Battery Generator Uk

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Since 1997, drivers have enjoyed better fuel economy, lower running costs and unrivalled levels of comfort and refinement thanks to Toyota’s hybrid technology.

Today, Toyota’s range of hybrid cars encompasses small hybrids like the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, family size cars like the Toyota Prius, Corollaand Toyota C-HR, even estates like the Corolla Hybrid Touring Sports. But have you ever wondered how hybrid cars work?

Read on to discover exactly what Toyota’s hybrid drive system is, how it works and how it benefits the environment and your wallet. Simply put, a ‘hybrid’ is a vehicle with two or more power sources. Most hybrid road cars use a normal internal combustion engine paired with an electric motor, but the way these work together means that there are several different kinds of hybrid setup. Beginning with the original Prius, Toyota pioneered the full hybrid system that uses two separate powerplants – a battery-powered electric motor and petrol-driven combustion engine – which can work together to drive the vehicle or can each be used in isolation.

Fuel supply for your backup power

It is the most popular hybrid system in the world, and has sold more than 15 million units since the Prius was launched in Japan in August 1997. The second kind of hybrid is known as parallel. It uses a normal combustion engine as the main source of power, with an electric motor fitted between the engine and gearbox to provide assistance.

This arrangement tends to be more restricted in its function than a full hybrid, and fitting an electric motor into a very small space also limits its power and EV (electric vehicle) range. Lastly, the third hybrid variation is the series type. In this type of vehicle the electric motor provides all the drive. The normal combustion engine isn’t connected to the transmission, and instead works as a generator to power the electric motor. The main hurdle for a series hybrid is maintaining its efficiency once the battery power has been used up. For this reason, series hybrids are rare.

Toyota’s hybrid drive system consists of six primary components: petrol engine, electric motor, electric generator, power control unit, and a power split device that uses a special type of gearbox to smoothly distribute power from the engine, motor and generator.

It is a clever, fuel-saving technology that can seamlessly and automatically switch between electric power and conventional engine power. Capable of adapting to different driving conditions, our hybrid system intelligently controls the power coming from both sources and tells the car how to combine them for the greatest efficiency and performance. The system delivers true synergy between the two power sources. When the engine is running, it charges the battery via the generator; when driving conditions allow it, such as in slow-moving traffic, the generator can cut out the petrol engine and let the electric motor take over for zero-emissions travelling. The sophisticated engine management system can sense when the car is stopped and will switch off the engine to conserve power and cut emissions, automatically starting up again when needed.

The battery is kept well charged by the system, so a hybrid-powered Toyota won’t need to be plugged into a mains supply to be recharged. However, Toyota does produce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for people who can make use of its greater range of more than 30 miles in electric-only EV mode and cars which convert hydrogen into electricity. Read more about the different types of hybrid and electrified vehicle by clicking here. Toyota’s hybrid system charges the battery in two ways. Firstly and as already mentioned, the petrol engine drives the generator to charge the battery. The second method is through regenerative braking, a system that puts braking energy to good use.

Every time you put your foot on the brake or lift off the accelerator, the system diverts energy back to the battery where it is, in effect, recycled. Instead of the energy being lost as heat or noise from the brakes, it is captured and then used to power the electric motor later. This is particularly efficient in stop-start traffic where the system recovers and stores a great deal of energy, making the car more efficient overall. For a PHEV like the Prius Plug-in, the on-board battery can also be charged at home using the mains supply or at dedicated charging points along your journey, allowing the greater EV range of up to 30 miles.

The batteries in Toyota’s hybrid vehicles are efficient, corrosion-resistant units designed to last, which is why Toyota’s standard battery warranty is five years or 100,000 miles and can be extended up to 15 years with no limit on total mileage – read more about this here. The batteries are substantial units that have to store sufficient voltage to power the car with no assistance from the petrol engine. It’s true that their production does have a small, additional environmental impact, but this is more than offset by the environmental benefits of driving a hybrid car.

Frequently asked questions about battery backups for your home

In fact, we’ve dispelled that hybrid myth, along with others, in this post. Toyota is also keen to recycle the batteries from its hybrid cars, which can be remanufactured to make new batteries or repurposed into other forms of stationary energy storage – this can be arranged through your Toyota dealer. We already recover over 90% of hybrid batteries from our vehicles, and are targeting a 100% recovery rate.

