
  13. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Masalai,

    Have copied just a few of the relevant posts.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:13 pm

    As a result of research about diesel electric propulsion for a cruising catamaran I am planning to build, I collected considerable information. A marine environment is tough, so it's possible that some marine equipment could be used to fabricate a powerful diesel electric locomotive within the loading gauge of the two railways. The OSSA 200 Kw generators are very compact.

    Here are some sites worth bring to the attention of the engineers.

    http://www.ossapowerlite.com/products/motors/motors.htm

    http://www.ossapowerlite.com/products/generators/generators.htm

    http://www.asmomarine.com/2005/asmo_uk/04.shtml#Q01_12

    http://www.solomontechnologies.com/

    http://www.fischerpanda.co.uk/electric_propulsion.html

    Perry
    -------------------------------
    Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:05 pm

    Hello Tony,

    It depends on what you mean by expensive and heavy. The 1200 Ah batteries specified for my 60' catamaran are for traction and full house services. These batteries and the twin electric propulsion motors weigh less and cost less than two 60 HP propulsion diesels, one diesel 6 Kw generator, diesel fuel tanks and the relevant number of house batteries, which presently go into a conventional system for equipping a cruising catamaran. Diesels are also difficult and expensive to service in boats. Ask any marine engineer. The installation cost for my system is considerably lower, as well as much easier. Even the cooker is electric.

    The two ASMO 17 Kw electric motors I shall use for propulsion whilst manoeuvring each weigh only 40 Kgs and when sailing at 6 knots+ they will rapidly recharge the batteries. She will cruise at 20 knots under sail.

    http://www.asmomarine.com/2005/asmo_uk/pdfs/Asmo_Marine_THOOSA_17000.pdf

    Thus I can dispense with any dangers and costs for cooking with LPG and all costs associated with diesel propulsion. The sum of the whole is greater than the parts. Granted my solution is only applicable because of the recent developments in the equipment and the catamaran. Prior to 2003, cruising catamarans weren't swift enough. See Gunboat 62.

    http://uncutvideo.aol.com/videos/cabce7fe77982ed5cbb7fcdf0dd91825

    Either a DE loco or a battery loco. The only real difference being the batteries or the diesel generator. The downhill stretches can be used regeneratively with the battery locomotive. There is a good case for it.

    My catamaran represents a logical development in view of rising fuel costs and even with the cost of replacement batteries in 10 years time, the convenience of an all electric vessel plus the smaller running cost per nautical mile fully justify my choices. Alternative traction on the two railways might just benefit from a less traditional approach.

    Regards,

    Perry
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:17 pm

    Dear Tony,

    It's either diesel electric or battery, but not both. The batteries needed for a 1000 HP narrow gauge locomotive are far fewer than for a standard gauge locomotive. Then again, would the two railways require such power, as 25 mph is the line speed? A Bo-Bo battery powered locomotive would have high tractive effort and if it were necessary to haul the batteries in a separate wagon, then the possibility exists to have extra capacity on charge for more intensive services.

    These are just ideas triggered by designing my catamaran to be independent of diesel fuel. For me, it's the logical step. A 17 Kw Thoosa electric motor has the torque to replace a 60 HP marine diesel. Two will power a 13 tonne catamaran to 10 knots!

    PS

    Have just received an update from a boat builder who is developing a DE sailing catamaran. http://www.africancats.com/

    Regards,

    Perry
    -----------------------------------------------------
    From peterk. Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:54 am

    Perry wrote:

    "Tony,

    It's either diesel electric or battery, but not both. The batteries needed for a 1000 HP narrow gauge locomotive are far fewer than for a standard gauge locomotive. Then again, would the two railways require such power, as 25 mph is the line speed?


    The figure of 1000hp came from some speculative conjecture on here (see earlier in this thread) related to pulling a 12 coach train plus failed NGG16 up a 1:40 hill at 25mph. Something of an unrealistic corner case really, but fun to conjure with in an idle moment. In the real world, the power requirement could be lowered by accepting a slower speed in that "rescue" scenario. Trains probably wont load to 12 coaches either.

    Whilst not being privy to any of the real management's thinking I seem to recall a hint (was it from Mike Hart??) that something in the 600hp region would do the job.

    Perry wrote:

    A Bo-Bo battery powered locomotive would have high tractive effort

    Yes any loco can be arranged to have a high tractive effort - but it is power that governs its ability to exert that tractive effort at a useful speed. Taking the energy density figure for the Lithium batteries from the link posted above ie 90W-h per kg a 750kWh battery pack would weigh in at 8.3 tonnes - handy to have on board the loco for adhesion purposes I would think. Of course such a loco would only have sufficient endurance to exert its maximum (power) effort of 750kw = 1000hp continuously for an hour or so, but since the WHR is more or less a hill you go up one side and down the other, this is probably another too-extreme corner case. I guess the loco would only need to give flat-out maximum power for at most half the time, and for large parts of the downhill bits it can be recovering energy through regenerative braking. Thus a 2 hr trip end to end of the line including getting out of the way afterwards to plug itself in, with some 600-1000hp performances going up the Pass seems within the realms of possibility from a single charge.

    Perry wrote:

    A 17 Kw Thoosa electric motor has the torque to replace a 60 HP marine diesel. Two will power a 13 tonne catamaran to 10 knots!

    hmm... choice of winding design can mean the stall and low speed torque of an electric motor is greater than the diesel, but sorry, torque at a given rpm = power, and 17kw is less than half of 60hp (= 44 kw in new money) so it all depends on the rev range you want to use. There will be a speed above which that 60hp diesel can spin harder and faster than the electric motor. At lower speeds the diesel's power simply isnt being used fully. - Of course also in a boat it depends on the propellor's ability to use the power at the rpm concerned, choice of motor speed/torque curve and propellor go hand in hand, and whats right for the diesel wouldnt be right for the electric motor and vice versa, but I digress...

