Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Can we predict that electric battery technology will be the next big thing? Yes, because it will allow us to harvest free energy from the Sun (and the wind). Unfortunately, we blew the last investment cycle on solar (and wind) without much thinking about the readiness of the infrastructure. Therefore, it will take another 10-15 years to mature the technology. In the meantime, here's another candidate for large-scale grid storage:
(November 22, 2011. MTR) - Researchers at Stanford University have now demonstrated a high-efficiency new nanomaterial battery electrode that lasts for 40,000 charge cycles without significantly losing its charge-holding capacity. The work was led by Yi Cui, a materials science and engineering professor at Stanford University.

The electrodes maintain 83 percent of their charge capacity after 40,000 cycles—in comparison, lead-acid batteries last a few hundred cycles, while lithium-ion batteries typically last for 1,000. The electrodes also show 99 percent energy efficiency.
For completeness, Aquion Energy is developing a competing battery technology.

P.S. From a system perspective, storage solves the same kind of dilemma I described in the post about Odysseus and the Sirens [separation in Time.]

tags: infrastructure, energy, economics, storage, system, dilemma

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