The internal combustion engine used in a Toyota hybrid uses a slightly different engine cycle than the conventional Otto-type four-stroke cycle. Called the Atkinson cycle, this modified four-stroke cycle produces less heat and is therefore more efficient. By cooling the internal combustion chamber using recirculated exhaust gases, it avoids a problem faced by engines with traditional cycles: injecting more fuel than necessary to reduce combustion temperatures and prevent the catalytic converters from overheating.

Home battery backup costs depending on home size

  • The traditional remedy works, but uses more fuel in the process.

  • However, Toyota’s solution is more fuel-efficient and is very reliable.

Size/power load for backup power options

A more in-depth analysis of Toyota’s use of the Atkinson cycle can be read here.

  1. Because Toyota has made the hybrid system fully automatic, it will optimise its operation and minimise fuel use for each driver. You can sit back and enjoy the drive! You can read more about the experience of driving a Toyota hybrid by reading this article, in which motoring journalist Tim Dickson takes a Corolla Hybrid for a spin. There are also some general tips, many of which apply to maximising the fuel economy of hybrid and non-hybrid cars alike, at this link.
  2. To find out more about our complete range of hybrid vehicles, click here. We’ve built a smart energy storage system that’s plug-and-play with any existing solar array. Our intelligent system recognizes what type of inverter the array is using and pairs with the system automatically. Retrofitting an existing array is as easy as running the AC and/or DC lines into a Humless portable solar generator system.There are so many different battery-powered inverter generators and solar products on the market, creating a battery system that is efficient and reliable has traditionally required a skilled electrical engineer.
  3. Our new battery-powered ac generator takes the complexity out of energy storage. Let’s face it, a battery system is useless if it doesn’t work when the grid fails. The Home Systems work on and/or off-grid. You can now load shift, export to the grid and have a battery-powered portable generator that works when the power goes out. Single application energy storage systems are a thing of the past.

The Humless solutions do everything you might need out of an ESS (Energy Storage System). In an ideal world a solar energy battery bank would be very simple to design.

On the surface it seems to be simple. However, it is not…. Here are the basics to be considered when choosing solar battery type and design. There are two main types of solar battery, Lithium or Lead Acid.

Both come as flooded or sealed. Flooded batteries use distilled water which needs to be maintained regularly. Sealed are just that and need no maintenance. Flooded are the cheapest and have a longer lifespan but require maintenance to remain healthy. Sealed are more expensive but requires zero maintenance. Our battery sizing calculator can help design the perfect solar system for your needs. The best battery differs from site to site and system to system. Lithium batteries are the first product to be hailed as the best. While this is true in some cases, they are not idea for all scenarios. Lithium battery pros:. Good cycle life. Hard to damage day to day. Typical off grid usage of 80%. Lithium battery cons:. Don’t work well in cold below 14 degrees. Some will not function at all below zero degrees. Usually have a low current ability. Lithium is usually restricted to 50A or 70A so additional blocks may be required. Requires regular recharging. In short, Lithium batteries are good where space and weight are at a premium. They also offer a good warranty and life expectancy. They are not so good where larger inverters and small battery banks are used. They also cost over twice that of a good AGM bank with similar capacity. Finally, they may not be great in uninsulated installations. £10,496.00 – £17,946.00including v.a.t. AGM is a type of lead acid battery that performs very well in off-grid situations. With increased use of AGM technology in vehicles with start-stop functionality the price is now very competitive.

MaterialShieldingPower density (W/g)Half-life (years)

Is the engine different to that of a normal car?

AGM battery pros:. AGM batteries can be used with large currents. They charge quickly and efficiently. Have around 70% DOD (depth of discharge) usable power. They are maintenance free. AGM battery cons:. They can lose around 30% usable power in cold conditions. When charging with a generator they require 4 hours more charge time to reach 100% capacity. £1,954.59 – £5,511.02including v.a.t. The battery storage capacity should slightly exceed the power generation potential of your system to ensure batteries are not stressed too much. Ideally the battery should store enough usable power to supply energy for one full 24 hour period. The next day there should be a power source to fully recharge it. The battery bank should be large enough to support the power and load maximum requirement safely and without damaging or shortening the life. For more in-depth information on battery sizing, read ‘How to size an off-grid solar power system’. It will help you decide how much energy you are likely to need in your off-grid solar power installation.

