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astroNerf t1_iruk42y wrote

NASA's own article on the topic contains a lot more useful information and seems less sensationalized.


redwooded t1_irun97w wrote

It is less sensationalized, but it has bazically the same claims, and does use the word "incredible" - which, if it pans out commercially, is true. This is breakthrough stuff.


FeelDT t1_irvg9fc wrote

They focus on aviation because selenium seems like a lot more scarce than lithium, so looks like it will never be use in mass production until they found a replacement for this compound.


gregorydgraham t1_irvl1a0 wrote

Selenium? You mean the stuff farmers give to sheep to prevent sleeping sickness?


ruimikemau t1_irvo37b wrote

In that movie with David Duchovny, they manage to get loads of selenium from Head & Shoulders shampoo bottles and kill the huge alien with it.


rckrusekontrol t1_irvxo8o wrote

You mean that science documentary, Evolution? It’s quite simple, as Arsenic is poison to Carbon based life forms, it follows that Selenium, the next element over, would be poison to Nitrogen based life forms.


gregorydgraham t1_irvp59l wrote

Narrow it down a bit, I’ve ignored a lot of David Duchovny movies


ruimikemau t1_irvp984 wrote

Evolution (2001). Comedy Sci-Fi


Dr-P-Ossoff t1_is0snug wrote

I like the movie a lot, but the copy I got did not have the scene with the suburban moms, I miss it; “I don’t have A dog!”.


spacecoyote300 t1_irw49br wrote

That movie also established that "cacaw cacaw" and "tookie tookie" don't work


floatingsaltmine t1_irx8xqd wrote

What the fuck is wrong with my brain that I remember everything about that scene and can even picture it.


219523501 t1_irvszsg wrote

Selenium? You mean the stuff I use in my hair for dandruff?


snoogans8056 t1_irvvyvs wrote



jafjaf23 t1_irvy2ux wrote

A humorless ice princess in need of a good humping


Erislocker t1_irw391w wrote

i thought we established that Ca Caw and tookie tookie doesn't work...

Sing! Sing! Rub some funk on it!

(love that movie)


TldrDev t1_irwehwu wrote

Selenium? You mean the open source umbrella project for a range of tools and libraries aimed at supporting browser automation?


deck4242 t1_irvv8sk wrote

ok so for now its kinda useless until they find a way to make it easy , cheap and eco friendly (aka no more mining)


Dorocche t1_irvxgha wrote

Not useless, just not universal either. Like the article suggests, there's enough selenium to use it in planes-- yknow, if it works out-- just not for cars, phones, everything else in the world that needs batteries.


PragmaticSquirrel t1_irxhgsj wrote

Any idea what the energy density is compared to kerosene (jet fuel)?


GaryQueenofScots t1_irxp4mn wrote

Nasa claims 500 Watt-hours/kilogram in their solid state battery, or in other words 1.8 MJ/kg. Kerosene is rated at about 42 MJ/kg (and gasoline is about 44 MJ/kg) so there's a factor of 20 between them. Thats actually not as bad as it sounds, considering that electric motors are much more efficient at energy conversion than combustion engines that would be used to drive a prop.


shoulderknees t1_irxqw4r wrote

One other important element is that you get rid of your kerosene as you use it, reducing your mass and thus your propulsion need. But your battery is still there at the end of the flight.


PragmaticSquirrel t1_iry0tq4 wrote

Thanks, that's really interesting - it looks like electric motors are about 2X as efficient as gas? So this tech would mean that the overall non-waste energy density is about 10X?

That does seem like it's starting to get in the same ballpark, even if it is still somewhat distant.


EimaiOTed t1_irzvgnb wrote

What would be a good way to normalize this? Newton * second / gram of fuel considering a typical jet turbine and an electric one?


Hot-Praline7204 t1_iruocr1 wrote

This is like the 100th battery breakthrough article I’ve seen in the past 5 years. Is it safe to get excited this time?


netz_pirat t1_iruzfy2 wrote


It's tech, we rarely have revolutions, we usually have evolution.

All those breakthroughs will help battery tech getting better, one step at a time.


ThatOneWIGuy t1_irw9cw9 wrote

Which is exciting in its own way. But more of a "I'm really happy to see progress" and not "the world will be forever changed after this comes out" kinda way. I'm excited that we are getting more and more knowledge about the subject and am hopeful for great things in the future.


MufuckinTurtleBear t1_irwn8ay wrote

There's not a ton of data in the NASA article, but it's made out to be a new architecture with unprecedented chemistry. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's as wildly successful as they predict would it not be revolutionary?


zet23t t1_irvzj87 wrote

I've been reading about battery tech breakthroughs since 2008 or so. It's normal that such things take 5 to 10 years to become commercially available and only a fraction manages to get there at all.

