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Calcium could replace lithium in batteries that store solar and wind power (nature.com)
62 points by elorant 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments





Article doesn't say much, nor does the abstract I found.

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/EE/C9EE0...

Literally just "something is possible" with no other discussion about capabilities


The tricky part to finding the formula for a good calcium battery (as it was with lithium batteries) is getting the interface reaction to work. It's a complicated reaction that is hard to understand or predict. Brute forcing different combinations will take a long time because the search space is large. There is some work going on to make better simulations to speed up the brute force search. I'm not a battery expert; this is all second-hand from a friend who is working on calcium battery simulation.

Maybe add AI into solving this problem. Battery technology and AI. Should attract the VC money.

And a blockchain to track usage. That will get the slightly behind the times VC funds :)

Sounds like a job for DE Shaw which has custom hardware for these molecular simulations.

What model do these simulations use? Biological simulations like those typically run on Anton(s) use fixed-charge, non-reactive force fields.

Seeing a battery article in Nature has become a bad sign. They consistently blow up a minor result in chemistry into "world-changing event Real Soon Now".

It would be amusing to have an feature on, say, Elektrik, that shows battery articles from 1, 2, and 5 years ago.



Interesting article. Though the new reaction with flourine was better than "any other calcium based electrolyte" how did it compare to lithium based models?

> Though the new reaction with flourine was better than "any other calcium based electrolyte" how did it compare to lithium based models?

I noticed that omission right away.

I'm assuming that it's nowhere near as good as lithium, or it'd say so.


"could" count of 11

"might" count of 4

I'll believe it when I see it.


I really hope they aren't making them in mice.

For anyone who might not get the reference: https://medium.com/@jamesheathers/in-mice-explained-77b61b59...

This is the best thing I’ve ever read on HN

This "article" is idiotic. These batteries wont be able to store electricity generated from nuclear power?

Solar and wind power are variable. They can't deliver power at night or when there's no wind. So to make them viable as the main source of energy they need batteries, to store a surplus during peak hours that can be used up when production is low.

Nuclear energy doesn't have that problem, so it doesn't have such a need for batteries.


Gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, and geothermal all operate more or less continuously and can “easily” vary output.

Solar, wind, and to an extent tidal generators don’t, so you want to store the excess charge they produce while they are able to and release it to the grid when needed.

It’s not that the batteries don’t work with other power sources, it’s just that they’re less necessary (although large batteries in the grid can buffer against sudden changes in grid demand more rapidly and efficiently than grids without)




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