Well S. that was interesting article.
I'm thinking this "might" maybe be ok for a cell phone... I mean, they already are supposedly bad just having them next to your head as is!
So adding a bit of nuclear waste to the mix just doesn't do it for me.
As far as bigger??? Well maybe out in a car ... but bigger yet for an off grid home ... not at my house.
I like that a tiny 10KW unit, (about the size of a 7KWH Discover AES LiFePo4 battery) could power my off-grid house. providing 240KWH per day vs just the usual 24KWH/day that the avg house uses. All I would need is just an inverter.
This is what I call a true battery generator.
I only have 3 concerns:
- how will they dispose of it, given that it will be radio-active waste
- what happens to it during say a tornado or flood that destroys my house, will they recover it, or just leave it in a ditch
- what happens if mines is the 1 out of every ~10 million that fails.
This is only a slightly far-fetched idea. Essentially this is something called a Beta Cell, and these were in fact used decades ago to power pacemakers.
The basic mechanism is actually fairly straight forward. At the heart is a bit of some radioactive material with a half-life measured in years to decades. For comparison sake, the longer the half life, the less dangerous the radiation. The radioactive material decays with a beta decay and releases a beta particle. A beta particle is simply an electron ejected from the nuclear decay. The electron then interacts with some conductor to become an electric charge which then can either utilize the charge or charge a small battery. Regarding the waste, this is not an especially big issue. The materials selected are typically only 1 decay away from a stable isotope. And when the cell quits working, the radioactive material has decayed away to safe levels. Beta particles themselves barely penetrate anything. The conductive layer around the cell completely blocks all Beta particles (electrons). This is not any more radioactive than a smoke detector which also uses a radioactive material. In the case of an smoke detector, a radioactive material emits an Alpha Particle. The smoke detector had a primitive geiger counter which measures the release of Alpha Particles (helium nuclei). Alpha Particles are stopped by almost anything, including a single sheet of paper or even the skin of the palm of your hand. When a particle of smoke drifts between the smoke detector's radioactive material and the geiger counter, the Alpha Particle is blocked and the smoke detector goes off. Actually, smoke detectors go bad over the years because the radioactive material decays away at which point the smoke detector goes off and won't shut off unless the battery is removed.
But as use as a power source, you would need a bunch of these cells in order to work. Maybe you could make a little battery pack that would auto-charge to charge up a cell phone. Maybe you could even get enough to power a drill or cordless tool (but this might also be far fetched). I imagine something powerful enough to run a car or house would be the size of a car or house.
But I saw the same thing and it is a fascinating idea.
Some places need to be wild
Common Weeds And Wild Edibles Of The World (HD video)