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PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6egctk wrote

I like lithium batteries because they're scaling and have dual uses - transportation and stationary storage. That we have so many vehicles moving so much stuff means even if lithium batteries have more material cost, they're going to scale so hard and become so well designed due to the HUGE amounts of money floating around them.

I like flow batteries because they run forever with just basic upgrades - versus lithium which currently needs to be heavily repowered after a decade or so (replacing battery modules a third of the cost of a deployed grid sized battery install). Flow batteris aren't as energy dense as lithium - but that's ok for stationary batteries. One benefit that flow batteries will get from the energy industry - ist aht even though lihtium ion will have more capacity being manfuactured due to transportation, the energy industry is large enough that even players #2/3/4 have a space to make big bucks (like coal is #1 for electricity these days, but gas, nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar all make bank too).


For_All_Humanity t1_j6eysqp wrote

It’s super exciting to see all the advances in battery technology we’ve made over the past 20 years. Heck, the last 5 years have been incredible. LI is great like you said, but the mining can have harmful effects on local ecosystems and communities. So if we can spread out what batteries we use and advance in multiple directions there can only be benefits.

Like you said, the potential to save a lot of money here is going to be driving a lot of development. Plus spreading out what materials we use for utility-scale storage and personal usage we can help ensure we avoid shortages.


jadeskye7 t1_j6fsxs5 wrote

Sodium for static storage could be huge. Cheap easily produced storage for renewables, releasing that lithium for other purposes and providing a way to capture more solar and wind? It's a win in so many ways.


LordOfDorkness42 t1_j6grknu wrote

Really hope the air-iron batteries starting production next year work out in practice for that reason.

A way to turn the decay of the most common metal in the universe into power? Yes, please!


Specific_Main3824 t1_j6hsj7j wrote

Advances in the laboratory, nothing has changed in the real world, still the same battery in your iPhone that was in your later Nokia


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6hw6z4 wrote

> still the same battery in your iPhone that was in your later Nokia

Not really. It's 1/10th the cost and with a whole lot more electricity per volume


Specific_Main3824 t1_j6i23t9 wrote

My Nokia had a lithium ion same battery, no doubt a little more expensive back then, though phones were cheap


sakredfire t1_j6jag2p wrote

The classic Nokia phone used a 25g battery with 1100mAh of capacity. It would fully charge within 3 hours.

The iPhone 14 uses a battery with 3200mah of capacity that fully charged within 2 hours


Spiffydude98 t1_j6jjudp wrote

1998 ish... My wife lost her Nokia phone. In the middle of a canadian winter. She found it at the side of our driveway in the spring it must have fallen and been shovelled with the snow.

It spent 3 months in a snowbank in a Canadian Winter with temps reaching -25c and rarely above -5c...

and she picked it up, turned it on, it still had a charge and worked fine.

I miss our NOkia phones.


sakredfire t1_j6jujwt wrote

You can still get them! And they weren’t overly complicated so of course they are robust


Specific_Main3824 t1_j6l6hf1 wrote

Nokia made a million models, I'm referring to "later" models shortly before the iPhone. Circa 2005. We are still using the same batteries released 20 years ago. Size has no bearing on the tech. Watches have teeny tiny ones, Tesla's have very large ones.


Specific_Main3824 t1_j6l6pv4 wrote

I wasn't referring to a "classic Nokia" I was referring to a later models shortly before I phones were invented.


Spiffydude98 t1_j6jjf65 wrote

They're also for two very different uses. FLow batteries = great use for grid storage and peak demand/low demand grid smoothing.

Lithium = best option for your phone currently.


SoylentRox t1_j6f8bbn wrote

LFP and Sodium batteries offer a pretty good compromise.

With LFP : their 4000+ cycle life is at least 11 years, possibly 15-20 before they need replacement, depending on the application. They don't use rare earths and have become reasonably cheap per kWh. BYD blades are in the $70-120 a kWh range. (have seen both numbers). You can buy them right now.

With Sodium: similar lifespan and safety benefits of LFP, similar energy density. No use of lithium which means we won't bottleneck on lithium. CATL (world's largest battery manufacturer) promises mass production this year.


