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Batteries are a hugely important technology. Modern life would be impossible without them. But many engineers find them disappointing and feel that they could be better still. Produce the right battery at the right price, these engineers think, and you could make the internal-combustion engine redundant and usher in a world in which free fuel, in the form of wind and solar energy, was the norm http://econ.st/14SVnu0
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John Lin's profile photoGarrett Graham's profile photoPaul Holt's profile photoMongrel Shark's profile photo
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Disappointing, they're terrible!  Same goes for photovoltaics.  We need HUGE leaps in efficiency.
 
But we are arrogant and stubborn so its only a matter of time
 
Don't forget the flaming laptops of the days of yore. 
 
Spinning flywheels are still a more efficient way to store energy than batteries.
 
They will turn your smart phone into a gyroscope though  ...
 
Even the Economist is able to be stupid when it really tries.
 
Right. The 5 biggest companies in the world trade oil and natural gas. A world free of fuel would mean that they must under go some changes. They have to loose profit, they have to cut jobs etc. Not happening soon. We are all about evolution on this planet, almost never about revolution.
Probably there are a few million people on this planet that make the oil flow and with out it they are going to starve. Job specialization in the end makes our whole civilization inflexible. Hope we don't pay for this.
 
When the high tech gets here let me know and then I'll eat crow. Until then I will be as sanctimonious as I please.
 
I for one am no lay-about. When batteries and solar cells make the leap I'll be all smiles and candy.
 
Lots of us researching better tech on youtube :) Come join the community. Learn, replicate, and invent.
 
Whoever figures out a better battery will get extremely wealthy, which means it's guaranteed to happen. Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later!
 
They did create an engine that runs on magnets; creativity to the extreme...  
 
I've seen videos of the Parendev motor running, but never one that makes it clear there is no other drive. Many people have tried to replicate without sucsess. It's a maybe for me. Could be a scam, hard to tell. Also bear in mind, it need rare earth magnets, which will be de-magnatised over time, and they create a ton of toxic nuclear waste in the manufacturing process. Good to see people experimenting with alternatives though.
 
If only we could sort power out of political promises, Obama would be a great source.
 
Nuclear is the only energy source on the planet that can compete with oil. Crap. Someone better figure out how to beat the laws of physics.
 
Fusion. Its not as hard as it sounds. Laws of Physics are not perfect. Many flaws. No need to break them to get over-unity anyhow. Energy harvesting is a promising field of research not many know about. Fission could be much safe too. Its all about making bombs as quickly as possible. If someone just wanted to make power, they would follow Eisenstein's plans that have never been tried. To use low level radioactives for slower more sustainable power release, and no bomb making stuff left over. There are plenty of options to explore. More than I can study in my lifetime
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What physics? Gas wasn't a decision. It was a bunch of rednecks in Ohio lighting stuff on fire. They were probably Irish immigrants. The Irish at the time obtained most of there energy walking around and seeing if the ground would catch on fire. Yay for peat. In the US, 100 years ago, agriculture was 80% of the economy. Now it's a tiny fraction. Times change. Deal with it.
 
Times don't change fast enough for batteries.
 
This is DEFINITELY a field that people need to have research teams devoted to....though I wouldn't feel so strongly if I wasn't a spoiled American......
 
More than spoiled americans stand to benefit.
 
Yes, people in poor countries may be the biggest beneficiaries of better batteries. For example, imagine a family in sub-Saharan Africa charging their battery from the sun during the day, so they can use the Internet or watch TV at night. (We spoiled Americans can recharge our phones and cars whenever we want as we are never far from an outlet.)
 
Batteries are great for a lot of things.  But will you ever fly a commercial jet on batteries?
 
Define jet. If you're referring to jet engines, of course not. That's like asking if batteries will ever power internal combustion engines. However, there are quite a lot of UAVs running on batteries right now...
 
The 787 wont be flying any batts at all very soon...
 
Electrostatic airflow propulsion is looking pretty promising. I've seen 12 year old kids lift a craft with enough power to lift 3x the weight of the craft. Imagine if engineers stopped engineering obsolescence and bogus profits, and started engineering for the future of man kind, rather than the betterment of their personal accounts... All sorts of stuff is possible if people give it a go. If your waiting for someone else to do it, could be a long wait. Best to learn for yourself if you have the intelligence to do so. Open source learning is available all over the net. For Free.
 
Engineer's don't design in obsolescence, that's the bean counter's job, and he works for the CEO.  :-)
 
Pfffftttt. Been-counters don't design stuff. Its in the engineers best interest to make a faulty product. More money in repairs and replacements and upgrades than in making quality products. The bean-counter might have some input. The engineer draws the plans though. If its faulty on purpose (like just about everything made today) its because the engineer made it so. Do you really want to play the Following orders/giving orders game? As long as there is constant expansion economics in play. There will always be massive mediocrity in the tech sector.
 
+Mongrel Shark
 You are correct. Bean counters don't design things, but in their way they limit what the engineer can do.

Bring all the money and the engineers will spend it, no problem.  But you may not end up with what you hope for.
 
+Doug Eason LOL. Agreed. If you want something done right, you need to learn to do it yourself :)

Its not just the bean counters limiting things. Its the economy itself. Whats good for me is whats bad for others. Whats good for another individual is likely bad for me. The bean counters are just doing their jobs. Keeping they system going. We need to switch to a more viable system asap. Constant expansion systems fail every time. Proven fact. Its a finite planet. The constant expansion system defys the laws of thermodynamics.... There at least 5 other models proven to work, as well as a few theoretical ones that look pretty workable..... There is a good book that discusses a lot of the economic options, as well as looking at what has failed to bring us here. Sacred Economics, by Charles Eisenstein. Its free to read online, or buy a paperback in good bookshops.
 
+Mongrel Shark If you build it, they will come... where are they? Another: platitude If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door. Maybe the mousetrap industrial complex is buying up mousetrap pattents to keep their inferior spring powered model on top, when there are superior fusion powered models that could easily replace them.
 
Not sure, but I think it is illegal to trap mice now ...  XD
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