SaltX Hack #3: Pimp my (electric) ride

Improve the range and comfort of electric cars in colder climates

Background
The popularity of electric vehicles has rapidly increased over the last years. But there is still one problem! During the cold weather, the driving range of electric vehicles reduces significantly[1]. At lower temperatures, the range can drop up to 30% of maximum capacity[2]. At SaltX, we have invented a patented technology to store energy with salt. A thermo-chemical storage with high energy density, which can store heating energy and release it in forms of both heating and cooling. We believe that you can combine these technologies and improve the range and comfort for electric vehicles and make something great even better.

Challenge
Improve the range and comfort of electric cars in colder climates. Utilize SaltX thermal energy storage technology, modify a Tesla Model S and demonstrate (on paper) how you can improve the car’s performance. The winning team will be the ones that come up with the best business case combined with the greatest technical solution.

How
The winning team will get the support to make the idea happen for real. We have a Tesla Model S for your disposal for a period of 2 months. Modify it as you wish to increase the range. Our partner Uniti, a Swedish electric car company, will help you through a feasibility study to get you on the right track. In addition, you will be a part of mentorship programs and get start-up capital.

Who are you?
You might be an entrepreneur, a creative, a business student or an engineer. We need all competences to solve this challenge.

The technology
The key in the technology of SaltX is that the salt can be charged and discharged thousands of times without losing its characteristics. The technology works very much like a battery. A simple way to describe it: salt water is boiled which leads to the salt and water being separated from each other. Dry salt is what remains in the chamber. The boiling water ends up in a second and separate vessel. A valve is closed and keeps the two from each other, the boiling water condenses.

When opening the valve, the water then reunites with the salt, a chemical reaction takes place, and heating energy is released. The vessel where the water has been during the separation, gets very cold due to an equalization of the energy balance. The charging and discharging process of the salt takes place in a closed vacuum system. Therefore, it can be repeated almost unlimited number of times. The salt can be heated/charged with any energy, from renewable energy to waste heat from an engine or a gas burner.

Read more about SaltX patents and technology

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Sources
[1] http://tesla.sondell.biz/?p=1936
[2] https://www.technologyreview.com/s/522496/electric-vehicles-out-in-the-cold/