Has Tesla considered using the Nanoball technology to create car batteries that would take 5 minutes to re-charge instead of 8 hours?
Works for teeny little batteries; would require nearly a MW of power to recharge an MS that fast, and a cable you couldn't lift.
Ahem.. Hrk.. Hrk...
Is this thing on?
Ah, that's better. Anyway, it charges in 5 minutes. Time to market? Six years and counting...
Hello? Are you there nanoball battery?
That was my first reaction, too, but as I thought about it I realized that there is an engineering solution (don't know how cost-effective, though).
*) Assumption: the car has battery technology that can take such a high charge rate. If that is not true then the whole discussion is pointless. We are not there today, but everyone would like to get there.
*) Heavy cable -- no problem as long as the connection is not made by a human. A connection that is either wireless or mechanical/robotic would do it. Think of it as analogous to the Air Force refueling fighters or bombers in flight.
*) Huge power surge (megawatt order of magnitude) -- not a problem is there is adequate local stationary power storage to buffer it. The power source (local renewable or grid) sees a fairly level power demand to keep the local storage charged, while the local storage handles the power spikes to rapidly charge the cars as needed.
Since these nanoball batteries have a much higher energy density, you could make them in a smaller size for the same energy density as bigger batteries currently being used. This would also mean that they would NOT need higher power chargers, or thicker cables than the ones currently used. The main challenge however would be how to reduce the discharge time as these batteries charge and discharge at a much faster rate due to the bigger surface area of the electrodes.
Reducing charging time is not as important as increase driving range of electric vehicles. These nanoball batteries could be the answer, although silicon and graphene are already improving lithium batteries in other configurations as far as I know.
You can't speed up charging (or discharging) without heavier cables unless you also manage to invent room temperature superconductive cables with so low cost that it is reasonable to use them. Battery tech is irrelevant to that.
MountainVoyageur answer is pretty much what I have thought. Robot charger snake plugs the cable in.
Not for Model S because it can't accept much higher charging speed than what SC gives out, but definitely possible for future.
Prediction: 6 years from now, nobody will remember anything about "nanoball batteries".
What? You don't remember what magic batteries were being pimped 6 years ago? Well, there you have it.
Of all the magic batteries you've read about since 1991, when lithium-ion batteries were introduced, not a single one has made into into the general market. Not one. And there have been LOTS AND LOTS of announcements of new miracle batteries: smaller! Lighter! Higher energy density! Faster charging! More charge/discharge cycles!
Again: not one.
So, I tend to be...skeptical. Can I buy one at Fry's? No? Well, call me when I can.
Well, some of those did get into li-ion batteries. That is why they keep getting better and better. Some of those were structural changes, some chemistry-based innovations. Like the silicon anodes. The most cutting edge Panasonic batteries have that, but it took several years before they get into batteries from the labs.
You can't speed up charging (or discharging) without heavier cables ...
Is the required cable cross section proportional to current or to power? I thought it was proportional to current, which would mean you could push more power through the same cable by using higher voltage. I think any safety aspect of higher voltage would be manageable, especially if the connection is made robotically.
There is a practical limit to how high you should run the voltage, but consider doubling both the voltage and cable cross section. That should be doable with a robotic connection. That should provide 4X the power, meaning charging the current number of miles in 1/4 the time, or charging a 1,000 mile battery in today's times.
i am for robotic charging
Yeah... I may be in the minority, but I think today's charging time is pretty good. Maybe like a 10-20% faster charge would be perfect, but it's actually fine as is. More density or just longer range is a better place to continue to focus attention since most charging is done overnight (so at 58 RM/hour you could theoretically get 580 miles of range in the typical time that you park your car overnight). As you know, having nearly 300 miles of range really works in almost every situation. If you had about 750 miles of range, I can't even imagine any nay-sayers complaining about range or recharge time. That would mean that you could probably charge for an hour or so at a supercharger and get over 300 miles of range (based on speeds of today's supercharger speeds relative to percentage of the battery) if you just HAD to drive over 1000 miles in a day. Then, most likely, you'd park at your hotel with multiple destination chargers and not worry about how long it takes because you'd be exhausted after 15-20 hours of traveling. Also, despite an uptick in electric car adoption by the public, unreasonably long range keeps superchargers virtually empty most of the time. So yeah, I couldn't care much less about recharge time. I'm much more concerned with battery density and Electric efficiency.