Most people aren't aware however how much battery tech developed in a disruptive way. For the past 2 decades, battery prices per kw/h halfed roughly ever 4.5 years. This is due to all these advances that people think never arrive in products because there are so many news on it.

You can see the historic price development graph here:

And btw, for photovoltaic and wind energy, the price development looks fairly similar.


Suicicoo t1_irwkejt wrote

sorry, but price is - at least for me - not THE relevant factor, but energy density is.
Look at this brand new electric vehicle - it only costs 37000€ instead of 38000€ but you still only get 200km range out of it.


John_____Doe t1_irwmxgb wrote

Daily, few ppl need more than 100km if they can charge at home


earthshaker495 t1_irwnt5v wrote

This is the one thing keeping me from getting an electric vehicle. There is exactly a 0% chance my apartment will put in a charger so I'm stuck for now


John_____Doe t1_irwp4tm wrote

The worst part is they just need a couple dedicated normal outlets in the parking section. Most people would be fine charging their car off a tradional 13A outlet. 1.5-2 kWh would result in 6-8 kWh over night. And at an avr of 0.2kwh per km we get between 6-8km/h so over night that should be 30-50km which is much more than the average city travel.


imwithadd t1_irws2xs wrote

I know plenty of people who have an electric car in nyc. Apartments don’t have them there. They charge when they go grocery shopping or travel. I do realize that we don’t drive as much as most people though so that might not be realistic for everyone.


Suicicoo t1_irwq4eh wrote

yeah, but i don't drive daily, i do most of the stuff in 20km radius with the bike or the cargobike (or with my 50ccm moped)
The distances i use my car for are usually between 400-1100km...


John_____Doe t1_irwqi5n wrote

For situations like Urs it would never really be green or economical to go electric. If you can use ur personal transport vehicle or public transport the majority of the time it would be more polluting to get an electric car than it would be to just continue as your were and rent gas when you need distance. Untill we hit some massive breakthrough in battery tek I really see electric as the way to offset our daily travels and then maybe a hybrid solution for long distance


applejuicerules t1_irv5op3 wrote

Hard to say, this particular application is pretty early in the R&D phase, but that said, solid state batteries in general are really picking up steam lately, we’ll be seeing a lot more of that tech coming to market over the next decade hopefully. I’m cautiously optimistic


fiendishrabbit t1_irvij69 wrote

It's exciting if you want battery-powered short&mid-range aviation. Depends entirely on how much the battery costs.

Increasing solidstate battery output is one of the things the industry has struggled with over the last 30 years though.


Dr-P-Ossoff t1_is0t0ok wrote

The pipistrel airplane is available today. It’d be nice to increase its range.


random_shitter t1_irvjn54 wrote

No. Batteries have a quite expansive list of relevant factors. If there was a breakthrough that doesn't have a major negative downside on any of those factors we'd be reading it in the respectable science magazines, not on MSN.


Synec113 t1_irw9oyc wrote

Looks like the only downside here is the scarcity of selenium.


cocaine-cupcakes t1_irwm1bh wrote

It’s on NASAs website too and it’s pretty significant. I’m an EV engineer and I’m excited.


random_shitter t1_irww26c wrote

Are you excited about the battery development or did you have a cupcake?


cocaine-cupcakes t1_irwx6lo wrote

Lol actually the battery development. Too early for Pam’s cupcakes. What I like about this is that it’s being used on a functioning prototype vehicle, not a bench test in a lab. I’m sure it’s outrageously expensive still and the cycle count is probably lower than ideal but private sector engineers should be able to improve those factors over time.


brwntrout t1_irwae2j wrote

i'm excited because it's NASA, not some private engineering firm making spectacular claims for publicity.


brainimpacter t1_irwwjvh wrote

I hate to be skeptical but I wouldn't be too optimistic, Exaggerated claims are made all the time by government funded researchers to get budget increases from the engineering and Science illiterates in charge of making the funding decisions.


GeneralWAITE t1_irvt9hf wrote

Solid state batteries are the future and they will make gasoline engines obsolete…….once we can scale them up to be used in vehicles. Not just a gamechanger an Earthchanger.


billzybop t1_irwsjbg wrote

The OLED screens that are starting to appear in consumer products were first developed 15(?)ish years ago. It takes a long time to go from "developed technology" to finished product. There are also possible unknown issues that may keep this tech from scaling up to useful production. On the other hand, when you see lots of promising developments in a field in a short period of time you can be pretty sure that some of them are going to work out. So you can't bet for sure on this tech, but it's a good bet that something in development now will work out.