Our solar battery calculator will help you specify a suitable system. We offer a nationwide off-grid installation service. Discuss your off-grid power requirements with Sunstore today! If a system is fully off-grid and without a backup power source such as a generator, then the usable battery capacity is usually tripled to allow for overcast days. If it is possible to increase the solar to ensure the worst case is covered then this is not necessarily true. Lithium is best for homes and larger applications where generators are used regularly or in winter. AGM is ideal for fully off grid power supplies, usually smaller projects. If you would like to know more about solar battery bank sizing or anything to do with off-grid power generation, the Sunstore team of solar experts would be happy to help! Fill in the form below for a free no-obligation quote. Our off-grid installation service is available nationwide and starts from £360. Please note, this is for OFF-GRID enquiries only. Off-grid systems differ to grid connected systems in cost and design. If you have a grid connection please contact a local solar panel installer. If you live in an area with frequent power outages, you already know the benefits of having a backup power supply for your home.

Propane, diesel, and natural gas-powered generators have long been the system of choice for homeowners and businesses that want to ensure that the lights stay on when the power goes out in the neighborhood. Now, an increasing number of people are considering newer, cleaner battery options like the Tesla Powerwall. Home battery backup power offers many of the same backup power functions as conventional generators but without the need for refueling. Read on for a comparison of battery backup options versus conventional generators, including a review of factors like cost, fuel supply, size, and maintenance.

What Types of Battery Should I Use?

Battery backup power can be an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to a gas generator. Upfront costs for backup batteries are high, but lifetime savings can offset the upfront payment. A top option is the Tesla Powerwall, but there are alternatives including the LG Chem Resu and Generac PWRcell. Start comparing quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace for maximum saving with solar and storage. In this article, we will dive into the following topics:. Overall, the best batteries to consider for your home are options that provide scalability, reliability, and durability. Check out a few of the industry’s leading home batteries, and learn more about each product. The home battery market is currently being led by the Tesla Powerwall. This sleek storage system is easily integratable in any home, and is warrantied for 25 years. It is accompanied by an app that allows you to control your energy usage patterns wirelessly, which can be especially beneficial in places where variable electric rates change the price you pay for electricity depending on the time of day.. Check out our full review of the Tesla Powerwall for more details. The LG Chem RESU home battery can be installed attached to the grid or with a solar panel system especially. It boasts a 94.5% round trip efficiency, meaning that 94.5% of it’s stored electricity will be converted into usable energy. Perhaps the best feature of this product is it’s size; it is one of the best on the market in terms of compact installation. Read our full review of the LG Chem RESU here. Similar to LG’s home battery, the Generac PWRcell can be hooked up to the grid or to a solar system.

For technical advice and a personal quote for your project, contact a Sunstore expert

The PWRcell’s greatest feature is its ability to provide an instantaneous power surge to appliances at a faster rate than most other home batteries on the market. It’s high power surge comes in handy when you need to power appliances that need instant and quick power to start up rather than continuous power. This home battery storage solution also comes equipped with an app so all of your battery’s performance metrics, and your savings, are readily available. Read our full review of the Generac PWRCell to learn more. This home battery backup system is compatible with any existing residential solar system, and has a power capacity up to 17.1 kWh. The EverVolt comes in four different variants: two AC-coupled and two DC-coupled modules.

How are the batteries charged?

Choosing the correct one for you depends on whether you are connecting your battery to a new or existing solar system. This system is also very scalable. Each variant has a modular design allowing it to stack up to 102 kWh of power output to provide electricity to your entire home. The EverVolt features a remote control and online app so you can closely monitor your battery’s performance and energy consumption. Read our full review of the Panasonic EverVolt Home battery here for more details. The exact amount that you’ll pay to install backup power at your home or business depends on the amount of power you need and the equipment you choose. There are many standby generator options available in the $3,000 to $5,000 range that can power a standard American home. By comparison, a home backup battery will start at around $6,000 before installation costs, and in many cases, you’ll require multiple batteries to provide whole-home power. Altogether, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to install a battery backup system. If you use more energy than your neighbors, you’ll need to buy a bigger generator or more batteries, and you can expect the installation cost to add up to a few thousand dollars to your total price tag. Compared to generators, battery backups do have a higher upfront cost, and you may need more than one battery depending on the size of your home and your energy needs.