Idiot_Savant_Tinker t1_j6gkmrv wrote

LFP? Like lithium iron phosphate?

Don't we need phosphate to grow food?

Sodium seems really plentiful, though. im excited about those.


SoylentRox t1_j6gn8qr wrote

We do but it's very cheap and not an issue if some is trapped in batteries.


rtb001 t1_j6gtgnm wrote

At least 3 major battery makers in China have stated they are planning on mass production of sodium ion batteries sometime this year. Could be very interesting to see how these batteries perform if they do manage it.

BYD is even claiming their sodium battery may be dense enough to go into their cheapest upcoming car, which could be a game changer if it really is feasible.


MobileAccount7337 t1_j6f71m8 wrote

The fact that we have companies creating things like this while others are creating recycling such as the aqua refining tech facility being built near Reno has be stoked. There's a great chance we start seeing some real solutions rise up over the next decade.


Justanothebloke t1_j6filsj wrote is an Aussie company making zinc bromine flow batteries. Check em out


SatanLifeProTips t1_j6ifk5x wrote

I’m all over flow batteries because the transportation industry will gobble up every lithium battery we make for the next decade or two. There will be limits with how much lithium we can process and flow batteries represent a totally different stream.


DixenSyder t1_j6f286n wrote

I am concerned about billions of dead lithium batteries and what we’re going to do with them, the (so I’m told) very finite resource that is lithium, and the horrors of the cobalt mining necessary for lithium battery function. Am I out of the loop in thinking these are still legitimate concerns for the future of lithium-driven sustainability? Genuinely asking, not trying to be a dick


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6f7hop wrote

Batteries like this don't use cobalt, as well many cars don't use it anymore either. As well, it is very well known that we do in fact have more than enough resources - lithium in particular to meet our needs.

Lastly, already, almost every single car battery in the USA is being recycled because of the value of them and simply that it isn't allowed in many places to throw them into the dump.


DixenSyder t1_j6fnra8 wrote

From :

“Cobalt is considered the highest material supply chain risk for electric vehicles (EVs) in the short and medium term. EV batteries can have up to 20 kg of Co in each 100 kilowatt-hour (kWh) pack. Right now, Co can make up to 20% of the weight of the cathode in lithium ion EV batteries.”

This article is from 2021, so I wonder if it’s maybe outmoded.

I do know that batteries are recyclable, but from what I understand, it’s a difficult, risky, and costly process. Has this changed or have there been any advancements on the recycling process?


Surur t1_j6fv1uq wrote

Why are you able to find contrary articles, but not the answers to your basic questions?

Or are you just concern trolling?


gopher65 t1_j6g5kj5 wrote

It is outmoded. In the past 2 years companies have started moving away from cobalt. It won't be long before it isn't used at all.


For_All_Humanity t1_j6f4zzh wrote


DixenSyder t1_j6fjyip wrote

The lithium article says something I already knew, that it is recyclable, but that process is extremely difficult and costly. Are there any advancements on this front? And it’s not the recycling of cobalt so much as the horrendous conditions present at the cobalt mines that I speak of. Cobalt mining will have to continue even though we can recycle a lot of what was already mined.


chin-ki-chaddi t1_j6gx7dt wrote

You really think it will be costlier to extract those metals from the used batteries than from Earth? Lithium, for example, is 7% of battery's weight. Guess the Lithium concentration in the brine they extract it from? They are lucky to get 1%.


NoDownsideToOutside t1_j6glgox wrote

The metals in lithium ion are infinitely recyclable and easier and more cost effective to do so.

Not like plastic where you can recycle it, but it’s expensive and a pain in the ass


DonQuixBalls t1_j6hn8dj wrote

Recycled plastic is also not as good as first use plastic. Not so with battery elements.


themangastand t1_j6i12cf wrote

Lithium is great. But not good for longetivity. We won't last longer then a century with known reserves and that's if we start recycling. Sodium is where it's at. And using lithium only for when it's super needed is probably where the future will be


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6idl5q wrote

> We won't last longer then a century with known reserves

"known reserves"


themangastand t1_j6it493 wrote

Even then not much longer in the context of how long we will last. Sodium is definitely needs to be the future of mainline batteries.

