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View Poll Results: How much would you spend on a 10 year battery with the same voltage and currant?
Under 2 Times as much 1 20.00%
2-5 Times as much 3 60.00%
5-8 Times as much 1 20.00%
8-12 Times as much 0 0%
Over 12 Times as much 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:49 PM
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United States, CA, San Marcos
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Radioisotope powered power supply (Nuclear Battery)

NUCLEUR POWERED BATTERIES!

Actually they do exist. A bit of Tritium (a special isotope of Hydrogen with 3 neutrons) and a thermocoupler is all it needs. The smallest one to date produces 1.8 volts at .2 amps, and its half life of the radioisotope is 12 years (Give or take)

This means every 12 years, you lose half your power. In 12 years, you have .1 amp and 9 volts, than in 24 years, you will have 5.00 ma at 4.5 v, in 36 years, you have 2.50 mah at 2.25 v......

Eventually, I will be using a bunch of those, no matter how expensive they are!

Oh, and if you short them, they do nothing to the battery, but they overheat the wires. And also, haha, they are not fission, they are decay, so they are safe. No meltdowns can happen, if it breaks open, the worst that can happen is you eat it and get sick for a bit, because the beta particles are pretty spread out, and for the most part, harmless. It's decay is at 0.018590 MeV

I am not sure when it will be released on the market, but right now, the Curiosity is roaming around Mars powered by one. Curiosity needs no solar panels, and it can be powered by this for over 20 years! Not to mention, it is using depleted Uranium-235, which is also known as radioactive waste from a non breeding reactor.

Using nuclear waste to make batteries that supply constant power for years? Yes please!

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-nuclear-batteries.htm

http://www.gizmag.com/smaller-nuclear-battery/13076/



I can't wait!
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:32 AM
Proud to eat Kraut ;-)
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Germany
Joined Dec 2003
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Well, good Sir, someone should get the facts straight.

The smallest RTGs were used to power artificial cardiac pacemakers, and had the size of a coin or two.

The ones with the power you mention would have about the size of a small fridge, and weigh around 1000kg.

Concerning the danger of radioactive contamination, there are reports of georgian lumberjacks, who got severely poisoned by a dismanteled RTG they stumbled upon.

But you are lucky: You don't have to wait!
Along the shorelines of the former USSR, forgotten RTGs wait in abandoned lighthouses and radio beacons for anyone who wants them, including terrorists who like dirty bombs.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:33 AM
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United States, CA, San Marcos
Joined Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julez View Post
Well, good Sir, someone should get the facts straight.

The smallest RTGs were used to power artificial cardiac pacemakers, and had the size of a coin or two.

The ones with the power you mention would have about the size of a small fridge, and weigh around 1000kg.

Concerning the danger of radioactive contamination, there are reports of georgian lumberjacks, who got severely poisoned by a dismanteled RTG they stumbled upon.

But you are lucky: You don't have to wait!
Along the shorelines of the former USSR, forgotten RTGs wait in abandoned lighthouses and radio beacons for anyone who wants them, including terrorists who like dirty bombs.
Thanks for the info. I was just passing info a friend gave to me regarding nuclear batteries...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pilotavery View Post
This means every 12 years, you lose half your power. In 12 years, you have .1 amp and 9 volts, than in 24 years, you will have 5.00 ma at 4.5 v, in 36 years, you have 2.50 mah at 2.25 v......
No you dont, the thermocouple deteriorates too, often faster than the isotope decays.

Never mind that power density is abominable, but tritium is not exactly the most common thing on the planet, you need to make it from lithium in a nuclear reactor then process the results (there are other methods but you wont get much). Expensive and still requires running a nuclear reactor so you may as well use the reactor
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:29 AM
Reduce the drama...
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Joined Apr 2004
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Poisonous. extremely poisonous
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:18 PM
characters welcome!
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United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
Joined Feb 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotavery View Post
A bit of Tritium (a special isotope of Hydrogen with 3 neutrons)...
Actually, one proton and two neutrons.

mw (in the interest of accuracy)
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:26 PM
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Again, Most of this stuff is over my head. I am more into politics. But I just basically restated what a friend of mine (William) sent me. I can send him a link to this though! Darn... I wanted a battery for my plane soon ...

Anyway, but its still cool they exist right? I would buy one...

Hmmm... I looked up the mars rover power system, and it's totally awesome. Eventually they should get a fission powered one ...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:47 PM
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Think your half life might be wrong. It wouldn't be half of output power, it would be half of the available reactive material.

For those that are scared of radioactive material, don't lick your smoke detector
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:27 AM
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Haralson County GA. USA
Joined Oct 2004
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Quote:
Using nuclear waste to make batteries that supply constant power for years? Yes please!
Why not? We use electric power generated by nuculear powered plants to produce batteries to run watches / clocks which were powered by mechanical means for hundreds of years.




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For those that are scared of radioactive material, don't lick your smoke detector
I am a lot more afraid of Bra less Wonders.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:45 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betavoltaics

Your poll is pretty silly as something that could power a model would cost millions of times what a cheap lipo pack would.

The pack on Curiosity is not a betavoltaic pack but a Radioisotope thermal generator which uses an incredibly rare isotope of Plutonium that is no longer being produced. It is heavy and produces around 100 watts. Not exactly flyable.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Helno View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betavoltaics

Your poll is pretty silly as something that could power a model would cost millions of times what a cheap lipo pack would.

The pack on Curiosity is not a betavoltaic pack but a Radioisotope thermal generator which uses an incredibly rare isotope of Plutonium that is no longer being produced. It is heavy and produces around 100 watts. Not exactly flyable.

Again, I am not the one who knows about this stuff. I was basically repeating what William had told me. I certainly would buy one. I went to look online to research, and I understood just about nothing, other than some watches, pacemakers, and other small items are powered by them.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Yeah I figured that out when you referred to depleted U-235. (Depleted uranium is U-238 and neither U-235 or U-238 are suitable for RTG's because they have half lives that are millions and billions of years)

What you need to understand about nuclear batteries is that thy have terrible power densities. Sure you can power something for a long time but the battery will be huge. The reason they are used in some space probes is because there is literally not enough sunlight past mars to generate the required power.

Read the wikipedia article on curiositys RTG and you will find that they actually use it to charge a pair of large lithium batteries. The RTG has 11 lbs of PU-238 yet makes only 125 watts from 2000 watts of heat. There is very little PU-238 left after that mission as it is no longer being produced and it is not naturally occurring.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium-238

You really dont want to see the price tag associated with these things.
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