Author Topic: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year  (Read 5499 times)

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Offline DougSpindler

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Anyone know much about this MIT professor’s liquid metal battery design? 

https://youtu.be/pDxegcZqx_8
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 01:50:25 am by DougSpindler »
 
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Offline nsrmagazin

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 07:13:15 am »
This is a chemical question, not much about electronics in it. The only liquid metal I know is mercury. Theoretically everything is possible, the question how big the efficiency will be. A lot of professors tend to stand in front of the public and lie.....
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Online sleemanj

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 09:12:02 am »
The only liquid metal I know is mercury.

Any metal is liquid at the right temperature. 
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Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 10:54:35 am »
Interesting technology, I hope it works out for them.
Great presentation style, clearly a very smart chap.
 

Offline nsrmagazin

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 11:01:00 am »
The definition of liquid metal is "mercury". The rest have a standard solid state and do not classify as liquid metals.
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 11:38:26 am »
The definition of liquid metal is "mercury". The rest have a standard solid state and do not classify as liquid metals.

Err, the definition of liquid metal is any metal above its melting point.


I think I remember thermally insulated Liquid Sodium batteries being touted for use in 'future' electric vehicles at one time. That must have been back in the '70s or '80s.

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Offline chris_leyson

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 02:31:11 pm »
Gallium has a melting point of 29.76C, it's used in some medical thermometers because it is non toxic. Ceasium melting point 29.5C, Rubidium melting point 39.3C etc
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 02:58:45 pm »
Gallium is used in some thermometers for a calibration point. On melting the temperature will take a short break at 29.76 C and this is used to check the usually NTC  or platinum thermometer.

If the temperature is not too high it is not a problem keeping a large battery hot. It adds to the costs of operation, but this gets less with large scale.

AFAIK the liquid sodium-sulfur batteries are still candidates and used for grid storage. However they were never really practical in a car.

It looks interesting and promising. Still the 80 Ah cells look like a little too small. With large scale the temperature control would likely need moving parts, like fans or pumps to move heat out and get the control - but this is not too bad: large transformers on the grid use active cooling too.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 03:10:21 pm »
As I wrote in the other thread there are a few things in the video that don't really add up (and I don't like the unnecessary bashing of alternatives). Grid storage systems using these kind of batteries are already available. Their cost however seem to be on par with Li-ion. What the professor in the video fails to say is that these kind of batteries need massive amounts of cheap materials which makes them expensive again. The grid storage solutions using NAS batteries weigh tens of (metric) tonnes. I've seen numbers quoted up to 82 tonnes. All in all the argument of using cheap materials results in a cheap battery just isn't true. Also the total costs need to be considered and compared to hydrogen or bio-fuel batteries still seem to be expensive to use for grid energy storage. The costs are not just in purchasing the batteries but also in replacing the batteries when they are worn.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 04:04:04 pm »
I doubt a (liquid) sodium air battery has low energy density. Wouldn't want one in a car though for obvious reasons.

Sodium, zinc and aluminium are probably the only materials useful for grid scale energy storage in the hour range to prevent fossil fuel fallback during night time with huge scale PV (though still no use for a Dunkelflaute). If a liquid electrode helps, then sodium has the advantage for the low melting temperature.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 04:07:57 pm by Marco »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 04:22:48 pm »
I'm honestly more interesting in solid state batteries. Hopefully we're finally done with disastrous leaks.
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2019, 04:23:51 pm »
Did any of you watch the video?  This is about batteries which could be used for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other energy stoarage applications.  The folks at MIT have been working on this for yearrs and should have something in 2020. 

You folks are are all interested in renewable, aren’t you?
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 04:30:24 pm »
Did any of you watch the video?  This is about batteries which could be used for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other energy stoarage applications.  The folks at MIT have been working on this for yearrs and should have something in 2020. 

You folks are are all interested in renewable, aren’t you?
Solid state batteries are also being sampled right now. :)
 

Offline helius

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - Look promising
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2019, 05:11:53 pm »
That's a really good presentation, thanks for sharing.

Grid storage systems using these kind of batteries are already available.

You are confusing the devices shown in the video with NaS batteries, which were invented 50 years ago.
 
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Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 01:58:49 am »
You folks might want to watch the video before posting comments.  They are on target to have something next year.  If what the professor is saying in the video is correct this is going to provide the energy storage renewables are looking for.  And the best thing, is the cost.  Very affordable.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2019, 11:47:57 am »
Who else feels like saying loudly,,
When i can go on your webstore and order 10 liquid metal batteries then we will talk, not before.
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Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2019, 12:18:54 pm »
Who else feels like saying loudly,,
When i can go on your webstore and order 10 liquid metal batteries then we will talk, not before.

Friend isn’t that what this website and form is all about?  Discussing electronics, the design of electronic circuits, and future products?  Only point in discussing a finished is product is doing a tear down.  But let’s see if the professor gets a product before ripping it apart.  He is a chemist, and if you learned anything about chemistry and half-cell potentials in freshman chemistry you would quickly realize this guy is on to something that’s far more realistic than free energy.

