Looking for available electricity that can be emissions-free to replace gasoline or diesel engines, bringing new applications to portable power sources.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) statistics, U.S. electricity customers experienced more than 8 hours of power outages in 2020. Generally, when the power supply is off, the portable power supply can be turned on. Traditionally, portable power sources come from generators driven by gasoline (sometimes diesel or natural gas) internal combustion engines. A major problem with low-cost, high-power, and easy-to-carry fossil fuel generators is that they cause greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions during operation.
The conversion from fossil fuels to portable power sources opens up areas for a variety of applications that are larger in scale than gasoline generators ever offered. Advanced batteries can provide electricity for everything, use solar panels and small wind turbines to charge batteries, and even use fuel cells to convert hydrogen into electricity for use in the wild. These can all be ways to develop portable electricity concepts.
We believe that advanced portable power technology can meet various challenges. We focus on nine different applications and introduce new green, clean and safe solutions.
Emergency Power Supply
Providing power during a power outage is the portable power application most familiar to homeowners. Many of these are powered by internal combustion engines, which run on natural gas and will automatically turn on when the power grid is cut off. In fact, they can run as long as they have enough fuel and are large enough to run refrigerators and freezers, electric lights and televisions, and even heat pump air conditioning and heating systems. Unfortunately, they generate a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.
Replacing the traditional generator system can be accomplished in several ways. Large batteries, such as Tesla Powerwall, can be part of the home appliance system. Under normal circumstances, the batteries are fully charged using the energy provided by the grid. If there is a power failure, the batteries will provide electricity for the family and there is no greenhouse gas emission. (Except for electricity generated by the grid to charge the battery system)
Since the internal combustion engine power generation system does not produce toxic gas emissions, the battery power supply can run indoors without sound. The downside, however, is that large and expensive batteries are required to power large traction equipment such as air conditioners or heat pumps. The charging life of these batteries is only a few hours. After the power is restored, charging them from the grid is also a long process, which takes many hours. It is also possible to use solar panels to charge, even if the grid is still off, charging in sufficient sunlight, the total operating time of most solar panels will only increase by a few hours.
The US military has realized that deploying advanced portable power systems is a life-saving strategy. One of the most dangerous tasks for soldiers in enemy territory is to drive convoys to bases and outposts. Bombs and other explosive devices (IEDs) placed on the highway can destroy the entire tanker, causing serious injury or death to the driver and team members. In addition to using diesel generators to power the base, solar or wind power can also be used to power the camp at night or when there is no wind. The excess power stored in the battery system is used to power the camp. Renewable energy greatly reduces the number of fuel fleets that need to be transported and improves safety.
Another use of the portable power supply is to be a portable power supply device for soldiers in the field. A modern soldier needs to wear 120 to 200 pounds (54.43 to 90.72 kg) of equipment. In addition to weapons, ammunition, and body armor, the US Army infantry also needs to carry up to 25 pounds (11.34 kg) of batteries. Battery power can provide power whether in night vision equipment or radio communication, even smart phones, tablet computers and new global positioning system technologies. The current electricity demand is about 12 watts, which is expected to double by 2025.
Due to their lighter weight and higher energy density, lithium batteries have almost replaced other types of batteries carried by soldiers in the past few decades. Lithium-sulfur dioxide primary batteries have a long shelf life and are easy to store, and can be used in electronic devices such as GPS and wireless communications. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries can be used in tactical radios, thermal imagers, electronic radar interference waves (ECM), radar band electronic support measures (ESM), and portable computers.
You can see and hear portable power supplies in the form of lithium-ion powered tools in any public place. Rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs are available for every portable drill, saw, electric lamp, and flat grinder. These battery packs are usually interchangeable between equipment made by the same manufacturer.
These power tools are often charged with gasoline generators, but new options have recently emerged. For example, the Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid pickup truck has a Pro Power on-board system that can provide 2.4 kilowatts or optional 7.2 kilowatts of electricity. There are up to 4 120V20A power output interfaces and a 7.2 kilowatt 240V30A power output interface in the interior of the pickup truck. Ford pointed out that the 7.2-kilowatt Pro Power on-board system can power metal car body workshops including plasma cutters, TiG welders, cutting saws, air compressors, surface grinders and work lights.
Heavy-duty diesel-driven tractors used in agriculture and construction are now the targets of electrification of industry giants such as John Deere and Mahindra. Working all day in muddy fields or very rugged areas (six hours on a single charge), electric tractors can carry very large lithium-ion battery packs (150KW/h or more), and can be charged as fast as possible to ensure use.
