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Ceramatec's Disc Shaped Batteries Could Power Your Home

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sodium-sulfur-batteries-utah_NFX9P_69It is true that we have the world’s largest rooftop solar array, being an important step for our future, but the problem is all that energy is no good until we possess the world’s largest battery bank as well. Every day researchers and scientists all over the world are trying to discover new renewable sources, the amount of energy generated from these being on rise, but the conventional battery technology isn’t keeping up with them.

The Researchers at Utah-based Ceramatec have developed a new disc-shaped battery that can store up to 20KWh of electricity, enough to power an average home for most of the day.

This new battery technology runs on a sodium-sulfur composition that works at temperatures greater than 600F. Ralph Brodd, an independent energy conversion consultant, said: “Sodium-sulfur is more energetic than lead-acid, so if you can somehow get it to a lower temperature, it would be valuable for residential use”

Ceramatec’s new battery uses a thin ceramic membrane that is sandwiched between the sulfur layer and the sodium layer, enabling the battery to run at less than 200 F. Only positive sodium ions can pass through, leaving electrons to create a useful electricity.The company claims that the new batteries will be available on the market by 2011, and will sell for about $2000.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “The company claims that the new batteries will be available on the market by 2011”
    2011? It’s now 2015 and I don’t see any such battery.

  2. From a recent write up.
    “Inside Ceramatec’s wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions — electrically charged particles — back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.”

    It seems they have solved the issue of high temps maintaining the liquid form of sodium. Now if they can provide this battery in 144v packs or strings of 12v I’m in!

  3. My experience and feeling is: If you can make the price less than $2k you will grow more quickly. Please evaluate your initial market to be more than commercial. I understand the concept of recouping your R&D costs but $2000 is more than those that need this product can bare; but like all new tech I realize my 1st digital watch cost me $500.00 and now I can get them for a quarter from gum machine – why does all the good stuff come after or at the end of a lifetime :). Having said that – I think that we the potential user, and the outsiders, drooling, and looking in, need to realize the safety precautions that this type of chemical battery entails and the costs that will undoubtedly be associated with them. I am especially excited given the advancements in the semiconductor, and transparent conductor properties that are coming forth with graphene. If the production for graphene substrates and doping methods continue to advance there will be solar cells that will approach 75% plus efficiency (currently the best is around 45 – 49%) and the costs will be a fraction to produce with out the needs of precious metals.

    All the best “Ceramic Tech” Please don’t be a hoax.

  4. This would be great if it works. However, I am wondering about the operating temperature of this battery. In order for a sodium/sulfur battery to work, you need liquid sodium which has a melting point just about that of boiling water. Better than the 600+F of the old sodium batteries, though. Still there would have to be some energy input to keep this battery at this temperature all the time. If it cooled down the sodium would solidify and the battery would not work. Another issue: Ever see liquid sodium spill out onto the ground? It is really, really bad stuff. First it turns from shiny to gray and then gets real hot from reacting with any moisture in the air and then combines with water to produce hydrogen gas which, with the right conditions, actually catches fire all by itself from the tremendous heat generated. The by-products of the mess is then sodium hydroxide which is also very caustic. This battery is not something I would want inside my house, but may be acceptable outside. However, if you had to keep this outside you would waste a lot of heat keeping the battery at 200+F temperature which would not have a secondary benefit of heating your house. All in all, if this battery does put out 20KWH for $2000 and can last for 10 yrs+ then even given these bad aspects it would still be great for many uses. I hope it works and if it is available in 2011 I would probably get one for my solar array.

  5. Unless this is hoax…. This is the invention that will change \’EVERYTHING\’… and I mean EVERYTHING. From transportation to military aplications. The need for high power – rechargable batteries has been the Holy Grail.

  6. The cost should NOT be more than $200 a piece.You should operate on volume since you are the pioneers to avoid any one else to step in.You will be able to capture the ENTIRE GLOBLE MARKET at a turnover rate of approximately $ 120,000,000,000 per annum if not 10 times more !!!!!!! and that\’s just to start with !!!!!!!
    If it is possible to connect in series,it will be just SUPERB !!!! At a cost of ( if )$200 a piece , then it\’s life of 10 years would be good enough.
    I am willing to take up the Distribution rights for INDIA.
    Please keep me informed.

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