. 24/7 Space News .
Engineers design battery to power flying cars
by Brooks Hays
Washington DC (UPI) Jun 7, 2021

Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft have attracted considerable interest as a disruptive technology to transform future transportation systems.

Engineers at Penn State published plans Monday for a battery prototype they said is capable of powering flying cars.

"I think flying cars have the potential to eliminate a lot of time and increase productivity and open the sky corridors to transportation," lead author Chao-Yang Wang said in a press release on the study, published in the journal Joule.

"But electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles are very challenging technology for the batteries," said Wang, director of the Electrochemical Engine Center at Penn State.

In the last couple of years, several prototypes have emerged -- including from companies in South Korea, China, Slovakia and Japan -- which incorporate technology from helicopters and cars to create a hybrid vehicle of sorts.

The prototypes include SkyDrive's SD-03 vehicle that was tested in August, KleinVision's AirCar that could be for sale as soon as this year and Xpeng Motors' Kiwigogo vehicle that debuted at last year's Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.

While some prototypes have included wheels, they all incorporate spinning rotors to facilitate takeoff and landing, including the air taxi shown off last year by Hyundai and Uber, which is basically a small helicopter.

While the AirCar runs on liquid fuel, the others are at least partially powered by electric -- which means they require powerful batteries to fly.

In the new paper, Wang and his research partners established a variety of technical requirements for the batteries of electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs.

In order to get a flying car off the ground, an electric battery must be able to deliver a lot of power and fast.

"Batteries for flying cars need very high energy density so that you can stay in the air," Wang said. "And they also need very high power during take-off and landing. It requires a lot of power to go vertically up and down."

Additionally, a flying car battery must ideally be able to be quickly recharged. Unlike most flying vehicles, eVTOLs will likely be taking off and landing rather frequently.

"Commercially, I would expect these vehicles to make 15 trips, twice a day during rush hour, to justify the cost of the vehicles," he said. "The first use will probably be from a city to an airport carrying three to four people about 50 miles."

In the lab, researchers tested the performance of a pair of energy-dense lithium-ion batteries capable of delivering the kind of power needed to sustain a 50-mile, 5- to 10-minute eVTOL trip.

The experiments showed the batteries were good for 2,000 fast-charges over the course of their lifetimes.

Tests involving batteries the team is developing for electric road vehicles -- which are designed to offer a longer driving range with a faster charging time -- showed heat is key to preventing lithium spikes, which can damage batteries and lead to dangerous battery failures.

To avoid this, Wang and his colleagues were able to rapidly heat the batteries by incorporating nickel foil into the design.

Researchers found suitable heating also allowed the batteries to deliver a rapid burst of power -- the type of discharge required for take-offs and landings -- more efficiently.

"Under normal circumstances, the three attributes necessary for an eVTOL battery work against each other," Wang said. "High energy density reduces fast charging and fast charging usually reduces the number of possible recharge cycles. But we are able to do all three in a single battery."

It's easy to rapidly charge a battery that's nearly drained, but frequent takeoffs and landings will require rapid charging of half-full batteries -- a more difficult task. However, the latest research suggests sufficient heating can solve this problem, too.

"I hope that the work we have done in this paper will give people a solid idea that we don't need another 20 years to finally get these vehicles," Wang said. "I believe we have demonstrated that the eVTOL is commercially viable."

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Compound commonly found in candles lights the way to grid-scale energy storage
Richland, WA (SPX) Jun 06, 2021
A compound used widely in candles offers promise for a much more modern energy challenge - storing massive amounts of energy to be fed into the electric grid as the need arises. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have shown that low-cost organic compounds hold promise for storing grid energy. Common fluorenone, a bright yellow powder, was at first a reluctant participant, but with enough chemical persuasion has proven to be a potent partner for ener ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

TMC Technologies wins contract to support NASA's IV&V Program

Cyprus, Austria, Greece have EU's cleanest beaches: agency

NASA awards new spacecraft avionics development contract

Adventure-lovers defy gravity on the tallest Chinese TV tower

Axiom Space signs with SpaceX for 3 more private crew missions to ISS

California prepares for more West Coast space launches

NASA stacks elements for upper portion of Artemis II Core Stage

PLD Space receives ESA contract to study reusing MIURA 5 boosters

InSight Mars Lander Gets a power boost

NASA's Curiosity rover captures shining clouds on Mars

Surviving an in-flight anomaly: what happened on Ingenuity's 6th flight

Newly discovered glaciers could aid human survival on Mars

Tianzhou 2 docks with China's new station core module

Spacewalks planned for Shenzhou missions

China cargo craft docks with space station module

New advances inspire China's deep space exploration

Kleos Polar Vigilance Mission Satellites dispatched to Cape Canaveral for Launch

GomSpace wins contract to develop satellites for global air traffic management consortium

GMV supplies operations centre for the new generation of Yahsat satellites

European space program seeks first disabled astronaut

SpaceChain to test On-orbit Ethereum Multisignature Transaction Services on ISS

Technique inspired by lace making could someday weave structures in space

CityU scientists make a breakthrough towards solving the structural mystery of glass

Visualizing cement hydration on a molecular level

Scientists develop new molecular tool to detect alien life

Thirty year stellar survey cracks mysteries of galaxy's giant planets

Deep oceans dissolve the rocky shell of water-ice planets

Origins of life researchers develop a new ecological biosignature

Leiden astronomers calculate genesis of Oort cloud in chronologically order

NASA's Juno to get a close look at Jupiter's Moon Ganymede

Jupiter antenna that came in from the cold

Experiments validate the possibility of helium rain inside Jupiter and Saturn

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.