 
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2019, 12:26:37 pm »
I have seen a number of his videos before, I feel that heat loss and heat induced corrosion is a big problem

I did some back of envelop calculations, to keep the molten battery active @600C. assume 8 boxes of 1m cube with 12inch glasswool equiv insulation. his molten salt battery MAY leak heat at a rate of 4kW (2 foot insulation maybe 2kW? not 100% sure, but something close I think). A lithium 1MWh size maybe with 5% leak per 30 days works out to 0.07kWh loss. If I rely on web numbers again, SLA deep cylers if assumed to have 15% self discharge, this only works out to 0.21kWh loss rate. not sure power consumption of battery management, but I do not think they are in kW rates. I have many unknowns and used many assumptions here, and one more to add is the self leakage of the molten salt at 600C operating temp, that loss adds to the heat loss.
edit : his recent video suggests a 1/3 std cargo container sized battery
edit : I wondered, is his concept of battery self discharge so high that it self heats the battery at kW heat rates? a very high current short? otherwise, how will the battery self maintain the heat?

I apologize if these numbers seem too inaccurate, but since we all know the types of insulation material are finite, and it is impossible to stem heat loss, the heat loss ballpark numbers of a few kW may not be too far fetched.

edit : after watching the recent video, it struck me that Sadoway never fails to hurl spit crap and shit at the idea of lithium batteries (and other chemistries as well, like solid polymers), he has no good words for it in nearly every lecture or presentation (except his own molten salts).
in his recent video, he want to take all the money put into gigafactory (producing lithiums) and he will make 2 huge iron foundries. I fail to understand his logic here.

Good reply, you bring up some interesting points which is the purpose of the post.  I think he mentioned they would have something in 2020 which is next year.That;s less than one year but not more than two years from now.  It would be interesting to see if Gates and others will give him money if he needs it.

 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2019, 12:28:07 pm »
I have seen a number of his videos before, I feel that heat loss and heat induced corrosion is a big problem

I did some back of envelop calculations, to keep the molten battery active @600C. assume 8 boxes of 1m cube with 12inch glasswool equiv insulation. his molten salt battery MAY leak heat at a rate of 4kW (2 foot insulation maybe 2kW? not 100% sure, but something close I think). A lithium 1MWh size maybe with 5% leak per 30 days works out to 0.07kWh loss. If I rely on web numbers again, SLA deep cylers if assumed to have 15% self discharge, this only works out to 0.21kWh loss rate. not sure power consumption of battery management, but I do not think they are in kW rates. I have many unknowns and used many assumptions here, and one more to add is the self leakage of the molten salt at 600C operating temp, that loss adds to the heat loss.
edit : his recent video suggests a 1/3 std cargo container sized battery
edit : I wondered, is his concept of battery self discharge so high that it self heats the battery at kW heat rates? a very high current short? otherwise, how will the battery self maintain the heat?

I apologize if these numbers seem too inaccurate, but since we all know the types of insulation material are finite, and it is impossible to stem heat loss, the heat loss ballpark numbers of a few kW may not be too far fetched.

edit : after watching the recent video, it struck me that Sadoway never fails to hurl spit crap and shit at the idea of lithium batteries (and other chemistries as well, like solid polymers), he has no good words for it in nearly every lecture or presentation (except his own molten salts).
in his recent video, he want to take all the money put into gigafactory (producing lithiums) and he will make 2 huge iron foundries. I fail to understand his logic here.
I agree with your last paragraph. This is what I noticed as well.

In addition to your static state analysis of heat loss, there will also be additional heat generated when the batteries are charged and discharged. This will need to be taken away so there has to be a thermal management system. Operation at 600 deg. C rules out many materials. A cell which works doesn't mean the technology is ready to make battery packs with them.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 12:29:41 pm by nctnico »
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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2019, 01:03:41 pm »
edit : I wondered, is his concept of battery self discharge so high that it self heats the battery at kW heat rates? a very high current short? otherwise, how will the battery self maintain the heat?

At 25% 75% round trip efficiencies you've got lots of spare heat energy, 333W per kW is a lot of heat and once it's up to the proper operating T you only need to keep it there (to compensate insulation losses). I would not be surprised if in reality at the end it needed some sort of refrigeration.


Edit: 75% not 25%
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 07:28:42 pm by GeorgeOfTheJungle »
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Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2019, 06:33:15 pm »
Good reply, you bring up some interesting points which is the purpose of the post.  I think he mentioned they would have something in 2020 which is next year.That;s less than one year but not more than two years from now.  It would be interesting to see if Gates and others will give him money if he needs it.

gates is already a backer iirc, sadoways molten salt business is called "ambri". sadoway is the key patent owner iirc, I think it is the key reason why he keep on talking bad about other batteries. but now if you are an investor and you tell them the batteries run at 410C - 800C, I think they will just turn away and not even hear the full specs. I think in desperation, sadoway develop a 410C molten salt iteration that uses lithium and lead. hmmmmm lithium?  :-DD no how can it be ? lithium bad ! sodium good !  :-DD but really I dont know, I think he is desperate, cos just simply lithium titanates can do 20k to 30k cycles, trashy china lithium titanates could make his molten salt batt look bad.