Unknown reserves won't be infinite. And definitely not even close to sodium.


Cult_of_Chad t1_j6izmes wrote

If we're not asteroid mining by the end of the century something went terribly wrong.


themangastand t1_j6j70ve wrote

nothing is wrong with sodium batteries either, sodium batteries in research are already getting close to current lithium and have the potential to even surpass it by 20-30% with new methods.

However they will always get destroyed by the new techologies of lithium such as solid state lithium. However there is many advantages to sodium over lithium. Such as they work far better in cold tempertures and they, far far cheaper, and degrade far slower then lithium batteries.

It makes sense once these sodium batteries come up in the next decade to replace them in our phone, bikes, affordable cars(high end cars can use lithium solid state), and all other smaller electronic devices that we use lithium currently for.


Surur t1_j6egkuo wrote

I thought flow batteries were already a lot cheaper than lithium. if they are only competitive with lithium over 30 years they sound pretty doomed.


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6eirt3 wrote

Flow batteries are about $800-1000/kWh deployed - whereas lithium ion is about $400-500/kWh (utility scale installs). BUUUT...lithium needs to be repowered at about 1/3 of its original cost every ten'ish years, while flows need a much lesser repowering about 1/20th of the cost every twenty years.

As well, power grid assets are expected to have 50 year lifetimes - so - taking 10-20-30 years to be competitive is actually quite appropriate.


defcon_penguin t1_j6ehuug wrote

The best competitor of lithium is sodium. Plenty, cheap, and almost as dense as lithium. Manufacturing is starting to come online


tomistruth t1_j6fshyh wrote

Sodium is also extremely corrosive and flammable. Corrosion means less battery cycles making it less suited for critical power storage.


Phobos15 t1_j6f9j1m wrote

"when spread over 30 years" means it is more expensive. A 30 year break even to today's prices doesn't make much sense in a rapidly improving field.

The biggest reason nuclear isn't happening as much as it should is the very long pay back period. Investors do not want to wait 30 years to start making a profit.


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6fcdun wrote

Didn't say breakeven price was 30 years, said that compared to lithium ion the price starts to make sense in that time frame. Breakeven price is much sooner for these assets. 7% IRR minimum pretty much requirement for investment.


Phobos15 t1_j6iya5s wrote

That time frame makes no sense. This demonstrates that the technology is not close to commercialization.

If people won't invest in the sure returns of nuclear, why would they invest in a new unproven technology with less of a chance of a return than nuclear?

The feds even give out loan guarantees for nuclear projects, which you won't get for this new tech.


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6iytur wrote

I don't think you're grasping this time frame discussion at all.


Phobos15 t1_j6k7gk0 wrote

I am. The claim that this has a 30 year break even with lithium batteries means it loses money and is a terrible investment. Break even is not a profit. You profit based on how much longer it lasts after 30 years. You also assume efficiency doesn't degrade more than they predict too.

The chance that current technology does not improve over the next 10 years is zero. Your 30 year project likely won't make any sense to even turn on in a few years. You'll never get close to that 30 year time frame because more efficient options will exist over time or these things will drop in cost and the old ones won't get anywhere near the return that they need.


gnocchicotti t1_j6g96et wrote

Steel roofs last a lot longer than asphalt shingles but not many people buy them due to the long payoff time.


markfickett t1_j6g9mx2 wrote

I thought this, but pricing it out with a GC it came out about even (replacing asphalt several times versus standing seam once). And cost to remove/replace solar is a little confusing to, since the solar technology will probably be way better in another 10-15y.


NeedsMoreCapitalism t1_j6h7dg1 wrote

30 years is way too high

Investors for build outs want 20-30% IRR which gives you 5 years at most to break even.


balancedgif t1_j6gugbp wrote

tried to buy some flow batteries a few years ago for a 1mwh battery system. i couldn't find any company that could provide a reference for an actual real customer. lots of vaporware and "we actually installed this only once and no you can't have a reference" companies out there.