LotusCSGO t1_irw83bd wrote

No. The news that will cause people to actually get excited is when large scale manufacturing is figured out for any of these tiny and lab created proof of concepts.

We've had "better" battery technology for years. We just can't make any of it at any kind of scale.


MufuckinTurtleBear t1_irwnypd wrote

Could you please provide examples of drastically improved batteries that are unfeasible for general use? Genuinely curious.


itsfuckingpizzatime t1_irupyvg wrote

My father in law works on this project and he gave this context, fyi:

“This is an all-electric propulsion technology demonstrator. Electric propulsors over the wing are used for landing and takeoff. Otherwise, they are shutdown/stowed and aircraft flies with wing tip propulsors only. I have covered this technology in my Future Propulsion book”


theartificialkid t1_irurox6 wrote

I think it’s the opposite. He’s saying it uses lots of motors to use lots of energy for high acceleration for takeoff, and then goes down to a more efficient, less powerful system for sustained flight. You can see the folding propellers along the wings in the picture with the article, and the wingtip propellers don’t look like they have piston driven aircraft engines behind them. He also used the term “all electric”


itsfuckingpizzatime t1_irurtpv wrote

That’s what I get for trying to add anything to the conversation I know nothing about :)


Twomidgetsinacoat t1_irvooo8 wrote

You gotta go read your FIL’s book, when he asks what you thought you can simply say “I’m making the necessary corrections”.


GoofyMonkey t1_irvwwbu wrote

>I have covered this technology in my Future Propulsion book...

... if you had read my book itsfuckingpizzatime, you would already know this. –FIL


itsfuckingpizzatime t1_irurxmr wrote

My father in law works on this project and he gave this context, fyi:

“This is an all-electric propulsion technology demonstrator. Electric propulsors over the wing are used for landing and takeoff. Otherwise, they are shutdown/stowed and aircraft flies with wing tip propulsors only. I have covered this technology in my Future Propulsion book”

So it sounds like it’s to make takeoff more efficient, but it’s not a 100% electric solution.


shoot_your_eye_out t1_iruohkx wrote

I know it's a long way off, but how awesome would it be for a publicly funded organization like NASA to produce this sort of breakthrough for the world?

It would clearly demonstrate that profit doesn't need to be at the forefront of everything.


boredonymous t1_irve3sq wrote

Likely, if NASA has gotten this far, it means it's within 5 years of being put onto the public market.

Think rechargeable cordless power tools and mowers: the concept came from the need for fuelless, cordless, low energy chargeable battery powered tools to repair the space station. They weren't expected to catch on as long as there were the older methods of running power tools on earth. But, when an innovation like that was not only plausible, but cheaper and more convenient, corporations paid attention, worked with NASA's research, and made it happen.


Tigen13 t1_irvis5x wrote

Apparently investing 20 billion a year gets you something beneficial every now and then. Who needs profit?


IceZOMBIES t1_irvzpnk wrote

Let's give em 40 billion and a fuck ton of coke and see what these science boys can do!


floppysausage16 t1_iru7sq2 wrote

I don't think it can be stated enough.



nibord t1_irugz9c wrote

So it should not be believed?


leforian t1_iruyucy wrote

I feel amazing! Yes yes yes! I can win! I. Can. Do. This.


halfanothersdozen t1_iruf27t wrote

Man it was three days ago here the Negative Nacies were crowing about how electric planes could never be viable.

This is amazing.


SilverNicktail t1_iruk75p wrote

If they're not viable, someone should tell Air Canada - they just bought 30.


Manawqt t1_irvobmp wrote

The ones they bought are hybrid. They hold 30 passengers and have a range of 200km on electricity only. Electric planes are and can be viable in some niches, but when people say "electric planes could never be viable" that's not really what they mean.


SilverNicktail t1_irwbgcj wrote

Those planes are still intended to run on electric-only the majority of the time.

And yeah, "that's not what I meant" is the traditional naysayer god-of-the-gaps argument.

"Electric planes aren't viable."

-- Short range planes become viable --

"Well I didn't mean those ones, that's a niche."

-- The niche expands --

"Well I didn't mean those ones either"


etc, etc, etc


Manawqt t1_irwlrks wrote

Not really, nobody really says that very short range airplanes aren't viable. I mean sure, some idiots might. But what most people mean when they say that electrical airplanes doesn't really work is simply that the fuel density of batteries are orders of magnitude too low compared to fossil fuels, and that it will pretty much forever remain cheaper to use fossil fuels and then just compensate with direct-air capture on the ground to reach the same 0 co2 emissions. Sure, some miraculous new battery tech might come and change that, but some miraculous direct-air capture tech might come and make the electrification of planes completely useless too. Airplanes (most of them) just simply doesn't make sense to electrify due to basic physics. Rockets is another application where the biggest downsides of electrification are some of the most important aspects.