Another goal of large companies is autonomous electric vehicles. These autonomous electric vehicles will be able to cultivate, sow, fertilize and spray farmland without the presence of a driver.
In addition to reducing emissions, electric driving systems are more durable than diesel engines, thereby reducing maintenance costs and downtime due to mechanical failures.
Portable battery devices have also found use in home courtyards and garden markets. Nothing is more annoying than the noise caused by a gasoline-powered blower. Fortunately, electric blowers have been on the market for more than 10 years, and they can be used for 30 to 90 minutes with lithium-ion battery packs. Although this is sufficient for most homeowners, the battery packs needed by commercial users can last longer. In the next step, electric blowers will become the direction of development.
Wireless electric lawn mowers initially faced the same limitations as many battery-powered devices, but the advent of lithium-ion batteries brought homeowners more practical machines. Infinite electric lawn mowers are far superior to gasoline powered lawn mowers in terms of noise and greenhouse gas emissions.
The buzzing of the campsite generator is even worse. Motorhomes and camping trailers can provide a comfortable space, but all of this can be achieved without power. Without shore power systems, engines can only be powered by diesel, gasoline or natural gas, causing noise and environmental pollution.
Instead, we can use portable power stations. This kind of power station is similar to the size of a microwave oven and is a large rechargeable battery that can be charged by household current or connected to a portable solar power grid.
The portable power station can provide enough power for small applications in a short time without the noise and smoke generated by the transmission generator.
Major events require a lot of power. For example, from September 24 to 26, 2021, the 43rd Ryder Cup (Ryder Cup) golf tournament will be held in the Whistling Straits golf course in Wisconsin, USA. More than 100 facilities such as power supply, heating and cooling are required on site, including stands and catering. Reception, large audience video screen, operating building, PGA championship golf shop, international pavilion, and opening and closing ceremonies.
In order to meet the electricity demand, 100 generators were installed to generate a total of 23,000 kilowatts. A 20-kilowatt propane generator replaced the traditional diesel generator in the Ryder Cup office, reducing 19 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Emissions and reduce fuel costs by 30%.
In addition, four 30-kilowatt batteries are prepared for daytime use, which can minimize the use time of the engine, keep the noise level to a minimum, so that fans can watch the game better, and can also reduce an additional 24 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The marine environment
Ships need special power because the humid and usually salty marine environment can cause serious damage to marine electronic equipment. On a commercial scale, air pollution in ports is a primary environmental problem, for example, pollution directly affects nearby residents. Electrified ships and port machinery have therefore received great attention.
Yachts also require a lot of electricity because they are equipped with radios, global positioning systems and other navigation equipment, radars, sounders, and various entertainment, air conditioning and heating equipment. The batteries of traditional ships are charged by generators on the running engines. However, solar panels are installed on the deck and the top of the nacelle to provide charging without generating greenhouse gas emissions. Some sailboats have completely eliminated gasoline or diesel engines, instead using electric motors with lithium-ion battery packs. Li-ion battery packs can be charged by solar energy or using electric motors as generators during sailing.
We generally don’t think of batteries used in medical equipment as portable power sources, but everything from hearing aids to pacemakers can be portable. A complete set of battery chemistries are used for medical purposes, including nickel-chromium batteries (Ni-Cd), nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) and alkaline-manganese batteries (alkaline-manganese). Many medical devices use non-rechargeable primary batteries. For example, zinc-air batteries are commonly used in hearing aids. These disposable batteries can provide high energy density, are light in weight, and have relatively low manufacturing costs. These materials are relatively safe to dispose of in the environment.
Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more and more popular as the choice of electric vehicles, personal electronic products, and power storage devices for the growing scale of power grids. Medtronic is another company that has readily accepted lithium-ion batteries since 2004. All of Medtronic's rechargeable batteries are lithium-ion batteries. The company uses an inductive charging system that can be worn on patients and charged through the skin.
For a long time, the particularity of medical batteries has increased the cost of development and manufacturing. With the current vigorous development of continuously improved, stronger and more reliable batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries, for example, for applications in personal electronic devices and electric vehicles, the medical battery market will benefit.
Hand-held navigation devices, such as the Global Positioning System, make many outdoor types of hiking and cycling trips safer. In addition, portable emergency positioning beacons and satellite phones can save lives in emergency situations. Portable emergency positioning beacons and satellite phones have reliable operation capabilities through lithium-ion battery packs, which are the result of the development of personal computers and other electronic devices.
The charging system allows charging smartphones, but only the pocket-sized volume makes the journey easier.