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Are there any alternatives for batteries?

  1. Jan 2, 2016 #1
    Does anyone know if there are any substances that can be used/made into a substitute for a battery?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2016 #2

    DaveC426913

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    There are lots of ways to store energy. Loosely speaking, they can all be considered batteries, inasmuch as they store energy. An internal combustion engine stores potential energy in the form of chemistry, which can be liberated to produce useful mechanical or electrical energy.

    I think what you're asking is are there any alternatives to (dry cell batteries, wet cells or ... metal) for storing electricity.

    The problem you're going to run into is energy density. Our current batteries are so popular because they are at the pinnacle of energy density, especially considering their size. You may produce an alternate way of storing electricity, but if you find one that can store as much electricity as our current cells, you'll be a rich man.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2016 #3

    David Lewis

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    Large value capacitors are sometimes substituted for voltaic cells, e.g. where weight is critical.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2016 #4
    recent developments into supercapacitors have proven as much as 26kw per kg which is getting closer to where many would like them to be. I believe this example was nitrogen doped graphene. The benefits of capacitors are there rapid discharge and recharge rate, however their down fall is voltage regulation and discharge efficiency. In other words yes there are many substances that can replace a battery but none are as good. technically a lemon, onion, or potato could be used to replace a battery and aluminum foil and paper could be used to replace a capacitor, but now we are just getting into semantics.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2016 #5

    CWatters

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    Shadow-Shocker....What's the problem with using a battery?
     
  7. Jan 4, 2016 #6

    sophiecentaur

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    That's my gut reaction, too but the thing that makes me react against Capacitor storage is the drooping voltage and that could be a worry of the past with switch mode becoming cheap and powerful.
     
  8. Jan 4, 2016 #7

    CWatters

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    Ultra capacitors used to power buses (2009)...
     
  9. Jan 4, 2016 #8
    The problem with batteries is that they eventually die out due to conventional current. I want to find an alternative form of energy that lasts longer, since the project I am doing will always be turned on, and I am looking for a much higher dense form of energy that will last for years. The battery that will fit within my project, structure wise, is a 9V battery. I was looking at graphene/carbon nanotube substances, since they are capable of being put on a piece of paper and have a crap ton of conductivity. However, those substances cannot be used as a power supply only as a capacitor. The question is, are there any forms of highly condense energy that are tangible/mobile?
     
  10. Jan 4, 2016 #9

    sophiecentaur

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    Old fashioned fuels do a pretty good job and the engines are cheap. Still a good solution for some applications; you need to do the precise sums for a proper evaluation. If you want a result, it's not always best to get too fond of a particular solution.
     
  11. Jan 4, 2016 #10
    What about clean alternative solutions?
     
  12. Jan 4, 2016 #11

    sophiecentaur

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    That's a valid question but you could consider how much real impact a simple 'dirty' solution could be, compared with an expensive, hi tech solution that may have had all sorts of impact on the environment before you bought it. There's a lot of snake oil associated with some of the 'clean' uses of energy and it's important to do a lot of sums before concluding the absolute level of cleanliness of a solution.
     
  13. Jan 4, 2016 #12

    CWatters

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    Reduce the consumption of the device? Some smoke alarm batteries last 10 years due to their low power consumption.
     
  14. Jan 4, 2016 #13
    What about alternating current solutions, they reduce significant amounts of energy compared to direct current? How can we apply that for a battery?
     
  15. Jan 4, 2016 #14

    CWatters

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    As I recall the standard 9V consumer battery has a low energy density compared to other cells because it contains six 1.5V cells each with its own case. Better to design for a single Lithium cell?
     
  16. Jan 4, 2016 #15

    CWatters

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    Perhaps worth pointing out that it takes quite a lot of time and effort to get a factor of two improvement in battery energy density. If you want better than current Lithium cells you may have to wait 5-10 years for them to become commercially available.
     
  17. Jan 4, 2016 #16
    Or hell, we can start making better ones instead of waiting.
     
  18. Jan 4, 2016 #17

    DaveC426913

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    This doesn't make sense.
    You can bet that a better battery has the attention of a LOT of tech companies. Do you think they're just sitting on their laurels and reaping dividends?
    5-10 years is how long it will take the best in the world to make them.
     
  19. Jan 4, 2016 #18
    Just making an funny/encouraging statement.
     
  20. Jan 4, 2016 #19

    DaveC426913

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  21. Jan 4, 2016 #20

    russ_watters

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    Exactly how much energy does it need?
    No, they don't.
     
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