SilverNicktail t1_irwpuus wrote

"The density of batteries is too low" he writes in the comments section of an article about making denser batteries more suitable to air travel.


jcosta89 t1_irucgc6 wrote

TLDR: Solid State batteries with a new material allowing them to discharge electricity as close to a lithium-ion battery.

Basically solid state batteries can cut weight up to 40% and store up to 3x the amount of energy in the same space. Solid State batteries lacked the functionality to discharge that electricity at a high rate when compared to lithium-ion batteries.

Solid state batteries also offer other benefits to include less risk for fire and issues when exposed to extreme temperatures relative to lithium-ion batteries.


jacz24 t1_iruvpzi wrote

Does this mean potentially new car batteries in the future too? If the weight is less and the amount is more plus they are safer it sounds like the perfect use case. I’m sure I’m missing something though as to why it wouldn’t work great for cars.


jcosta89 t1_iruvzfr wrote

Toyota and a few other companies have been researching this as well.

The output was an issue and charging them was an issue/expensive to manufacture. When charging the solid state battery would cause a type of leak (oversimplifying this) and to manufacture it correctly would cost a lot.

We’re seeing the early adopter phase of the EV I feel like. Obviously the whole process isn’t green, it will take time for that. Same goes for the batteries. We have wet batteries now, but they’ll develop better ones.


Synec113 t1_irwa80o wrote

The only problem here is scarcity. The selenium required by the battery is much rarer than the lithium that batteries use now. So, unless they can find a replacement for the selenium, it's a no go for mass production.


riaKoob1 t1_irujtcl wrote

What’s the catch?


killcat t1_iruwpm6 wrote

Short range and low carrying capacity.


deck4242 t1_irvvbor wrote

ecological disaster by mining the planet to death ?


Michamus t1_irw22pr wrote

A lot of these resources are far more abundant in ocean water than lane. Desalinization is the future. With fusion having been unlocked, (a net return tokamak testing complete, with a newer more efficient design coming online in a few years) we’ll have more than enough electricity for electric cars, desalinization, recycling, and other needs we’ve been neglecting due to energy cost.


Freeloader03 t1_iruk6ni wrote

Fingers crossed on this one. Unfortunately the chemistry sounds expensive so it might not translate to civilian applications in this iteration, but what theyve learned should help advance the tech. Could be a nice big step forward!


cluelesspcventurer t1_irv7zbt wrote

Even with this advancement electric is still leagues behind jet planes. Aviation will be the last form of transport to go green because of simple physics. Unlike most forms of transport the weight of an aircraft is not supported by the ground/sea and has to be constantly counteracted with lift generation. As a result every aspect of a modern plane is designed with weight in mind.

Even with this technology batteries are still way less energy dense than jet fuel which means less range and less passenger capacity. Batteries would need to advance an incredible amount in the next few decades to make it commercially viable. Were talking 6x the capacity. (or a tesla that can do 3000 miles)

And even then there's the issue of speed. Electric aircraft use propellers which struggle to go over 400mph ( and most large propellor aircraft cruise at 350) whilst jets can cruise at 550mph easily.


fiendishrabbit t1_irvj68h wrote

It's going to be pretty important for short range aviation (electric engines are more reliable, deliver a lot of power compared to their size and weight and jet fuel is a major cost) and it could still be a major boon for long range aircraft. For example using lightweight electric engines to boost aircraft power during takeoff and climb and then cruising on jet engines specialized for efficiency at high altitude and cruising speed.


Barfing_Rat t1_irwe89o wrote

Unfortunately… rich will hoard it up and force the price up so no one can afford it. It will be simialr to what happen with Concorde.


Karsdegrote t1_irxmbf8 wrote

Hmm, 500 watt-hour/kg. Could be something for local aircraft. An ATR42-600 needs about 2800kW when cruising so for an hour of flight you need 5600kg worth of batteries. "only" 1100kg more than the max fuel weight now.

I don't know what you would use it for, maybe amsterdam to london?


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random_shitter t1_irvjhlu wrote

>using innovative new materials that have yet to be used in batteries

In other words, the things are going to be prohibitively expensive.