Generac PWRcell

For the average medium-sized home, an initial battery backup investment can range from $10,000 to $20,000—this is just an estimate for a small battery system that could supply energy for about a day. If the same medium-sized home is integrating a battery backup system with their solar panel system to generate power, upfront costs can increase to about $20,000 to $40,000. The upfront price you pay isn’t the only cost to keep in mind. If you install a generator, you also need to buy the fuel to keep it running. Fuel costs can add up if you frequently rely on your generator – this is especially the case if you also need to pay for the delivery of fuel to your home or business.

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Not to mention, you need to store the fuel somewhere in your home.

By comparison, if you install a battery for backup power in your home, you can pair it with a solar energy system to charge it with renewable energy from the sun. This will add to your upfront cost (a smaller-than-average 6-kilowatt solar panel system will cost, on average, $16,560 before incentives), but over time it can save you tens of thousands of dollars on your electric bill.

Even without solar, your battery might be able to save you money on your electric bill. Some utilities have time-of-use (TOU) electric rates, which vary throughout the day. If you have TOU rates, a battery can actually result in lower electric bills by providing an alternative source of electricity when rates are high. The source of energy for your home backup power system is another consideration when you’re comparing your options. Generators are usually powered by diesel, liquid propane, or natural gas. Your generator can continue to run as long as you have the fuel to supply your generator, and some generators can even be connected to an existing natural gas line.

Comparing battery backup and generator costs

If you don’t have access to a natural gas line, you should expect to refill your generator as needed. By comparison, a home battery backup system runs on electricity and can be charged either from the grid or from a rooftop solar panel system. If you design a solar plus storage system for off-grid backup power, you can recharge when the grid goes down, adding an extra layer of security for situations where you might be worried about having access to fuel for a generator.

Savings with battery backup power

(Not all home battery systems can be recharged during power outages, so make sure that your installer knows that this feature is crucial to you.).

Our Best AGM Off-grid Solar Kits

When you’re comparing your backup power options, think about what you need to keep running when the grid goes down. If you just want to keep the lights on in a power outage, most batteries will do the job. Many homeowners who choose batteries for backup power are comfortable knowing that “critical loads” like power outlets, lights, and small appliances will be powered in the event of a power outage. However, not all batteries are capable of quickly discharging enough electricity to get energy-intensive equipment up and running. If your home relies on a sump pump, well pump, or other equipment that uses a lot of power to start up, you’ll need to install a battery that is specifically intended for backup power. If you install a conventional generator, you won’t have to worry about critical loads. As long as you choose a generator that is sized properly by your installer, you should be able to keep your home or business running without issue, assuming you have adequate fuel onsite. Generators powered by propane or diesel can be hard to ignore when they’re running. One major advantage of a battery backup system is that it operates quietly and doesn’t burn any fuel, unlike a conventional gas-powered generator. As a result, you don’t have to deal with exhaust fumes or other polluting emissions – a win for the environment and for the air quality around you. Generators powered by fossil fuels like natural gas or diesel can also have higher maintenance requirements than battery backup options.

Key takeaways

In addition to refueling, some generators need to be run and tested regularly to ensure that they’ll be operational when you need them most.

Looking to get the most out of your battery? Generac just launched their new PWRgenerator (available in Q1 2022) – the first generator of its kind designed specifically to recharge home batteries directly. The PWRgenerator integrates with Generac’s PWRcell batteries to keep them charged in the event of an outage, even when the sun isn’t shining.

To learn more about this exciting new technology, check out our article on Generac’s recent product launch. Diesel, propane and natural gas-powered generators are relatively inexpensive and easy to size for your property’s power needs, but there are also benefits to installing battery backup power at your home or business. When paired with solar, you can actually save money on your electric bills, and batteries offer clean, quiet power that you can’t get with a conventional generator. If you’re talking to a contractor about installing a generator, consider getting quotes for solar systems that include batteries on the EnergySage Marketplace. On EnergySage, you can easily compare your solar options, and see both upfront cost and long-term savings information without even having to pick up the phone.

