Changing The Way We Think About & Use The Electric Grid
The US and the world are in the midst of two major transformations based on a decrease in dependence on fossil fuel energy.
First is building out a new energy sector based on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, and second, creating a transportation sector based on electric storage batteries. In order to be successful in both areas within the next five years a new energy storage medium that performs five times better than today’s best commercial lithium-ion batters, at one fifth the cost, is essential.
Nearly 4 years ago the US Department of Energy (DOE) established the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) with a $120 million investment, and tasked it with finding solutions leading to new storage media. In order to transform the sectors the following resources were marshaled:
- 5 National Laboratories: Argonne, Lawrence Berklee, Pacific Northwest, Sandia, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
- 5 Major Universities: Northwestern, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Chicago, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Michigan
- 4 Private Sector Partners: Applied Materials, Clean Energy Trust, Dow Chemical and Johnson Controls
According to JCESR, the new consortium is focused on major advances in energy storage technologies that include:
- Storing energy in liquids – in which solid battery electrodes will be replaced with advanced liquids that charge and discharge as lay flow through the battery.
- Storing energy in chemical bonds – developing new materials to store and release electricity from the making and breaking of high-energy chemical bonds.
- Increasing energy storage capacity – creating high-energy capacity, high-voltage batteries using “multiply-charged ions” rather than simply charged lithium-ions.
More information on JCESR’s program can be found here.
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