Battery technology drags down other industries -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Battery technology drags down the pure electric aircraft industry -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

With the rising awareness of environmental protection, the tide of electric vehicles is surging. At the same time, with the rise of the concept of personal aircraft, electric aircraft has become one of the research goals of the technology industry. In the United States today, more than 12 start-ups are developing aircraft that use batteries or hybrid power. Some of them even think that in the next 10 years, we will be able to enjoy the wonderful air travel with zero emissions.

The new aircrafts that these companies are currently studying are neither the retro futuristic models in the old journal of Popular Science, nor the anti gravity sci-fi aircrafts in Blade Runner and Back to the Future. More precisely, they are mostly ultra-thin, futuristic aircraft helicopter mixtures made of light carbon fibers. However, to enable a one person aircraft to take off and land vertically, operate safely, and commercialize, it almost depends on the progress of battery technology.(Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment)

In addition, at least 20 companies are developing air taxi plans, including Boeing, Airbus and Uber, a car hailing giant. Almost all companies have promised that they will specially produce battery powered aircraft for this plan to prevent noise and pollution caused by helicopters and jet aircraft coming and going in the city.

However, unlike Tesla, which can squeeze out some redundancy from the industrial design of Model3 or Chevy and improve the original 300 mile endurance to 500 miles, no matter how optimized the design is according to the current battery performance on the aircraft, it is not enough to make a two seater small aircraft fly several miles.

The energy density - the energy contained in the unit volume - is the key standard to test whether a certain energy is available. With today's technology, any battery that can be inserted into an aircraft cannot hold enough energy to make the aircraft leave the ground. To be specific, the energy supplied by fuel is 43 times that of a battery of the same weight.

So, is it possible for electric actuator to appear? In order for batteries to be useful in small devices, they must be at least five times of the current energy density. It is possible to increase the battery energy density by 5% to 8% every year in 20 years. In view of the current development speed of battery and electric engine technology, even hybrid power technology is unlikely to be used commercially in 2030.

Richard Aboulafia, an expert, said that compared with pure electric aircraft, "hybrid technology is more promising and realistic, and will be possible to be realized in the 1930s."

In recent years, battery powered aircraft has made some significant progress. In June 2016, a solar aircraft completed a year long round the world flight (the world's first). The surface of the "Sunshine Power 2" is equipped with 17000 photovoltaic cells to power its engine and charge the batteries during the day. Even so, in order to save weight, the aircraft still cut many things: the cabin is not pressurized, there is no heating, only can accommodate one pilot, and can only be at a ground speed of 30 miles per hour (relative to the ground speed), about 18 times slower than ordinary aircraft. Although "Sunshine Power 2" has taken a positive step on the road of electric aircraft, it also shows the long way ahead.

The Langoza designed by the famous engineer Burt Rutan is another milestone on this road. In 2012, it became one of the fastest electric aircraft, achieving manned flight at a speed of 202.6 miles per hour. However, the Boeing 787 can fly at a speed of 585 miles per hour, more than twice that of "Yangguang Power 2" and "242", and it can also carry 242 passengers.

Fortunately, some startups have not been intimidated by these challenges. ZunumAero is a start-up company supported by Boeing HorizonX and JetBlue. Its goal is to send a hybrid jet with 12 passengers to the sky by 2022. Meanwhile, Airbus E-FanX is also working with Rolls Royce and Siemens to develop hybrid power prototypes. Kitty Hawk, founded by Larry Page, has just started selling its electric single seat short haul aircraft. It looks a little like a sled mounted on two pontoons, surrounded by a pile of drones with the same rotor.

Uber expects that by 2020, its electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft will be tested. To this end, they recently hired Celina Mikolajczak, a battery expert from Tesla, to develop a powerful and lightweight battery that can be used in their airplane helicopter hybrid air taxi.

"Battery chemistry technology will become more and more advanced," Mikelzak said at the Uberlift conference in Los Angeles in May this year. "Therefore, it means that the future of electric aircraft is becoming better and better.".



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