When you join, simply note in your property preferences that you’re looking for a system that includes backup power. Rising natural gas prices: what to expect. Tesla Powerwall alternatives: Generac PWRcell, LG Chem RESU,….

The Tesla Powerwall home battery complete review. Tesla Powerwall: how much of my house can I run on it–and….

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla?

Off-Grid and On-Grid Ready

There have been several known accidents involving RTG-powered spacecraft:

  1. The first one was a launch failure on 21 April 1964 in which the U.S. Transit-5BN-3 navigation satellite failed to achieve orbit and burned up on re-entry north of Madagascar.[33] The 17,000 Ci (630 TBq) plutonium metal fuel in its SNAP-9a RTG was ejected into the atmosphere over the Southern Hemisphere where it burned up, and traces of plutonium-238 were detected in the area a few months later. This incident resulted in the NASA Safety Committee requiring intact reentry in future RTG launches, which in turn impacted the design of RTGs in the pipeline.
  2. The second was the Nimbus B-1 weather satellite whose launch vehicle was deliberately destroyed shortly after launch on 21 May 1968 because of erratic trajectory. Launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, its SNAP-19 RTG containing relatively inert plutonium dioxide was recovered intact from the seabed in the Santa Barbara Channel five months later and no environmental contamination was detected.[34]
  3. In 1969 the launch of the first Lunokhod lunar rover mission failed, spreading polonium 210 over a large area of Russia.[35]
  4. The failure of the Apollo 13 mission in April 1970 meant that the Lunar Module reentered the atmosphere carrying an RTG and burned up over Fiji. It carried a SNAP-27 RTG containing 44,500 Ci (1,650 TBq) of plutonium dioxide in a graphite cask on the lander leg which survived reentry into the Earth's atmosphere intact, as it was designed to do, the trajectory being arranged so that it would plunge into 6–9 kilometers of water in the Tonga trench in the Pacific Ocean. The absence of plutonium-238 contamination in atmospheric and seawater sampling confirmed the assumption that the cask is intact on the seabed. The cask is expected to contain the fuel for at least 10 half-lives (i.e. 870 years). The US Department of Energy has conducted seawater tests and determined that the graphite casing, which was designed to withstand reentry, is stable and no release of plutonium should occur. Subsequent investigations have found no increase in the natural background radiation in the area. The Apollo 13 accident represents an extreme scenario because of the high re-entry velocities of the craft returning from cis-lunar space (the region between Earth's atmosphere and the Moon). This accident has served to validate the design of later-generation RTGs as highly safe.
  5. Mars 96 was launched by Russia in 1996, but failed to leave Earth orbit, and re-entered the atmosphere a few hours later. The two RTGs onboard carried in total 200 g of plutonium and are assumed to have survived reentry as they were designed to do. They are thought to now lie somewhere in a northeast–southwest running oval 320 km long by 80 km wide which is centred 32 km east of Iquique, Chile.[36]
A SNAP-27 RTG deployed by the astronauts of Apollo 14 identical to the one lost in the reentry of Apollo 13

One RTG, the SNAP-19C, was lost near the top of Nanda Devi mountain in India in 1965 when it was stored in a rock formation near the top of the mountain in the face of a snowstorm before it could be installed to power a CIA remote automated station collecting telemetry from the Chinese rocket testing facility. The seven capsules[37] were carried down the mountain onto a glacier by an avalanche and never recovered. It is most likely that they melted through the glacier and were pulverized, whereupon the 238plutonium zirconium alloy fuel oxidized soil particles that are moving in a plume under the glacier.[38]

Many Beta-M RTGs produced by the Soviet Union to power lighthouses and beacons have become orphaned sources of radiation. Several of these units have been illegally dismantled for scrap metal (resulting in the complete exposure of the Sr-90 source), fallen into the ocean, or have defective shielding due to poor design or physical damage. The US Department of Defense cooperative threat reduction program has expressed concern that material from the Beta-M RTGs can be used by terrorists to construct a dirty bomb.[6] However, the Strontium titanate perovskite used is resistant to all likely forms of environmental degradation and cannot melt or dissolve in water. Bioaccumulation is unlikely as SrTiO3 passes through the digestive tract of humans or other animals unchanged, but the animal or human who ingested it would still receive a significant radiation dose to the sensitive intestinal lining during passage. Mechanical degradation of "pebbles" or larger objects into fine dust is more likely and could disperse the material over a wider area, however this would also reduce the risk of any single exposure event resulting in a high dose.

