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Gas Battery

Ion gas stores energy
  [vote for,

[Edited June 26'th 2009]
Use ionited gas to store energy. Good for air traffic, and especially lighter than air travel, store <b>electric</b> energy in gas (eg. hydrogen, or other gases).

An <b>additional</b> benefit may be that the ions would cause the gas expand, and thus you get the effect of hot gas (eg. hot air) with ionizing rather than heating. Perhaps that state is more stable than hot gas (if you can insulate it from discharging with some lightweight material).

But the main idea here is storing energy in gaseous ionized form, hence the name of the idea: Gas Battery.

There may be other benefits. Perhaps if this gas is in high pressure (but not liquid) you could make new types of batteries, not used till today...

Last but not least, perhaps even as a liquid, using materials which are naturally in gas form, may also enable new types of batteries.

pashute, Jun 24 2009

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       You mean a fuel cell? How very baked is that?
TolpuddleSartre, Jun 24 2009

       Hmmm, gas battery...air traffic, sounds like you are at the south end of a north facing mule.
4whom, Jun 24 2009

       I thought hydrogen-based lighter than air travel went out of fashion on 6th May 1937.
Wrongfellow, Jun 24 2009

       Baked: space shuttle.
DIYMatt, Jun 24 2009

       baked: [marked-for-deletion] not an idea and thus widely known to exist.
WcW, Jun 24 2009

       It seems the suggestion is to store energy in the form of ionised gas, which is not widely known to exist. H3O+, for instance, has a much greater energy density than any non-nuclear fuel in common use. Containment and production would be issues though; probably harder than silane but easier than antimatter.
spidermother, Jun 26 2009

       Yeah! Thanks spider! Why don't people read the idea with the title and short description?   

       I'm editing it to re-include the title and the desciption in the main text.   

       Ahem, baked?! When?! And [wrong], read wikipedia about the Hindenburg, and hydrogen's part in the injuries and deaths of that accident (or not).
pashute, Jun 26 2009

       4whome is that what happens whenever you talk?
pashute, Jun 26 2009

       I meant H3+ (protonated hydrogen), not H3O+, but it doesn't make much difference. [Wrongfellow] and [pashute]: you may both be right. Hydrogen as a lifting gas did go out of fashion after the Hindenburg fire, but it is not certain that hydrogen was the main culprit, and people's reaction against hydrogen may have been excessive.
spidermother, Jun 27 2009

       So, roughly how much energy can you store that way in what volume of gas?
jutta, Jun 27 2009

       The idea is much better now [pashute] . I appologise for my previous flippancy. I can agree with the heat generated by merely storing this stuff creating lift but still not absorbing most of the energy of your "battery". Had a long talk about this idea with a friend of mine. He is quite devoted to energy density. I don't think creating it and containing it will give you any energy positive differential that you could use. However it was pointed out to me that this stuff (especially H3+) is in abundance, having being created already. Most notably in interstellar space, but we will leave that detail. There are many ionised gasses that our planet has produced, waiting to be accumulated, or mined. The energy density is second only (OK make that third only with anti-matter) to nuclear energies.   

       Good idea, but still having difficulties with the lift portion, merely because it forms such a small percentage of the overall energy capture.   

       Also, containment is an issue. I would propose a Halbach sphere, if I knew how it could be created...
4whom, Jun 27 2009

       Petrol (gasoline) has about 32 MJ/litre or 44.4 MJ/kg. H3+ has about 437 MJ/kg (based on the ionisation energy of hydrogen). I'm not sure what volume 1 kg of H3+ (or any other ionised gas) would occupy. It would be rather repulsive. If it behaved like an ideal gas, its energy density by volume would be about 10 times that of hydrogen used as a fuel (combined with atmospheric air).   

       It's all fairly academic though, as any quantity of such stuff would (I suppose) cast a ferocious electric field and strip electrons out of any material used to contain it, and in turn from the surrounding air or other materials.
spidermother, Jun 30 2009

       [spidermother] pointed out the biggest problem in the idea: ions usually have their charge-counterparts lurking in the vicinity, otherwise macroscopic effects will ensue.   

       A Hindenburg filled with H3+ would be one pole of the most massive condensator ever created.
loonquawl, Jun 30 2009

       A little off topic, but the Mythbusters tested the Hindenburg/thermite paint myth and not only was the Hindenburg's paint NOT thermite, it wouldn't have made much of a difference if it was. Point is, the hydrogen fueled the fire.
DIYMatt, Jul 01 2009

       [loonquawl] and [spidermom] I did note the containment issues in my anno and proposed a magnetic array (Halbach Sphere) as an method of containment. However, lord knows how you would make one of those...   

       Further thought led me to the pretty well tested toroidal array. This could be done with permanent magnets in a normal Halbach array (sheet) curved into a torus (there seems to be no problem creating Halbach cylinders), or by electromagnets ( a la tokamak). With such large energy densities you could waste some on containment.   

       I must say, I am begining to like this idea... It is essentially a plasma battery. I would forget the lift portion, though, my flourescent tubes tend not to exit via the ceiling when I turn them on.
4whom, Jul 01 2009


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