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Just Me, Pondering the Future of Electric Flight

Old 08-09-2008, 04:52 AM
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groundrushesup
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Default Just Me, Pondering the Future of Electric Flight

Hey everyone. Having recently reentered the hobby and discovering the huge strides that LiPo has allowed in the last few years, I am naturally curious about the future.

I have heard plenty and researched a bit about A123System's cells and how they stand poised to re-revolutionize the world of battery power, with safer, more stable LiFePo and the doped nanophosphate chemistry that promises to keep us all from having to watch our packs like they were live ordnance.

My question is this: All of the threads I have seen on this topic seem to involve one or two types of 'A123' cells -- both are cylindrical and cased in some sort of metal similar to a traditional cell and, AFAIK, only suitable for flight applications that overcome the added weight with scale and power. I assume this is because of the commercial applications chosen so far - e.g., power tools and the like - require rugged cell construction which limit the hobbyist's choice in the matter. Am I wrong in this?


Does the future hold more flexible and indeed lighter construction with this new chemistry? Are there examples of flat packs similar to LiPolymer batteries already being marketed?

Any insight on this topic would be appreciated. And if you're ever in San Antone, there's a beer in it for you.
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:56 PM
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Walt Thyng
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A123 (M1) offers two cell sizes 2300 and 1100. Most planes can handle the weight of one or the other. A little soldering practice will let you build any style pack you want or you can pay MaxAmps to do it for you.

From what I'm hearing this relatively new technology is developing fast and there should be some new sizes before too long.

If this earns me a beer I'll be in touch when I vist my daughter in Austin (Actually Dripping Springs) in October.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:50 PM
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Come on down, the Shiner is always on ice.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:01 PM
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OOOOOOO, love Shriner! Found a bar here that has it on draft!
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:37 AM
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Hi, Here is a Full Size Electric plane, Neet Huh, Take care, Chellie

http://www.airventure.org/2008/8sun3/electra_flyer.html

http://www.sonexaircraft.com/press/r...on=completions

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=718159

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Pb_psj1A8[/media]
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:15 AM
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I want one of those Sonex motors for my next big foamy project
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Hi, Here is a Full Size Electric plane, Neet Huh, Take care, Chellie

http://www.airventure.org/2008/8sun3/electra_flyer.html

http://www.sonexaircraft.com/press/r...on=completions

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=718159

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Pb_psj1A8[/media]
Do they get the kilowatt award?
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by larry3215 View Post
i want one of those sonex motors for my next big foamy project
.
Lol :d
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
Do they get the kilowatt award?
Thats a good point actually. In the video he says they are running at 230 volts and 200 amps. Thats ONLY 46,000 watts.

Whats amazing to me is I know of several 35%-40% RC planes that are running 10-12,000 watt range already. Thats only 4 times as much power to fly a full size 2 person plane!

Electrics really are amazing. If the batteries would only get batter faster...
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:06 AM
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laptops and cell phones, you better hope they keep making them smaller...
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:13 PM
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One can't help but wonder who is contributing to battery tecnology more? laptop/cellphone companies, or RC companies?

Somehow, i don't think the automobile manufacturers are contributing much, or else they would have come up with something long before we did. considering the amount of money they put into R&D....
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:28 AM
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well, considering that there is a computer in just about every household, and every business, and that everyone has at least one cellphone these days, I would venture to guess they have more R&D dollars for battery research.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
well, considering that there is a computer in just about every household, and every business, and that everyone has at least one cellphone these days, I would venture to guess they have more R&D dollars for battery research.
And they don't have products that run on dead dinosaur power. Lack of foresight is a hallmark of the automotive industry
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:51 PM
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It's my understanding the GM and A123 have teamed up for R&D.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:00 PM
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not to go back to liquid fuels but...

I was listening to a show about full scale aircraft, and they are working with a type of algae that produces as a waste product, something similar to petroleum.

fly your planes on algae poop...
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:51 PM
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Does that mean we'll be flying "slimers" again? (-:
WT
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:53 PM
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does bring a whole new meaning, doesn't it?
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:58 PM
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thank you wiki...

Originally Posted by wikipedia
Algae fuel, also called algal fuel, oilgae[1], algaeoleum or third generation biofuel [2] , is a biofuel from algae. Compared with second generation biofuels, algae are high-yield high-cost (30 times more energy per acre than terrestrial crops) feedstocks to produce biofuels. Since the whole organism converts sunlight into oil, algae can produce more oil in an area the size of a two-car garage than an entire football field of soybeans.[3]
Nowadays they cost $5–10/kg and there is active research to reduce both capital and operating costs of production so that it is commercially viable.[4][5]
Algal fuels do not impact fresh water resources,[6] and can use ocean and wastewater.
With the record oil price increases since 2003, competing demands between foods and other biofuel sources and the world food crisis, there is much interest in algaculture (farming algae) for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biogasoline, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels.
The production of biofuels to replace oil and natural gas is in active development, focusing on the use of cheap organic matter (usually cellulose, agricultural and sewage waste)[7] in the efficient production of liquid and gas biofuels which yield high net energy gain. One advantage of many biofuels over most other fuel types is that they are biodegradable, and so relatively harmless to the environment if spilled.[8][9][10]
The United States Department of Energy estimates that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles (40,000 square kilometers), which is a few thousand square miles larger than Maryland, or 1.3 Belgiums.[4] This is less than 1/7th the area of corn harvested in the United States in 2000.[11][12]
In the 2008 U.S. Department of Energy Biomass and Biofuels Update to the United States Congress (by the Office of Biomass Program)[13] appears the move to algae fuels.[14]
of course, this does have something to do with the future of electric flight. cheaper fuel costs mean lower product costs, meaning more money for us to buy electric planes
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