Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Could a battery do it?

  1. Aug 9, 2007 #1
    hi there, I was wondering how easy (I would imagine not very) to get about 4.1e9 volts and about 870 amps from a battery or series of batteries? Is it even possible to get that much from a reasonable number of batteries? If it can be is the only reasonable way to get that kind of output to have a turbine making it? supposing that it can be done with batteries, how big do you think they would be? is it unrealistic to think that batteries could supply that much? if the batteries were recharged using solar power, how long do you think it would take?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Define 'reasonable' it could be done with a simple arrangement of say blocks of 80 batteries in paralle producing 10Amps each and then just stack 350,000,000 of these sets in series.
    You would also need quite a lot of wire.

    Thats a total of 4E9 kW thats roughly the total US energy consumption.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  4. Aug 9, 2007 #3
    lol, I did consider that someone might ask me something like that when I was writing the original post. ok... I would say reasonable would be the total mass of all the batteries not exceeding a tonne (metric).
     
  5. Aug 9, 2007 #4

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The only thing weighing less than a ton and capable of putting out that sort of power, and even then only for a short time, is a hydrogen bomb.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2007 #5
    darn it...I didn't think that it was a possibility, but I had to ask :tongue:. My curiosity got the better of me.
     
  7. Aug 9, 2007 #6

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I think the largest practical batteries were used on pre-nuclear propulsion submarines, like those used in WW2. You can google some to find out more. This is a good hit, but doesn't give details about the size and power output of the batteries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine
     
  8. Aug 10, 2007 #7

    AlephZero

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There are seriously large batteries in some data-center-sized uninterruptible power supplies - e.g. 500 kVA for 14 minutes.

    The max output current 780A is getting close to the OP's spec of 870A, but the voltage is off by a factor of about 15 million. :cry:

    And the battery appears to weigh about 9 tons so that doesn't meet the spec either :cry:

    http://www.chlorideups.com/90Net_files/90-NET Data Sheet.pdf

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder what sort of electrical insulation you would need to operate safely at 4100 MV... :confused:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  9. Aug 10, 2007 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Since he didn't specify a time, you could always stack 450,000 9v batteries in series and short it - you might get 800 amps for half a milisecond!
     
  10. Aug 10, 2007 #9
    are you trying to build a battery-powered death ray? =)
     
  11. Aug 10, 2007 #10

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Keep in mind that 4 BILLION VOLTS is way, way, way higher than the breakdown voltage of air. You'd have to keep this deathly contraption in a very, very high vacuum to keep it from blowing itself up, and you with it.

    - Warren
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Could a battery do it?
  1. How do battery works? (Replies: 2)

Loading...