Bridgebrain t1_j6fnhbx wrote

I saw an interesting bit about Iron Air batteries recently, apparently they figured out how to de-rust the iron sufficiently, making them rechargeable


sammnz t1_j6fsp83 wrote

I looked up this type of battery, they are very slow to recharge. If anything they would supplement/complement existing battery/power solutions.


markfickett t1_j6gb0qo wrote

Right, iron-air are designed for multi day grid storage. For example, when it's cloudy for a week, these batteries discharge previous excess solar back into the grid. More about Form Energy's batteries if that's what you were thinking of.


Bridgebrain t1_j6hcitd wrote

Yep, but that's the exact stuff we need. We've got a few awesome options for cars and devices coming up. With graphene finally leaving the lab, salt batteries coming ever closer, and a few solid state options on the horizon, the problem always comes down to "scalability", and these provide a high scale focused solution


MechaZombie23 t1_j6gcpc8 wrote

Came here to post the same thing. I believe what I read is they would be most useful for utility power and not so much for small-scale such as electric vehicles etc.


Green-Future_ t1_j6f2bye wrote

Interesting to see how the upgraded cell works despite the removal of so many parts. Battery demand, and last year's investment in battery technology is honestly unbelievably high. I see there being many battery breakthroughs in coming years.


herbw t1_j6gt2dt wrote

too early to tell. judgin by past hx a single study don't mean squat as it takes 5-6 good solid studies to confirm.

No empiricist or Mennon will buy 1 now.


Green-Future_ t1_j6jxobr wrote

I am basing the prediction on the increased private investment due to demand growth, not specifically in flow battery technology.


herbw t1_j6k0hxj wrote

Thanks for the heads up. Yer once more confirm our Neuroscience model, That there is a repeatin principle in brain which creates predictive control. Anil Seth. Thanks for likely confirming our model once again.

Keep up the good work!!


JackAndy t1_j6gzcxq wrote

So its 3x as expensive because lithium batteries don't last more than 10 years.


deck_hand t1_j6kqglx wrote

Mine is already over 10 years old. Will be used tomorrow to carry my son to work.


grafknives t1_j6i17kh wrote

RIght now lifespan of LION powered devices is like 18months probably.

So the flow ones 15 times more expensive, right?


PorkyPigDid911 OP t1_j6idj0a wrote

Lithium Ion batteries for utility scale have 10 year warranties at 80%, and the cells are replaced to add ten years. Flow batteries start at 30 years and sort of go forever.


deck_hand t1_j6kqahl wrote

My car battery is still good after 10 years of use. I will like get at least another five out of it.


nick1812216 t1_j6h08z9 wrote

For decades now ive been reading about all these amazing advancements “longer lasting/cheaper batteries/solar panels/super capacitors, green energy future imminent!”. And yet here we are, still at the coal face.

It’s all retch and no vomit. It never gets there!


geneticeffects t1_j6h1g8k wrote

Remember when Elno twatted “We will coup whoever we want. Deal with it!”? That was over Bolivia and the Lithium mining he was pursuing. Dick. Head. Bring the better battery, already.


DonQuixBalls t1_j6hnm8m wrote

That was a joke in response to the a whiner throwing out the lamest conspiracy theory ever. There was no coup and Elon certainly didn't have the wealth or influence to orchestrate one back then.


geneticeffects t1_j6il1j6 wrote

Just so happened to coincide with an actual coup attempt while he was instigating Lithium mining in Bolivia. Smells FISHY!


DonQuixBalls t1_j6ixiaw wrote

Except it didn't. Morales was still elected.

You deserve better information.


geneticeffects t1_j6j4ndy wrote

So ejimicate me! My understanding is that Morales and that election was suspicious. And — for the sake of conversation — are you a fan of Elno? I.e., is this another example of one of his fanbois coming to his rescue on his behalf?


jeho22 t1_j6f4y5s wrote

Maybe they can work on lowering the price of eggs next