Author Topic: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!  (Read 7895 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« on: August 27, 2020, 04:44:59 am »
Dave debunks the marketing claims of self-charging Nano Diamond Batteries in the first 10 minutes using their own material. The rest of the video is cream on top.
NDB Inc supposedly have a nuclear nano diamond self-charging battery that will revolutionise the energy industry and power electric vehicle and mobile phones.
TLDR; it's no better than existing 100uW commercial betavoltaic batteries, but has an added graphene supercapacitor in the AA package.The rest is marketing BS.

 
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Offline helius

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2020, 05:48:05 am »
Previously: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/renewable-energy/diamonds-powered-nuclear-batteries/

How could you honestly market a betavoltaic energy device? "Nanoamps until long after civilization collapses"? Sounds catchy.
 

Online Bud

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2020, 05:57:06 am »
When i hear "Our product will revolutionise the industry!" , i turn and run as fast as i can.
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Offline quarros

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2020, 03:24:08 pm »
I got this sent to me yesterday by a friend. My reaction was:

"Be careful of the bullshit rays. Unlike Gamma rays this type of radiation cannot be blocked by lead. It seeps around the corners and penetrates everything. Extended exposure can lead to serious bodily harm."

However later I took the time to look around to see if this was actually a thing, other than marketing BS and this is what i found:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925963517307495
(To those who do not have access to it use sci-hub.tw)

If you forget the marketing it is actually an interesting read.
 

Offline winnerwinnerchickendinner

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2020, 10:34:21 pm »
The youtube video of the founder explaining the tech is strange on the verge of looking non-human:

For a proper trip down the rabbit hole of BS, I recommend taking a look at some of the other "companies" stemming from the founders of this company.
 Most notably, check out the LinkedIn profiles of

All of them tie into Orb Group (https://orb.group/), an incubator with fat claims about the facilities they offer (https://orb.group/laboratories-cleanroom/), but with absolutely nothing to show for. They claim to have amazing facilities in the making though (https://orb.group/plot-building/), but all of the images from their portfolio seem to be stolen from a concept design by HOK done in 2012 (https://archinect.com/news/article/62390166/hok-team-selected-to-design-new-global-hub-for-biomedical-research-in-italy). Incidentally, there seem to be a serious company called Orb Group with a very similar logo...(http://orbgroup.co.uk)

Here is a list of sites tied to Orb group I managed to cobble together, all using the same web template as Nano Diamond and all with contact address in the 24th floor of The Shard, London (although The Shard does not list them under their company list here https://www.the-shard.com/office-occupiers/):


Given all this, I believe we are treating the claims of NDB way too serious (check especially out the claims of the ORB Electric Vehicle: https://orb.group/orbev-electric-vehicle/. A charge time of 4 minutes sounds nice!). For some reason, TechCrunch picked up on their press release, giving this much more attention than it should. I fully believe all that is in that press release is complete BS, and that all of the heavy-lifting names being dropped (Michael Pepper, Darrell Mann, Mihaela Ulieru, John Shawe-Taylor) have been dragged into this without their knowledge or consent (the pictures on NDBs company page look a lot like cropped versions of the LinkedIn pictures). Also, none of these heavy-lifters acknowledge any connection to NDB on their LinkedIn profiles at least.

There is probably a lot more. I claim mega-BS on this one! TechCrunch should never have posted anything on this company in the first place.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 04:40:51 pm by winnerwinnerchickendinner »
 
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Online BrianHG

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2020, 10:58:40 pm »
If they were a penny each, and I could get them in better packaging, then maybe yes, buying 2500 units for 250mW continuous may have use if I can stick that into the area 1/4 the size of a shoe box, something like an old lantern battery.

