Notices
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Nuclear battery. What's the catch?

  1. #1 Nuclear battery. What's the catch? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    First water-based nuclear battery can be used to generate electrical energy -- ScienceDaily

    This seems too good to be true. A practical nuclear battery. What are they not telling us?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,969
    We've had such devices for decades. Radium lights that last for years, RTG's that last for decades.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,094
    The battery uses a radioactive isotope called strontium-90
    If this isotope will get in environment (water, soil) it will become contaminant and cause cancer and genetic mutations in people.
    Also it could be intentionally purchased by terrorists to convert into "dirty bomb" to contaminate entire cities or regions.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    BillvonA battery is different. The article suggests it could be used as a car battery. This suggests that 50 might run an electric car. Very different to a limited radium light. So what is the catch?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,969
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    BillvonA battery is different. The article suggests it could be used as a car battery. This suggests that 50 might run an electric car.
    Well, right - but it's all about power density. If 50 might run a car and they weigh a 20 kg a piece it's not very useful. And they were very careful to say that this just "boosts electrochemcial energy in a water-based solution" - which is a bit different than other nuclear batteries, which generate power.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    Point taken. But even if it just boosts battery power, that would be a major asset. I do not see nuclear leaks as a major problem, since batteries are sealed units anyway, and a little care would make them as close to leak-proof as is possible. I am puzzled that something as potentially revolutionary as this should appear on an obscure science report and not in every damn newspaper. That is why I ask what the catch is.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    The fact it requires platinum could be a red flag, depending on how much they need in order for the device to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic's OP Link
    The battery uses a radioactive isotope called strontium-90 that boosts electrochemcial energy in a water-based solution. A nanostructured titanium dioxide electrode (the common element found in sunscreens and UV blockers) with a platinum coating collects and effectively converts energy into electrons.
    Platinum currently sells for slightly more than gold. That could make for some very expensive batteries.

    New York spot price Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Quote Spot Price Chart, Kitco Gold index
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,969
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I do not see nuclear leaks as a major problem, since batteries are sealed units anyway, and a little care would make them as close to leak-proof as is possible.
    In that case use RTG's! They are available right now and would be awesome in colder climates. You could heat your house and provide enough power to run lights, a water pump, fans etc.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    Sorry, RTGs ?

    Looked on the web but just got a lot of stuff about finance.

    OB
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,750
    Radioisotope thermoelectric generator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I googled "rtg power"

    Not that I know what it is , mind you
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,969
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Sorry, RTGs ?
    Sorry, radioisotope thermal generators. They are basically "nuclear waste" that is still warm from nuclear decay. The heat is used to generate electricity via a Peltier junction converter, and the waste heat is then dissipated. An efficient heat engine (a Stirling or even steam engine) would be even more efficient in converting that heat to electricity.

    An example would be the GPHS RTG, which powers many of our spacecraft. It will output about 300 watts of electrical power (7.2 kilowatt-hours a day, which would run your home if you were _very_ careful with power usage) and 4000 watts of heat. Put one of those in your basement and run and heat your house at the same time - for decades.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    13
    What's wrong with solar panel energy? Conventional batteries can store energy, say, in the shadow of the moon and otherwise in the case of a high demand.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,969
    Quote Originally Posted by vampares View Post
    What's wrong with solar panel energy? Conventional batteries can store energy, say, in the shadow of the moon and otherwise in the case of a high demand.
    You listed it - batteries. They are heavy, expensive, polluting and short-lived.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Sorry, RTGs ?
    Sorry, radioisotope thermal generators. They are basically "nuclear waste" that is still warm from nuclear decay. The heat is used to generate electricity via a Peltier junction converter, and the waste heat is then dissipated. An efficient heat engine (a Stirling or even steam engine) would be even more efficient in converting that heat to electricity.

    An example would be the GPHS RTG, which powers many of our spacecraft. It will output about 300 watts of electrical power (7.2 kilowatt-hours a day, which would run your home if you were _very_ careful with power usage) and 4000 watts of heat. Put one of those in your basement and run and heat your house at the same time - for decades.
    Ah, right. Thanks. And thanks Geordief.

    Any intelligent alien examining us must wonder why the hell we dig up dirty coal and oil and burn it*, polluting our atmosphere, when we could have relatively clean and virtually endless energy in our homes**.

    Is there any dangerous radiation from RTG's and if so is it easy to shield?


    * I know: because it's cheap and relatively easy to do.
    ** Because there will always be some idiot who would use it to contaminate the town or city of a society or population they didn't like.

    OB
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, Wa
    Posts
    1,909
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vampares View Post
    What's wrong with solar panel energy? Conventional batteries can store energy, say, in the shadow of the moon and otherwise in the case of a high demand.
    You listed it - batteries. They are heavy, expensive, polluting and short-lived.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...ough/13474795/
    The article also mentions that they will be lighter and cheaper. Still be 3 to 5 years from market, but hey, it's coming.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,169
    We could all just buy local and walk more.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    We could all just buy local and walk more.
    Either that, or try to figure out how that machine works that takes static electricity from the air. *wink*
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Can Rain Catch Fire
    By bryan in forum Earth Sciences
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: March 30th, 2012, 06:18 AM
  2. A salt battery of nuclear-reactor high power?
    By Joshua Stone in forum Pseudoscience
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 8th, 2011, 07:24 PM
  3. Science Forum posting...the quest to catch Ophiolite
    By Quantime in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: November 13th, 2007, 05:52 AM
  4. How to catch a stealth airplane
    By (In)Sanity in forum Military Technology
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: January 15th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •