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Science Forum

  1. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Jun '18 03:42
    Accidentally posted this in general:

    https://phys.org/news/2018-06-prototype-nuclear-battery-power.html

    3300 milliwatt hour per gram for now generating 10 microwatts but it is far from optimized, this may be the battery that replaces Li-ion cells in a few years.

    Good work from the Russian science team.
  2. 04 Jun '18 07:20 / 3 edits
    It's an interesting idea but Nickel-63 is extremely expensive because it has to be produced synthetically so it might not be cost effective because of that.
    On the other hand, Nickel-63 has a half life of almost exactly 100 years. So if that mean the battery can be designed to produce continuos adequate power for a time period of vaguely ~100 years, perhaps it will pay for itself eventually despite its huge initial costs as it would save having to either recharge or replace a conventual battery MANY times in that 100 year period!
  3. 04 Jun '18 08:32 / 1 edit
  4. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Jun '18 12:28
    Originally posted by @humy
    It's an interesting idea but Nickel-63 is extremely expensive because it has to be produced synthetically so it might not be cost effective because of that.
    On the other hand, Nickel-63 has a half life of almost exactly 100 years. So if that mean the battery can be designed to produce continuos adequate power for a time period of vaguely ~100 years, perhaps i ...[text shortened]... ve having to either recharge or replace a conventual battery MANY times in that 100 year period!
    If the battery became useful enough to produce in industrial numbers, that might drive down the cost of N-63. I was thinking the expensive part would have been the diamond part. I guess both parts are expensive.
  5. Subscriber Ponderable
    chemist
    05 Jun '18 14:07
    Originally posted by @sonhouse
    If the battery became useful enough to produce in industrial numbers, that might drive down the cost of N-63. I was thinking the expensive part would have been the diamond part. I guess both parts are expensive.
    Well you Need a Radiation source to make the Ni63, this will be expensive, no matter what. Probably the used amount of Ni63 was relatively cheap, since no full economic cost is calculated in Research reactors...
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    05 Jun '18 15:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @ponderable
    Well you Need a Radiation source to make the Ni63, this will be expensive, no matter what. Probably the used amount of Ni63 was relatively cheap, since no full economic cost is calculated in Research reactors...
    What about Iron 60? We used that in Lucent cleanrooms to measure the thickness of some coatings coming out of the electron gun evaporators, like 500 Angstrom thick coatings and the Iron 60 hooked to a special detector could measure the thickness of the coating by the attenuation of the radiation.

    That stuff is REAL reactive, not sure of the half life but it sure set off our Geiger counters when the little cover flap was opened.

    I tried covering the business end of the thing with a half inch thick SS and some counts came through even that.

    I got in a bit of trouble pointing that out, Lucent uppers didn't want to hear about dangers from that instrument. They parked the thing on an open wire shelf right above operators running microscopes and such.

    I proved there was radiation coming off the thing to no avail other than 'mind your own business', you are not irreplacable.

    it actually took intervention of the local electrical union to get me out of trouble and keep my job.

    Not that it did much good, a few months later Lucent took a major dump and everyone was laid off here in Allentown.

    The only one who came out on top of that fiasco was the CEO who knew things were going downhill and sold his shares for over 80 bucks a share. Made something like 10 mil off that and didn't go to jail.

    I had a friend here in town who BOUGHT Lucent shares at 80. Not a good choice.
    She lost 20,000 bucks.