Anything more than a penny means I'm better off with using a bunch of D cells and live with replacing them every few years or so.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 11:17:55 pm by BrianHG »
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Offline edy

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2020, 11:22:05 pm »
There are some potential uses for this technology but yeah, the marketing wanker bull$#!t is great with this one!  :palm:

Applications:

1. remote controls (TV, radio, garage door opener, etc):

  - intermittent use, it would have enough time to "charge" the supercap in-between
  - fairly low power consumption during utilization
  - right now can retrofit existing remotes with their AA or AAA batteries
  - unlikely to be able to fit into coin-cell format (which many remotes also use)
  - maybe in the future will integrate into remote control PCB's
  - however, do you really care if your remote battery lasts for 300 years?


2. low-energy bluetooth type devices (keyboards, mouse, sensors, etc)

  - the key is the energy charging vs. discharging (through use) curve
  - battery can come fully charged, and yes it will slowly discharge with use...
      but will the "trickle" charge produced by the piss-ant 100 uW power source
     be enough to keep up with the typical usage of the device?

3. smart watches, calculators, memory
 
  - today's smart-watches (except for ultra-high efficiency) need a fair bit of energy
  - most fitness watches with heart rate monitors and any sort of connectivity to
    your phone use a lot of power
  - a simple digital watch or even mechanical without many features may work
     (my Casio sports watch features a 10-year lithium battery, will an NDB fit inside?)
  - perhaps a supercap to charge in the background to power the light button when
    you want to illuminate the watch
  - calculators that can operate on uW source can operate on a solar cell, so
    unless you want to work in the dark (in which case you still need a light source)
    is there any advantage to an NDB or why not just use a solar panel on the calculator?
  - memory rention/refresh/backup power source, not so much an issue today with Flash

4. biomedical devices

  - advantage to not having to replace batteries or require surgical replacement
  - potentially back a device with enough NDB's and supercaps to match the energy
    usage of device/monitor/log so that it can stay in longer than the human lifespan
  - of course, with medical technology advancing it may not be practical using an old device

5. emergency LED lighting/flashlights/radios

  - say a 3.6 V LED with current of 20 milliamperes will use 72 milliwatts of power
  - you would need 720 of the 100 uW NDB's just to keep 1 LED on indefinitely
  - a simple handcrank could be used intermittently to charge up a supercap
     and light up an LED/radio emergency flashlight for minutes
  - ...again... no practical purpose for an NDB chip
 
I still can't think of a practical use for these things. They need to pack 100x more radioactive stuff into those chips and bring us up to maybe 10,000 uW (or 10 mW output) to get somewhere more practical.  I read on a forum that a small solar-cell from a solar-cell-powered calculator will show 2 volts at less than 5 milliamps, or 2V * .005A = 0.01 watts (10 milliW)... or 10,000 uW, which is 100x more than this 100 uW than the NDB chip. So if they can increase the power output by 100x to what they have now, *MAYBE* it will have some practical use in a solar-cell-powered calculator and some other devices.

Total marketing bull$#!t, right on. When will they even learn?  :palm:

Hey what ever happened to the Thorium-powered car?  :-DD
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 11:27:54 pm by edy »
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Offline isometrik

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 12:07:17 am »
Can you imagine using these Nano Diamond Batteries with a Batteriser.  :horse:
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 01:37:00 am »
All of them tie into Orb Group (https://orb.group/), an incubator with fat claims about the facilities they offer (https://orb.group/laboratories-cleanroom/), but with absolutely nothing to show for. They claim to have amazing facilities in the making though (https://orb.group/plot-building/), but all of the images from their portfolio seem to be stolen from a concept design by HOK done in 2012 (https://archinect.com/news/article/62390166/hok-team-selected-to-design-new-global-hub-for-biomedical-research-in-italy). Incidentally, there seem to be a serious company called Orb Group with a very similar logo...(http://orbgroup.co.uk)

They have the same "facilities page on the NDB website.
Great find  :-+
 

Offline winnerwinnerchickendinner

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2020, 02:28:25 am »
Hah, I missed that part of the NDB page  ;D

I might add that their celebratory picture (https://ndb.technology/ndb-as-the-winner-of-orano-call-has-started-collaboration-with-worlds-largest-nuclear-power-and-renewable-energy-company/) is also stolen, this time from the "hello tomorrow" conference (https://magazine.impactscool.com/en/speciali/hello-tomorrow-ecco-svelato-il-potere-della-deep-tech/). Also, that conference seems to have inspired a lot of their artwork  https://hello-tomorrow.org/ (color-profile and logo is quite similar, although 180 degree rotated).

