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Energy Optimization of Electric Planes Through Battery-Powered Technologies

By CIOReview | Friday, April 26, 2019

At the French Alps, last summer, a two-seater aircraft set seven new records by flying 20,000 feet above the ground within a time span of two minutes and attaining the maximum speed of 142 miles per hour. The most remarkable thing about the aircraft is that it doesn’t make use of fossil fuel or produce high ozone emission. Instead, the plane runs on the single battery-powered electric motor.

Advancement in technologies and requirement of energy efficient devices has led to the deployment of electric vehicles, which is gaining real traction in the recent market. This evolution is mainly due to the insufficient supply of fossil fuels and its impact on environmental factors. Furthermore, an increase in the fuel cost has also led people to move towards electric vehicles.

Battery-powered electric vehicles are replacing the traditional fuel system with its advantages concerning cost, life cycle assessment, and eco-friendly factors. Several researches are carried out in the battery technology to enhance its performance in terms of affordability, compactness, physical structure, and lightweight. The researches carried out by scientists at Oxis Energy, a startup company in the UK, has showcased the development of advanced energy-efficient battery system by integrating the chemical properties of sulphur and lithium for storing twice as much energy per kilogram compared to lithium batteries today.

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Furthermore, a survey done by MIT Technological Review has demonstrated a unique type of battery through which an airplane can be powered to travel distances. But the main limitation observed during the development is to achieve the balance amongst the output power and the battery weight. The MIT scientist’s team, led by Yet-Ming Chiang found the solution through physical modification of the battery structure, which allows direct flow of electricity from one electrode to other. From this modification, the researchers believe that the discharging capacity of the battery is quite fast and powerful, which can lift approximately 12-seat plane off the ground. Moreover, the energy stored is also enough to travel on a plane for a short-range journey.

According to Chiang, the research carried out provided a whole new direction for the future perspective to extract maximum benefits from battery-powered devices or for electric aviation application. At present, the research team working with 24M in Cambridge is trying to develop a test prototype batteries using magnetic approach. If the research succeeds, then it will provide a new strategy for the future to evaluate planes electricity systems on the ground through copper tests.

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