Before looking at batteries – consider the voltage current demand. Let’s compare voltage to gasoline. One gallon of gas contains 33.7kWh energy according to EPA or 33,700Wh. How big of battery would that be? An NCM Lithium-Ion pack would be 33.7kWh, 172 cells, 635v, 107Ah and weigh 927 pounds. If you factor in the fact that the average car only gets 23% of that energy – the battery pack would still weigh: 213 pounds. So adding a big current demand is not good. Nor is it a good idea to equate the battery pack weight to 5 gallons of fuel in ultralights. (“apples to apples”)
For Sea-Kite.com the number one incentive was to build a highly efficient motor and use less energy. It has been easy for some motor designers to make high kW demanding motors. The problem – airplanes just couldn’t carry enough batteries. Big motors also disqualify themselves to be used with solar and other power supplies like fuel cells.
What is the best battery and what on the “drawing board?” As for the future – higher energy batteries can be made, but they are only good for 3 or 4 charges and need to be scraped. The batteries that Tesla has been using, sourced from Panasonic, for its Model S electric cars are mostly likely a lithium-ion battery with a cathode that is a combination of a lithium, nickel, cobalt, aluminum oxide. The battery industry calls this an “NCA battery” and they’ve been around – and made by Panasonic, LG and Samsung – for many years.
Typically, lithium-ion NCA batteries use a combination of 80% nickel, 15% cobalt and 5% aluminum. (The anodes in these traditional lithium-ion batteries is usually a graphite combination, which acts as a host for the lithium ions.) The addition of the aluminum to the NCA battery makes it more stable.
For a home battery grid – Musk said that Tesla will use a lithium-ion battery with a nickel, manganese, cobalt oxide cathode called an NMC (or NCM) battery. Many traditional NMC batteries use one-third equal parts nickel, manganese, and cobalt.
Where do we stand among all the choices? NCM still reigns as king for safety and it works great for cars that handle the slight increase in weight. We have found a new source for the NCA which offers the weight savings needed in aviation. As soon as we have all the numbers – they will be posted on our website. Our new motor has an advantage because with a slower charge time, lower discharge demand and our new Active BMS – the safety went way up.
kWh (1000Wh) is unit to measure total energy stored in battery and it can be calculated as battery voltage multiplied by Ah (V*A*h = Wh). In general kWh is unit to measure energy used.
Voltage is similar to water pressure like the height of the dam or water tank.
Current is the flow-rate of water.
A battery rated for 100 amp hours will provide 5 amps for 20 hours.
If we have a 12 volt battery, we multiply 100 by 12 and determine that the battery will provide 1200 watt hours.
To apply the metric ‘kilo’ prefix, we divide the result by 1000 and determine that the battery can supply the 1.2 KW hours.
In the case of our 1200 Watt Hour conversion, we need to understand that what is really being said is that the battery will provide 60 Watt Hours for 20 Hours.
June 17, 2016
More information from Donald Lineback on his battery systems he has been developing. Donald’s latest email
“We can test 14 cells or 22 cells in one pack or add another to make a 36 cell with 150v. We can test DC or the better choice – AC sinusoidal.
We supply various controllers and provide programing and wiring for BMS or PCM protection. We offer various throttles and fuel gauges.
Our new motor and variable pitch prop will be available soon. The battery pack sizes range from 30Ah to 180Ah in cylindrical and pouch.
— Stay in touch to see our hybrid system for cross country electric flight. —“
February 5, 2016
I received this email from Donald Linback. I have corresponded with Donald over the years and he is an avid promoter of electric flight, and has been working in a large segment of electric flight power systems including development of his own motor. He sent this new PDF file promoting his new aviation batteries.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Donald Lineback Date: Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 9:13 PM Subject: Just staying in touch To: “firstname.lastname@example.org Carpenter” Cc: Don Lineback
I was looking at your website to see how your electric is coming along. Will you be at Sun-n-fun? Chip will be flying our new system there. So far, the motor is running at 99% efficiency. I hope to have a computerized auto pitch prop ready before Oshkosh. I have finally located a propane the fueled engine for charging a hybrid system for long range flights at a cost of $3.50 per hour. The engine puts out 2Hp per pound. Without the Epower Extender, it looks like me might get a 2 hour flight next week on one charge. All the test results will be on my new website soon. I will be taking a motor to California soon for Mark to test. We will have 3 battery pack sizes: 50Hp, 70Hp and 90Hp max. The cells stay cool. I found out that FAA will never approve NCR cells. If fact Tesla will not use them and Panasonic has a warehouse full of them and they are trying to get rid of them. (the cycle life is only 500 charges)