A new generation of batteries as the missing link to robust renewable energy

March 31, 2012 | By | Reply More

Donald Sadoway, a professor at MIT, has helped develop a new type of battery, and he proposes that such a device is critically needed for America to make use of sustainable energy technologies such as wind and solar:

If we’re going to get this country out of its current energy situation, we can’t just conserve our way out. we can’t just drill our way out. We can’t bomb our way out. We’re going to do it the old fashioned American way: we’re going to invent our way out working together.

He starts the talk discussing the history of the battery. The problem is that there is no battery yet available to meet today’s main needs: “uncommonly high power, long service lifetime and super low cost.” (min 4). He indicates that it needs to be made out of abundant elements–“dirt cheap.”

His proposed liquid-metal battery consists of magnesium, antimony and salt (min 10). He adds that prototypes have worked well, and they have “no moving parts . . . minimum regulation . . . no thermal runaway . . . designed to work at elevated temperature that come from current surges . . . reduced cost by producing fewer larger units . . . ”

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Category: Science, Technology

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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