All in all, this is a big nothing-burger in my opinion. TechCrunch has some explaining to do.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 02:30:05 am by winnerwinnerchickendinner »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2020, 03:57:29 am »
Hah, I missed that part of the NDB page  ;D

I might add that their celebratory picture (https://ndb.technology/ndb-as-the-winner-of-orano-call-has-started-collaboration-with-worlds-largest-nuclear-power-and-renewable-energy-company/) is also stolen, this time from the "hello tomorrow" conference (https://magazine.impactscool.com/en/speciali/hello-tomorrow-ecco-svelato-il-potere-della-deep-tech/).

I also noted that at the time, but I figured they were in the picture somewhere as they did appear to win something at this event.
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2020, 04:33:03 am »
if you are gonna pay to put that in a remote control (complex non reliable circuit with a non reliable super capacitor) over buying the cheapest of AA batteries you can safely throw away into trash, I feel bad for you.

I promise you won't go bankrupt buying a few packages of batteries once a decade (the people considering this use the remote control battery till they are 3 inches away from the TV, then they don't watch TV for 6 months because they need to buy batteries, but mean while pay for the hook up). What would it be like 50$ for a AA?

I like batteries, you put them in when you need them and its done.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 04:34:47 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2020, 05:46:36 am »
if you are gonna pay to put that in a remote control (complex non reliable circuit with a non reliable super capacitor) over buying the cheapest of AA batteries you can safely throw away into trash, I feel bad for you. I promise you won't go bankrupt buying a few packages of batteries once a decade (the people considering this use the remote control battery till they are 3 inches away from the TV, then they don't watch TV for 6 months because they need to buy batteries, but mean while pay for the hook up). What would it be like 50$ for a AA?
I like batteries, you put them in when you need them and its done.

Heaps of people in the comments mentioning remote controls. Why? Replacing a couple of batteries every couple of years is nothing. If you want longer life then just buy lithium ones and they'll last forever.
 
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Offline winnerwinnerchickendinner

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2020, 08:22:31 am »
They claim to have won a competition from Orano regarding new uses of isotopes (which is where the video above came from), but I cannot find any source or official statement from Orano confirming that.

That image is taken from what to me seems to be a completely unrelated conference (Hello Tomorrow). I can not find the company mentioned anywhere on that site.
 

Offline quarros

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2020, 12:23:10 pm »
Hey what ever happened to the Thorium-powered car?  :-DD

Car? Forget Cars. There is not a single working thorium based reactor anywhere on the face of the earth.
 

Offline KT88

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2020, 12:34:19 pm »
I doubt that they would ever get a RoHS certifiation for that utterly stupid thing...
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2020, 12:59:01 pm »
Hey what ever happened to the Thorium-powered car?  :-DD

Car? Forget Cars. There is not a single working thorium based reactor anywhere on the face of the earth.

There's not a currently working thorium reactor, but there has been, THTR-300 in Germany. Now shut down awaiting decommissioning. It was actually on the grid for a while, producing 308 MW (not sure if that's MWe or MWt).
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline quarros

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2020, 01:20:07 pm »
Hey what ever happened to the Thorium-powered car?  :-DD

Car? Forget Cars. There is not a single working thorium based reactor anywhere on the face of the earth.

There's not a currently working thorium reactor, but there has been, THTR-300 in Germany. Now shut down awaiting decommissioning. It was actually on the grid for a while, producing 308 MW (not sure if that's MWe or MWt).
That was at most a hybrid reactor. It used Uranium 235 with some thorium mixed in.
 

