Purdue University researchers are working on a method to make instantly rechargeable batteries. Such a breakthrough could be very impactful to many industries especially electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are getting better with their range but it does take a bit of time to recharge them to full. If this Purdue University research proves to be fruitful, instantly recharging would be a huge benefit to the electric vehicle industry. Professor John Cushman at Purdue University (pictured above) is part of the team working on this research.
“Electric and hybrid vehicle sales are growing worldwide and the popularity of companies like Tesla is incredible, but there continues to be strong challenges for industry and consumers of electric or hybrid cars,” said Cushman, who led the research team that developed the technology. “The biggest challenge for industry is to extend the life of a battery’s charge and the infrastructure needed to actually charge the vehicle. The greatest hurdle for drivers is the time commitment to keeping their cars fully charged.”
Current electric cars need convenient locations built for charging ports.
“Designing and building enough of these recharging stations requires massive infrastructure development, which means the energy distribution and storage system is being rebuilt at tremendous cost to accommodate the need for continual local battery recharge,” said Eric Nauman, co-founder of Ifbattery and a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering, basic medical sciences and biomedical engineering. “Ifbattery is developing an energy storage system that would enable drivers to fill up their electric or hybrid vehicles with fluid electrolytes to re-energize spent battery fluids much like refueling their gas tanks.”
The spent battery fluids or electrolyte could be collected and taken to a solar farm, wind turbine installation or hydroelectric plant for re-charging.
“Instead of refining petroleum, the refiners would reprocess spent electrolytes and instead of dispensing gas, the fueling stations would dispense a water and ethanol or methanol solution as fluid electrolytes to power vehicles,” Cushman said. “Users would be able to drop off the spent electrolytes at gas stations, which would then be sent in bulk to solar farms, wind turbine installations or hydroelectric plants for reconstitution or re-charging into the viable electrolyte and reused many times. It is believed that our technology could be nearly ‘drop-in’ ready for most of the underground piping system, rail, and truck delivery system, gas stations and refineries.”
This is certainly exciting and we’re hoping the University researchers can work out all the issues and bring this technology into real world use.