Mr chu from dept of energy is very interested, because, in missile systems that sit long and dormant, molten salt when cold do not degrade (or so it seems? maybe slower corrosion?). this is also the reason why, ARPA-E granted US$7m to sadoway in 2009 for research? maybe? not sure too, but it seems to connect logically. but in order to grow in business, ah damn, elon musk power wall is in the way ! damn you power wall ! :-DD

At 25% round trip efficiencies you've got lots of spare heat energy, 333W per kW is a lot of heat and once it's up to the proper operating T you only need to keep it there (to compensate insulation losses). I would not be surprised if in reality at the end it needed some sort of refrigeration.

the 2018 pdf paper about the 410C lithium lead molten salt says the round trip is around 71%

Can we set politics, military, and Sadoway/MIT profits aside for the Monet and focus on the science and specificly the chemistry.  In the beginning of the video he discusses the abundance’s of the elements and the half cell potentials of the different metals.  I think he does an excellent job of explaining the chemistry and limitations.  Do you see any issues with his chemistry and half cell potentials?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 06:59:01 pm by DougSpindler »
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2019, 07:44:44 pm »
At 25% round trip efficiencies you've got lots of spare heat energy, 333W per kW is a lot of heat and once it's up to the proper operating T you only need to keep it there (to compensate insulation losses). I would not be surprised if in reality at the end it needed some sort of refrigeration.

the 2018 pdf paper about the 410C lithium lead molten salt says the round trip is around 71%. but again, the entire paper did not say if the heating energy is included or was not :/. a 2015 diagram shows a representative box, insulation and external heaters. in all of the papers I have seen, none of them, said the battery will power the heater. they always say, the battery is heated in stages, then finally operated at temperature x. not a word on cooling too or as much as I could recall. what is most interesting is, there is 2 or 3, 200- 300 page pdf about the economics of operating it (and why it is cheaper than other cells)

He (sort of) explains it in the video IIRC, 3 kWh is a lot of heat, for every 10 kWh.
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Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2019, 08:01:23 pm »
At 25% round trip efficiencies you've got lots of spare heat energy, 333W per kW is a lot of heat and once it's up to the proper operating T you only need to keep it there (to compensate insulation losses). I would not be surprised if in reality at the end it needed some sort of refrigeration.

the 2018 pdf paper about the 410C lithium lead molten salt says the round trip is around 71%. but again, the entire paper did not say if the heating energy is included or was not :/. a 2015 diagram shows a representative box, insulation and external heaters. in all of the papers I have seen, none of them, said the battery will power the heater. they always say, the battery is heated in stages, then finally operated at temperature x. not a word on cooling too or as much as I could recall. what is most interesting is, there is 2 or 3, 200- 300 page pdf about the economics of operating it (and why it is cheaper than other cells)

He (sort of) explains it in the video IIRC, 3 kWh is a lot of heat, for every 10 kWh.

I would have to agree.  What makes sense is the way he’s looking at it.  Abudnecy of elements, half cell potentials and the electrolyte.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2019, 08:06:55 pm »
Heat is generated on charge and discharge.  Self discharge isn't very important as the cycle time only needs to be one day, not weeks or months.

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Offline f4eru

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Re: Liquid metal batteries - They look very promising and due out next year
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2019, 10:36:00 pm »
My comments on the video :
a lot of exageration. But it's still a valid potential tech for the future grid storage. Not sure if it would be economically useful, tho.
Don't forget there's a lot of thermal management involved.

@4:33 : "CdTe solar cells won't scale" Exagerated. You need approx. 50x more Si. than Te to make the same amount of solar output in a PV cell. So the cost of a trace material like Te is not that critical. As with Lithium mining, supply slowly scales with demand.

@5:55 "platinum is OK for the jewlery market, but not for widespread use in automobiles" : LOL. That's completely wrong. Nearly half of the Pt mined today is eaten up by the automobile industry, to make catalythic converters !  His point on cost of FCEV still is valid, but exagerated.

@26:12 : less cells wiring complexity : yeah, Lithium exists in bigger cell sizes, achieving the same.

@2:58 : the graph is probably not up to date on Liion storage.
he claims about "5k kWh" -> 5MWh, which is obviously far too low!
That's obviously wrong by a few orders of magnitudes, as the tesla grid storage in Australia has 130MWh installed, and there are others, growing very fast.

The total number seems to be in the 2-3 GWh installed now, according to : https://www.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/storage-forecast-2016yir.png
which seems plausible, considering that the largest 10 grid storage batteries in operation total 1.146 GWh aggording to : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_storage_power_station#Largest_grid_batteries

Pumped hydro is ~130 GWh, which should be much closer to the "100M" mark on his graph.

So storage batteries for grid buffering, mostly Lithium based, are already at about 2% of pumped hydro, and growing fast. In a few years this will become significant.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 11:15:00 pm by f4eru »
 
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