Startup Devises Liquid Metal Batteries for the Electricity Grid
David Bradwell (left) and Donald Sadoway are co-founders of Ambri, a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup that is developing a liquid-based battery they hope will be the foundation for the next-generation electricity grid. (Source: MIT)
This is the kind of thinking that really has exciting possibilities if its potential can be fully realized. No longer will alternative energies be excluded from large-scale power grids if energy can be stored in this way and meet the low-cost needs of the industry. It really could revolutionize the use and generation of the energy not just in the United States, but worldwide. I applaud inventors like Sadoway and his team who are really trying to solve the energy crisis not with rhetoric but true scientific invention.
I can see it leading to direct to consumer products for urban dwellers who rent. It's a growing market in the US. Many people would love to put solar panels in or near a window and use that energy to power both small and large appliances.
I know that versions of that already exist for cell phones, ipods, etc. Many green consumers would jump at the chance to power up a refrigerator off the grid.
Great article and innovative use of new materials. One concern I have would be the current lack of Antimony availability outside of China. Some of the information I'm reading states that no significant new antimony deposits in China have been developed recently and other economic reserves are being depleted.
You have a valid concern, Greg, and I imagine the founders of Ambri saw it that way, too. They're now using a different chemistry for the battery that has a similar result. Perhaps they ran into the antimony problem as well! I am not sure they are disclosing the battery chemistry (probably for IP reasons). I think the new chemistry is more cost effective and higher voltage (I mention it in the story). Thanks!
Great, thanks for the link, Chuck. Sadoway seems like a bit of a rock star...definitely a brilliant mind and this would be great if it really lived up to the potential, as I said before. I just think it's cool there are some big minds trying to tackle these problems, and he seems very passionate about it.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
The term "multiphysics" is used to describe the simulation of multiple types of physics and their influence on one another -- for example, the investigation of the behavior of a chemical in liquid form will involve both chemistry and fluid dynamics.
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