Batteries Need to Get Big-Like, Enormous-for Solar Power to Shine

Vaclav Smil for IEEE Spectrum:  It would be a lot easier to expand our use of solar and wind energy if we had better ways to store the large quantities of electricity we’d need to cover gaps in the flow of that energy.

Even in sunny Los Angeles, a typical house roofed with enough photovoltaic panels to meet its average needs would still face daily shortfalls of up to about 80 percent of the demand in January and daily surpluses of up to 65 percent in May. You can take such a house off the grid only by installing a voluminous and expensive assembly of lithium-ion batteries. But even a small national grid—one handling 10 to 30 gigawatts—could rely entirely on intermittent sources only if it had gigawatt-scale storage capable of working for many hours.

Since 2007, more than half of humanity has lived in urban areas, and by 2050 more than 6.3 billion people will live [PDF] in cities, accounting for two-thirds of the global population, with a rising share in megacities of more than 10 million people.  Cont'd...

Glow-in-the-dark dye could fuel liquid-based batteries

Charlotte Hsu for University of Buffalo:  BUFFALO, N.Y. — Could a glow-in-the-dark dye be the next advancement in energy storage technology?  Scientists at the University at Buffalo think so.

They have identified a fluorescent dye called BODIPY as an ideal material for stockpiling energy in rechargeable, liquid-based batteries that could one day power cars and homes.  BODIPY — short for boron-dipyrromethene — shines brightly in the dark under a black light.

But the traits that facilitate energy storage are less visible. According to new research, the dye has unusual chemical properties that enable it to excel at two key tasks: storing electrons and participating in electron transfer. Batteries must perform these functions to save and deliver energy, and BODIPY is very good at them.  In experiments, a BODIPY-based test battery operated efficiently and with longevity, running well after researchers drained and recharged it 100 times.  Cont'd...

DOE energy innovation hub backs two key future battery technologies

Nick Flaherty for EE Times:  After four years of evaluation, the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (Chicago, IL) is backing two key technologies for the future of battery systems.

The Center was set up four years ago with a five year remit to explore new battery technology for transportation and the electricity grid that, when scaled to commercial production, are capable of delivering five times the energy density at one-fifth the cost of commercial batteries available in 2011.

The Center has investigated 1,500 compounds for electrodes and 21,000 organic molecules relevant for liquid electrolytes as well as filing 52 invention disclosures and 27 patent applications, says director George Crabtree. Five techno-economic models created by JCESR for designing virtual batteries on the computer are being used to evaluate the best pathways for beyond-lithium-ion systems to reach 400 watt hours per kilogram (400 Wh/kg) and $100 per kilowatt hour ($100/kWh).  Cont'd...

Repurposing Electric Vehicle Batteries

EV batteries still have storage capacity, typically at 80 percent, after they're removed from their vehicles and can be reclaimed for a "second life" as stationary power sources.

The Aquion Energy Saltwater Storage Battery

This system is working good in a 4000 sq ft shop & house combo, but could use more storage for peace of mind & will likely upgrade next year.

The Future of Bio-Inspired Batteries

A major advantage that bio-inspired batteries have as compared to other batteries is their ability to allow an instant recharge.

Batteries Get a Boost From California Utilities

If we stop and take a critical look at the fragility of our energy supply system, we see that it could be strengthened by distributing energy generation and storage. This means it's not just the utility company's job to store energy… it's everyone's job.

Silicon Valley and New York State bet on non-flammable electric vehicle battery company

"NanoLyte™ Electrolyte contains ionic liquids, which are non-flammable. By engineering the molecular structure, we can create electrolytes that are abuse tolerant without sacrificing the power or battery life," says Dr. Surya Moganty, CTO at NOHMs and inventor of the technology.

Could A Lithium Shortage De-Rail The Electric Car Boom?

Lithium has the purest of fundamentals of any 'commodity' out there, and the next oil barons look set to actually be lithium barons.

'Ideal' energy storage material for electric vehicles developed

Walt Mills for  The energy-storage goal of a polymer dielectric material with high energy density, high power density and excellent charge-discharge efficiency for electric and hybrid vehicle use has been achieved by a team of Penn State materials scientists. The key is a unique three-dimensional sandwich-like structure that protects the dense electric field in the polymer/ceramic composite from dielectric breakdown. Their results are published today (Aug. 22) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Polymers are ideal for energy storage for transportation due to their light weight, scalability and high dielectric strength," says Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engineering and the team leader. "However, the existing commercial polymer used in hybrid and electric vehicles, called BOPP, cannot stand up to the high operating temperatures without considerable additional cooling equipment. This adds to the weight and expense of the vehicles."  Cont'd...

US Energy Dept says "holy grail" of clean energy storage is imminent


Cat Distasio for inhabitat:  Many countries are on the brink of becoming self-sufficient in their clean energy production, thanks to advances in battery technology that allow electricity from renewable sources to be stored and used on demand. Over the years, as renewable energy generation methods have charged forward, utility companies have struggled with how to integrate that clean energy in usable ways. Now, scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs, and other agencies are working on energy storage projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, with their sights set on what the department calls the ‘holy grail’ of energy policy. The department says the industry could be transformed in as little as five to ten years.

Earlier this year, Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E), the division of the U.S. Department of Energy founded in 2009 to oversee these projects, claimed to have achieved that goal. Without pointing to a specific invention or discovery, ARPA-E insists that the solution lies amid the 75 projects the agency is funding. The breakthrough technology—the next generation of renewable energystorage—is expected to be developed for large-scale usage in as little as five to ten years.  Cont'd...

Using Silicon in Lithium Ion Batteries to Increase Capacity

A key attribute of silicon in lithium ion batteries (LIB) is the higher capacity that Si can offer which leads to greater electric vehicle driving range or longer operating consumer electronics.

Super Battery Technology

Laboratory testing of the company's novel prototype cathode material have yielded a set of critical data that translates into significant lithium-ion battery performance projections for BioSolar to target.

Very Large Lithium-ion Batteries

In the case of the relatively new market for very large, ground-based lithium-ion battery packs for such things as grid peak shaving, weight is not a primary issues, volume can matter somewhat but life, cost over life, performance and reliability matter greatly.

Is Tesla Entering a New Frontier?

Efficient low-cost batteries are the new frontier and the new frontier is here now from all-electric vehicles to home energy systems.

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