Offline Pancreat

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2020, 03:56:15 pm »
Here's a link to what appears to be the most "informative" I could dig up: https://ndb.technology/pitch/NDB_Investor_Pack.pdf . The technical summary starts on page 18.
The entire /pitch/ directory (https://ndb.technology/pitch/) appears to be the materials they use to promote themselves to investors.
 
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Offline winnerwinnerchickendinner

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2020, 04:30:44 pm »
Here's a link to what appears to be the most "informative" I could dig up: https://ndb.technology/pitch/NDB_Investor_Pack.pdf . The technical summary starts on page 18.
The entire /pitch/ directory (https://ndb.technology/pitch/) appears to be the materials they use to promote themselves to investors.
That is just pure gold. Adding fuel to the fire, I would like to add in that it seems like anybody can be "based" out of a "a prestigious business address" on 4900 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, California for just 46 yankee bucks a month (https://www.regus.de/en-de/virtual-office/virtual-office-checkout-page?preselectedCentreName=California%2C%20Pleasanton%20-%20Hopyard#profAddress).
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2020, 09:16:15 pm »
Heaps of people in the comments mentioning remote controls. Why? Replacing a couple of batteries every couple of years is nothing. If you want longer life then just buy lithium ones and they'll last forever.

Lithium AAA is 1250mAh, basically the same as an alkaline AAA. So lifespan will be similar if you are using it regularly.

https://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l92.pdf
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/39630.pdf

This does have a viable use in TV remotes, etc. as eby has listed, IF they could get the cost down to a reasonable level, say <$20. Which is highly unlikely.

edit: 1200mAh * 1.2V = 1.4Whr = 164uW. So they'd need to up the specs if your battery dies in only a year of use.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 09:20:04 pm by thm_w »
 

Online Bud

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2020, 09:31:54 pm »
A typical application that outlast TV remote control may be car key fob. I had mine for 15 years.

Edit: it did not need a nuclear power source though  :D
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2020, 12:03:14 am »
Heaps of people in the comments mentioning remote controls. Why? Replacing a couple of batteries every couple of years is nothing. If you want longer life then just buy lithium ones and they'll last forever.
Lithium AAA is 1250mAh, basically the same as an alkaline AAA. So lifespan will be similar if you are using it regularly.

But the characteristic curves are very different!
And that can lead to a massive increase in product battery life if using a Lithium. Depends on the cutout voltage of your product. The Lithium can maintain 1.4V for almost the entire life of the battery, which is vastly better than Alkaline. Some products can get 3-4 times the life span.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 12:05:25 am by EEVblog »
 
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Online coppercone2

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2020, 01:18:23 am »
but it also leads to nasty surprises with simple equipment that normally warns you it is running out of juice. This parameter is only relevant to important things like flash lights. Actually not sure what else is important that runs on AA. and is also simple.

I feel like its important because a dead flash light can cause serious trouble. If you use the same one for a while you get a good feeling of how it behaves and what status it has left, if you don't replace the batteries at every instant.

And for things like motion sensor lights, so long they vary brightness proportionally to voltage, you get immediately know how long you can slack off before it becomes a problem. It can be very annoying if you come home to a suddenly dead light (i.e. key/stairwell illuminator).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 01:21:58 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline alpher

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Re: EEVblog #1333 - Nano Diamond Self-Charging Battery DEBUNKED!
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2020, 02:44:20 am »
I just don't get the somewhat vicious negativity towards this thing.
Dave bases his opinion on a single sample pics of a through hole chip that's been taken down anyway.
Taking that DIP14 (or whatever it supposed to be) as an example he concludes that the whole thing is at best a joke having only very nichest applications.
Well lets speculate a little Dave style, suppose that the're able to stuff lets say 100 of that DIP chip structures into a single modern package ? Suddenly a 10mW battery emerges, possible? Most likely.
Secondly suppose that they can somehow scale they energy output by an order of magnitude or 2 ? Why not ?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 02:53:32 am by alpher »
 


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