The best of both worlds: a generator for battery backup

RTGs and fission reactors use very different nuclear reactions.

Nuclear power reactors (including the miniaturized ones used in space) perform controlled nuclear fission in a chain reaction. The rate of the reaction can be controlled with neutron absorbing control rods, so power can be varied with demand or shut off (almost) entirely for maintenance. However, care is needed to avoid uncontrolled operation at dangerously high power levels, or even explosion or nuclear meltdown.

Chain reactions do not occur in RTGs. Heat is produced through spontaneous radioactive decay at a non-adjustable and steadily decreasing rate that depends only on the amount of fuel isotope and its half-life. In an RTG, heat generation cannot be varied with demand or shut off when not needed and it is not possible to save more energy for later by reducing the power consumption. Therefore, auxiliary power supplies (such as rechargeable batteries) may be needed to meet peak demand, and adequate cooling must be provided at all times including the pre-launch and early flight phases of a space mission. While spectacular failures like a nuclear meltdown or explosion are impossible with an RTG, still there is a risk of radioactive contamination if the rocket explodes, or the device reenters the atmosphere and disintegrates.

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Due to the shortage of plutonium-238, a new kind of RTG assisted by subcritical reactions has been proposed.[39] In this kind of RTG, the alpha decay from the radioisotope is also used in alpha-neutron reactions with a suitable element such as beryllium. This way a long-lived neutron source is produced. Because the system is working with a criticality close to but less than 1, i.e. Keff < 1, a subcritical multiplication is achieved which increases the neutron background and produces energy from fission reactions. Although the number of fissions produced in the RTG is very small (making their gamma radiation negligible), because each fission reaction releases over 30 times more energy than each alpha decay (200 MeV compared to 6 MeV), up to a 10% energy gain is attainable, which translates into a reduction of the 238Pu needed per mission. The idea was proposed to NASA in 2012 for the yearly NASA NSPIRE competition, which translated to Idaho National Laboratory at the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) in 2013 for studies of feasibility.[40][failed verification] However the essentials are unmodified.

Top 5 home battery backup products in 2022

RTG have been proposed for use on realistic interstellar precursor missions and interstellar probes.[41] An example of this is the Innovative Interstellar Explorer (2003–current) proposal from NASA.[42]An RTG using 241Am was proposed for this type of mission in 2002.[41] This could support mission extensions up to 1000 years on the interstellar probe, because the power output would decline more slowly over the long term than plutonium.[41] Other isotopes for RTG were also examined in the study, looking at traits such as watt/gram, half-life, and decay products.[41] An interstellar probe proposal from 1999 suggested using three advanced radioisotope power sources (ARPS).[43]

The RTG electricity can be used for powering scientific instruments and communication to Earth on the probes.[41] One mission proposed using the electricity to power ion engines, calling this method radioisotope electric propulsion (REP).[41]

Operating & maintaining your home backup power system

A power enhancement for radioisotope heat sources based on a self-induced electrostatic field has been proposed.[44] According to the authors, enhancements of up to 10% could be attainable using beta sources.

Before you buy, compare solar & batteries to other generator options

A typical RTG is powered by radioactive decay and features electricity from thermoelectric conversion, but for the sake of knowledge, some systems with some variations on that concept are included here.

