Martijn Scheffer
how large is a "a tub of vegetable spread" ? and what is it ? can u use the metric system please ?
Wombat56
Martijn Scheffer, he probably means a 500 gm plastic tub or the size of a pound of butter,
Pmeon
Putting this battery into perspective.
A 1mm * 1mm solar panel will produce 230 micro watts. or 230 Watts/meter^2
Lift your phone up 1 meter in 1 second, that is 2,000,000 micro watts.
Riding a bike, 250,000,000 micro watts.
An average car 250,000,000,000 micro watts.
Does anyone do Math anymore?
davidefreeman
The fingernail-size fragment mentioned in the article (actually much smaller than a fingernail) scaled up to a tub of margarine (1 liter) would conservatively generate 0.2W (continuous) or 4.8Wh/day and optimistically generate 1W continuous or 24Wh/day. That one liter of diamond would weigh over 7 pounds.

So looking at this for mobile applications is a pipe-dream, but to serve as a trickle-charge source opens up a number of opportunities. Let's scale it up to an off-grid fixed location use case. Assuming the optimistic energy output, let's scale that up to a cubic meter. That will generate 1Kw continuous. Doesn't sound like much, but that's equivalent to a 3Kw solar panel array and would provide enough energy to power a typical US home. For five thousand years....

It sounded like they expect tritium to provide a little bit higher power density at the cost of reduced lifespan, so if we assume a factor of 2x, a cubic meter weighting 3.5 tons would provide 2Kw continuous for 48Kwh/day. When combined with traditional batteries or supercaps, that's enough for most any home in the US, cellular/satellite base stations, telecommunications backup power, etc.

While very low, densities are high enough that large installations might actually be really interesting.

A container of tritium diamond battery ~= 2m*12m*2.5m ~= 60m^3 ~= 120Kw and would weigh >200 tons!
A hectare covered with containers stacked two-high ~= 400 containers ~= 48Mw continuous

So not quite at the point where they could provide baseline power (assuming cost isn't a concern), but it's a lot closer than I expected. I could see how this could be used to provide rural or distributed power where the demands aren't too high or it's just backfill for traditional power sources.
Mark T.
Tesla has nothing to worry about. It would take the combined power of millions of these to match my long range Tesla Model 3. Completely impractical for transportation. Even the tritium diamond version would be over 600 tons for the same power output with a weight and a cost that would make it completely impractical.
Signguy
Don't forget ingenuity and creativity of people; many "impossible" things are commonplace now...
JustSaying
And the search for the holy grail keeps right on going. Maybe we will find Dilithium Crystals some where out there.
Calcfan
The fact that you didn't list the patent numbers also raises eyebrows. Isn't that the whole point of patents? Is the patent system different for them? They should have US patents for sure.
paul314
Computer mainboards would be a wonderful place for this to be. After 3-5 years, the lithium coin cell that keeps the clock running and the configuration memory working dies. Nothing works right any more until you replace the cell. Which often requires disassembling the whole damn thing. One of the reasons many companies junk desktop computers on a regular schedule. A module that produced 10 microwatts indefinitely would eliminate issue.
ljaques
Thanks for confirming our skepticism, Loz. NDBs will be useful only for extremely low current draw for the forseeable future. Kudos to Mr. Boardman for his transparency and help.