    I guess the point is that batteries have come a long way since the 50's and 60's technology studies mentioned above, but they still have a way to go, otherwise the US army would not be earmarking $15M for a one-off shunter, they'd be slinging them together from well tried components for a tenth of the price - rather like the diesel loco builders could do for us if we had the $1.5M, which we dont!.

    Ho hum. fun to ponder on all the same.

    PeterK
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:47 am

    Hello Peterk,

    "There will be a speed above which that 60hp diesel can spin harder and faster than the electric motor. At lower speeds the diesel's power simply is'nt being used fully. - Of course also in a boat it depends on the propeller's ability to use the power at the rpm concerned, choice of motor speed/torque curve and propeller go hand in hand, and whats right for the diesel wouldn't be right for the electric motor and vice versa, but I digress... "

    Absolutely correct. The electric motor will turn a larger propeller with a coarser pitch at lower revs without slippage and this delivers higher efficiency. Some marine diesels rev to 4400 and so need a 2-1 gearbox with the propeller sized to suit. Towards the 10 knot top speed the smaller propeller begins to loose "grip" on the water. There are a number of companies working on DE boats as the disconnection offered by the DE principle frees up more internal space for use as accommodation.

    I am convinced a battery locomotive could be built at Boston Lodge from scratch, frames, bogies, the lot, for much less than £1.5 million. How about the Swiss Crocodile outline, without working pantographs?

    http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/ch/SBB_CFF_FFS/electric/historic/crocodile/14270.jpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ce6-8.jpeg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ge_6-6_I_407_Krokodil.jpeg

    http://86242.fotopic.net/p31914663.html

    http://86242.fotopic.net/p31997064.html

    Then there is this.

    http://www.spikesys.com/GG1/

    http://www.spikesys.com/GG1/paint.html

    This would be weird.

    http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/leader/leader.htm

    Regards,

    Perry
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:17 am


    "Then there's the drive format - C-C has all three axles in the bogie driven as a single unit from a single point (simple, single Cardan shaft from the traction drive to the bogie and simple gearboxes on each wheelset) against Co-Co where each axle is driven independently of the others (lots of small drive systems, but superb control during start and slippery conditions)."

    Bob has summarised very well, which is why I think the Crocodile system using connecting rods and a single Cardan shaft is a good solution, familiar to steam railway engineers, especially at Boston Lodge.

    http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/ch/SBB_CFF_FFS/electric/historic/crocodile/14270.jpg

    Returning to the subject of battery power for a moment, here is a link to a very useful article by Nigel Calder who is a bit of a buff when it comes to latest technology. Go to page 104 at

    http://www.proboat-digital.com/proboat/20080203/

    Some who post here may have heard of Odyssey batteries, but I hadn't, so the information has enabled me to improve the design of my catamaran. However, that's another forum.

    C'mon chaps, a Crocodile (battery powered) chasing a Garratt up and down Snowdonia (Kilimanjaro). That's really African!:D

    Regards,

    Perry
    _________________

    Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:15 pm

    An Internet search revealed these two sites.

    http://www.active-robots.com/products/power-supplies/odyssey-batteries/battery-guide.pdf

    http://www.active-batteries.co.uk/enersys-odyssey-batteries-c-104.html

    With a recharge rate 15 times faster than AGM batteries, a battery powered Crocodile could be recharged for a return run in less than an hour. The capital cost for the batteries is comparable with a diesel powered generator, without the complexity and a battery powered locomotive would cost less to run than a diesel electric.

    DC motors:

    http://www.menzel-elektromotoren.com/en/gleichstrommotoren_lagernd.php

    http://www.railway-technical.com/tract-01.shtml

    http://www.beta-power.co.uk/Motors.html

    OK, I can understand there will be some reservations about having a battery powered locomotive that could drag the entire rolling stock of both railways combined as one train, up and over the route, but what a hoot! :D :D

    Perry
    _________________

    From Tony Smedley
    Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:50 pm

    Perry,

    Although having a gut feeling that it doesn't sound right, I am intrigued by your ideas for a bettery loco. Not having the inclination to do the necessary homework myself, can I ask whether you can suggest figures for battery capacity requiired, its weight and space requirements, its cost including suitable charger and the voltage suggested.
    In theory. a DC constant voltage power supply requires relatively simple motor controls, but they would need to be efficient, without energy wasting resistors,

    Tony
    --------------------------------------------------------
    --------------------------------------------------------

    These extracts are part of further discussions, as wide ranging about railway propulsion as you will find opinions about propelling boats. I wonder if I can persuade the Directors to undertake a trial with sails along the flat section from Porthmadog to the foot of Nantmor Incline?:D :D :D :D :D

    Regards,

    Perry
     
  14. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Wow Perry, massive amount of stuff... Thanks...
     

  15. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Railroad Batteries vs Marine Batteries

    Automotive/Marine marriages verses Railroad/Marine marriages.

    I do think there is one big destinction in batteries that might find a use on railroad engines and those on boats....WEIGHT. There is far less concern with the factor of weight of the batteries in railroad applications vs auto or marine applications. In fact often you look for weight in the power source onboard the railroad loco as it requires heavy tractive effort to pull the long train of cars.

    Certainly we wish to have the lightest weight units on our multihull vessels.

    But thanks Perciles, those are a lot of interesting links you provided. And it is interesting the amount of research you have done on the diesel-electric propulsion subject....may have to consult with you on some of these subjects :idea:
     
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