Our Best Lithium Off-grid Solar Kits

Known spacecraft/nuclear power systems and their fate. Systems face a variety of fates, for example, Apollo's SNAP-27 were left on the Moon.[45] Some other spacecraft also have small radioisotope heaters, for example each of the Mars Exploration Rovers have a 1 watt radioisotope heater. Spacecraft use different amounts of material, for example MSL Curiosity has 4.8 kg of plutonium-238 dioxide,[46] while the Cassini spacecraft had 32.7 kg.[47]

Name and modelUsed on (# of RTGs per user)Maximum outputRadio-
Max fuel
used (kg)
Mass (kg)Power/mass (Electrical W/kg)
Electrical (W)Heat (W)
MMRTGMSL/Curiosity rover and Perseverance/Mars 2020 roverc. 110c. 2000238Puc. 4<452.4
GPHS-RTGCassini (3), New Horizons (1), Galileo (2), Ulysses (1)3004400238Pu7.855.9–57.8[48]5.2–5.4
MHW-RTGLES-8/9, Voyager 1 (3), Voyager 2 (3)160[48]2400[49]238Puc. 4.537.7[48]4.2
SNAP-3BTransit-4A (1)2.7[48]52.5238Pu?2.1[48]1.3
SNAP-9ATransit 5BN1/2 (1)25[48]525[49]238Puc. 112.3[48]2.0
SNAP-19Nimbus-3 (2), Pioneer 10 (4), Pioneer 11 (4)40.3[48]525238Puc. 113.6[48]2.9
modified SNAP-19Viking 1 (2), Viking 2 (2)42.7[48]525238Puc. 115.2[48]2.8
SNAP-27Apollo 12–17ALSEP (1)731,480238Pu[50]3.8203.65
(fission reactor) Buk (BES-5)**US-As (1)3000100,000highly enriched 235U3010003.0
(fission reactor) SNAP-10A***SNAP-10A (1)600[51]30,000highly enriched 235U4311.4
ASRG****prototype design (not launched), Discovery Programc. 140 (2x70)c. 500238Pu1344.1

** not really an RTG, the BES-5 Buk (БЭС-5) reactor was a fast breeder reactor which used thermocouples based on semiconductors to convert heat directly into electricity[52][53]

*** not really an RTG, the SNAP-10A used enriched uranium fuel, zirconium hydride as a moderator, liquid sodium potassium alloy coolant, and was activated or deactivated with beryllium reflectors[51] Reactor heat fed a thermoelectric conversion system for electrical production.[51]

**** not really an RTG, the ASRG uses a Stirling power device that runs on radioisotope (see Stirling radioisotope generator)


Name and modelUseMaximum outputRadioisotopeMax fuel used
Mass (kg)
Electrical (W)Heat (W)
Beta-MObsolete Soviet uncrewed
lighthouses and beacons
IEU-1M120 (180)2200 (3300)90Sr?2(3) × 1050
Sentinel 25[55]Remote U.S. arctic monitoring sites9–20SrTiO30.54907–1814
Sentinel 100F[55]53Sr2TiO41.771234
RIPPLE X[56]Buoys, Lighthouses33[57]SrTiO31500

Panasonic EverVolt Home Battery

  • Atomic battery – Devices generating electricity from radioisotope decay
  • Thermionic converter – Power generation device

Lithium Solar Batteries

  1. ^National Inventors Hall of Fame entry for Ken Jordan
  2. ^National Inventors Hall of Fame entry for John Birden
  3. ^ abcBlanke, B.C.; Birden, J.H.; Jordan, K.C.; Murphy, E.L. (1 October 1960). "Nuclear Battery-Thermocouple Type Summary Report"(PDF). United States Atomic Energy Commission (published 15 January 1962). doi:10.2172/4807049.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^"General Safety Considerations"(pdf lecture notes). Fusion Technology Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Spring 2000. p. 21.
  5. ^ abcdSudunova, Irina (5 January 2021). "The nuclear lighthouses built by the Soviets in the Arctic". BBC Reel. BBC. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  6. ^ abc"Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators". Bellona. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  7. ^Alaska fire threatens air force nukes, WISE, 16 October 1992, accessed 15 March 2021.
  8. ^Nuclear-Powered Cardiac Pacemakers, LANL
  9. ^"Nuclear pacemaker still energized after 34 years". Reuters. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  10. ^"Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ abNPE chapter 3 Radioisotope Power GenerationArchived 18 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine
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How Large Should the Battery Be?

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Radioisotope thermoelectric generators.
  • NASA JPL briefing, Expanding Frontiers with Radioisotope Power Systems – gives RTG information and a link to a longer presentation
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