In labs around the globe, scientists are working on radical technologies, from 500-mile car batteries to solar space farms. The holy grail in the electric-car world is beating range anxiety: the fear you’ll run out of juice in the middle of nowhere. Today’s electrics, like the Nissan Leaf, have a range of about 100 miles, but scientists at IBM are in hot pursuit of a better technology. In the 1990s researchers hypothesized that they could create energy by combining lithium with oxygen, making what is now referred to as a lithium-air battery. Today IBM and some 50 other labs globally are working on versions that would let an electric car go 500 miles a charge — a potential game changer for models like BMW’s i3 concept vehicle. This article is a linkout.
All the batteries on Earth store just 10 mins of world electricity needs. This new battery may be key. #RenewableEnergyBy Shifra Mincer
West Virginia is Coal Country, but wind energy is making inroads there – with cutting-edge energy-storage capabilities, to boot. AES has announced the completion and full-scale commercial operation of its Laurel Mountain wind power plant. The 98-megawatt (MW) plant consists of 61 GE 1.6-MW wind turbine generators situated along a 13-mile stretch of Laurel Mountain near Elkins, West Virginia. But what makes this project unique is its 32 MW of battery-based energy storage – the largest advanced energy storage project of its kind.
The battery bank will allow the wind farm to smooth fluctuations in power generation, and help maintain the reliability of the power grid. The plant will supply more than 260,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy and operating reserve capacity each year to the PJM Interconnection, the largest power market in the world. Keep reading →
Batteries are the basis of almost all futuristic energy visions: they will be used to power cars and store energy from intermittent renewables.
In an effort to improve battery technology, DOE research center Argonne National Laboratory has partnered with the Dow Chemical Company to conduct collaborative research on advanced battery technologies using several new materials that could improve battery performance and lower costs. On Wednesday it announced it will also partner with Western Lithium, a company that produces lithium carbonate for batteries. Keep reading →
ClarianLabs in Seattle, an energy technology incubator, has published a patent for a device called the Rotary Piston Generator (RPG) which the company hopes will challenge the very concept of batteries, and how they are used, especially in vehicles.
The RPG is a mechanical rather than chemical approach to portable energy storage. Its energy capacity is potentially ten times greater than a typical battery, company representatives wrote in an email exchange with TechCrunch. Keep reading →