--> If they'd made a really good breakthrough that respects all relevant factors we wouldn't be reading it on MSN of all places.


fiendishrabbit t1_irvjkpg wrote

If you're thinking "that's a weird looking aircraft" it's because the X-57 Maxwell uses a series of electric engines (with collapsing propellers) to boost airflow over the wings during takeoff (and landing?). This means that they can use smaller and more narrow wings which reduces wind resistance once the aircraft is up to cruising speed. Electric engines are sufficiently compact and efficient (and easily supplied with energy) that this is a viable solution for aircrafts using electric engines.


[deleted] t1_irvkgdg wrote

NASA really should be making shit tons of money from all the stuff they've developed a la how the agency was self funding in For All Mankind.


PartsWork t1_irxsrbt wrote

I really like how GPS is paid for with my taxes at the rate of about $6/year per US resident. That's cheaper than buying a map.
I am not down for the $9.99 silver tier Amazon WhereAmI subscription which works on up to three devices within 10 miles of my house and only works on Alexa watches and phones and cars.


NeutralTarget t1_irvqea3 wrote

I'm imagining how this could affect Battle Bots.


ThymeCypher t1_irvrpho wrote

Okay, while this is great news, I know many battery engineers who would have a big problem with how this article presents every bit of the battery as some sort of world wonder. They’ve figured the theories out for almost everything in this battery decades ago, it’s the applications that have eluded engineers. A friend of mine even saw hand-made vertical stack prototypes 10 years ago that he was excited to sell to our company, but they were quick to say they have no idea how to make them except by hand. He also brought back some funky prototypes - a circular pack, a triangular pack, and one shaped like a splatter.


Akimotoh t1_irx5ksh wrote

Anyone know what companies are researching solid state batteries or trying to produce prototypes?


anevilpotatoe t1_irxkrdn wrote

Solid state has been around for some time since its inception. But practically, all its testing has been ultra-promising for some time. It's a matter of manufacturing capability now. Keiichi Kanehori laid the groundwork, while John B. Goodenough added much to material science and helped make it a breakthrough in its development. NASA has since been able to clearly display its far more capable use.


blu33y3dd3vil t1_is2lhxa wrote

Why do the electric plane prototypes I’ve seen all have a large number of small engines/motors? It’s my understanding that electric motors do best at high-torque & lower rpm applications so I was expecting designs like the V-22 Osprey with two large props.

Is it a weight issue as electric motors scale up?


Solodolo1177 t1_irv6cer wrote

The more weight you have, the more battery power you will need to achieve lift tho. And then the more power, the heavier the battery(s). Hopefully, one day this will be viable but i just dont see it on commercial and freight jets for quite some time


Tigen13 t1_irvj0y2 wrote

Solid state batteries with twice the energy density of lithium is a big deal.

Now what is the cost, life, and can it be mass produced?


deck4242 t1_irvune4 wrote

and are they eco friendly to produce ? withou the need to mine our planet to death.


Tigen13 t1_irvys49 wrote

You don't need battery production to be eco friendly.

That is big oil's propaganda argument. Oil extraction and refining is terrible for the environment on top of the usage of the final product being bad.

Batteries can be recycled and will be due to the high value of their materials. Also, the usage of the energy can be clean unlike Oil. Therefore batteries are the clear environmental winner over time. With batteries most of the environmental friendliness happens during the mining phase. After that it's not too bad for the environment and can benefit society for decades of clean energy.


deck4242 t1_irw8gnc wrote

or we can ungrowth economicaly and demographicaly, go low tech, stop oil and use battery only when absolutely necessary ;)

there is no winner between oil or mining, they both sucks and destroy the planet. Do you know that due to the surge in EV and tech gadgets , we are going to mine our planet as much in the next 30 years that we did from antiquity until now ? thats just insane and wrong


Tigen13 t1_irwj0aw wrote

Ungrowth and go low tech..... essentially regress as a society. More death, less security, more susceptibility to climate change, environmental disasters, and disease. Lower standard of living and lower lifespans. No thank you.

Farming land destroys our planet. Building homes destroys our planet. It's not about destroying that planet. What's the point of having the planet if we don't use it?

What matters is are things sustainable? Are there long term consequences to the environment? Are those consequences worth it?

For mining, it's a no brainer, yes. Tear up large patches of land and extract needed resources. The world has tons of land so we can absolutely sacrifice some to for more valuable resources. There is lots of land which isn't utilized and likely won't be.

Society is moving forward and progressing. I hope that we work to progress in a more environmentally sustainable way. However, utilizing natural resources has been the only way mankind has improved our quality of life for thousands of years.

I will add that advances in energy technology will allow man to recycle more and do things in a more sustainable way. There is a lot to unpack there.


gmoney1259 t1_irvr0z8 wrote

Guaranteed that this technology will be given to another country and that country will benefit and not USA.