To borrow a phrase from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, we are not dead yet. The media has picked up on the A123 Systems Chapter 11 filing and has extrapolated it to mean that somehow energy storage is another failed Department of Energy (DOE) technology. In fact, the industry feels fine.
First, A123 is not dead; they are restructuring and continue operations. They also have 90 megawatts of energy storage up and running worldwide with a number of other projects in process. Roland Berger just released a report on the projected market for lithium ion batteries and the top five players included the likes of LG, Panasonic, Sanyo-and A123 Systems. Recognizing this opportunity, a number of suitors have lined up in a bidding war for A123, which the bankruptcy judge called “the popular girl at the dance.” Not exactly demise. Keep reading →
According to researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), one of the Marine Corps’ most significant challenges is finding a way to provide reliable electricity to soldiers in forward operating bases. Like the rest of us, the U.S. military is desperate for ways to reduce its fuel and battery consumption. It’s widely recognized that solar panels are one of the only technologies that can provide a portable, affordable source of power to those on the front lines. Keep reading →
How a quest for a ten-fold improvement in batteries promises to make electric vehicles deliver on their remarkable potential.
The din that accompanied the birth of modern electric vehicles has quieted, despite a steady parade of new models and the ascent of gas prices to worrisome highs. The relative quiet is good news though, a sign that electric vehicles (EVs) are entering a critical period when the technology must evolve from exotic to everyday. Keep reading →
Researchers at UCLA say they have come up with a method for converting electrical energy into a liquid fuel, in a development that could lead to regular petrol cars being powered by electricity.
The process, which uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as a bi-product, was recently discovered by James Liao of UCLA’s Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering. Keep reading →
Physicists at the University of Michigan have made a breakthrough discovery that could change the way solar panels are constructed, making them cheaper to manufacture.
The team, led by Dr. Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics, discovered that at the right intensity, light traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity can generate magnetic effects 100 million times stronger than previously estimated. That magnetic power, could be used to create an “optical battery,” Rand said. Keep reading →