HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Electronics News

Bill Gates Funds 'Big Battery' Startup

NO RATINGS
< Previous Page 2 / 2
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/6  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Big batteries can only benefit from big backer
Beth Stackpole   12/13/2011 6:20:25 AM
While Bill Gates' financial backing is not a certainty of success, it can't hurt this startup and even better, it shines a spotlight on what you say is one the "great underappreciated issues of renewable energy," energy storage, for the broader public. It can only serve to foster more attention and hopefully, more investment in this very important technology issue.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Small batteries are the challenge
Alexander Wolfe   12/13/2011 7:08:38 AM
NO RATINGS
As interesting and significant as this is -- as the story says "The company's battery can store about 1.2MWh -- or about 300kW with a four-hour drain time. Sadoway believes it could handle the extra capacity that the grid uses during peak load times" -- the real challenge isn't big batteries which can store more Wh. It's on small batteries, for EVs. As Chuck has written many times, the progress there hasn't met expectations, or, more correctly, promises and hopes. At best, we have specmanship which attempts to make things sound/seem better than they are.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Big batteries can only benefit from big backer
naperlou   12/13/2011 9:58:12 AM
NO RATINGS
This is a good opportunity for an investor like Bill Gates.  He gets to invest in something that can potentially make lots of money while also helping the environment and the country.  LiIon batteries may be a dead end unless someone can come up with a safer approach.  While we concentrate on the Chevy Voit battery problems today, I wonder how many remember the fire issue with the Apple MacBook a wuile back.  What we need are solutions that match the application.  Batteries for distributed utility power do not need to be the same as batteries for mobile devices, or even cars. 

BobGroh
User Rank
Platinum
Energy storage for 'Big' applications absolutely necessary
BobGroh   12/13/2011 10:35:59 AM
NO RATINGS
An interesting 'teaser' article - you have my interest but the engineer in me wants more details! I reluctantly acknowledge the main thrust of the article/post is to hit the high lights (i.e. Bill Gates, Liquid Metal Battery Corp, (LMBC) wind, solar, etc) but how about more?

There is NO doubt that large capacity storage of electrical energy is one of the key components in implementation of renewable energy past some percentage of useage (the figure of 20% is sort of sticking in my mind - we are somewhere in the 5% range now (??)) and we absolutely must have some efficient and cost competitive way of getting there. The work being done by LMBC is promising.

OK, on reflection, I guess I should go out on the web when I have sometime and do a bit of wandering around in search of more details. The inquisitive mind.

DW
User Rank
Iron
Re: Energy storage for 'Big' applications absolutely necessary
DW   12/13/2011 11:39:26 AM
NO RATINGS
Since the batteries operate at 400 - 700 C, I wonder if there is an opportunity for thermal energy harvesting.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Energy storage for 'Big' applications absolutely necessary
Charles Murray   12/13/2011 1:19:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, DW. I can't imagine any reason why there wouldn't be.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
What's so hard about battery technology?
Ann R. Thryft   12/13/2011 3:36:01 PM
NO RATINGS

Yet another battery that can't hold a charge longer than four hours--reminds me of the ones on my laptop that barely lasted that long last week during a power outage. 

So I'm asking again (I asked this regarding another story), why is it so hard to make batteries that last long enough for the application, whether it's laptops, EVs or the grid? What's the big deal?

And another couple of questions: what are the maintenance costs and what are the hazards of a spent battery, given the metal salts being used?


Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: What's so hard about battery technology?
Jerry dycus   12/13/2011 5:45:49 PM
NO RATINGS
 

  Hi Ann and All,

        Grid storage other than very short term like under 5 minutes peaking  isn't a problem at all.  Why is the grid has been doing that, adjusting the grid since it began around 1900.

       Facts are grid demand is far more variable than RE and supply and demand are really just 2 sides of the same coin. So No, you don't need more than 2% of grid storage and that is just for smoothing out the second to second difference between supply and demand.

       Though that will easily be solved by the smart grid along with home, apt and EV batteries, charging when cheap to absorb extra grid power at night and between daytime peaks while supplying power during peaks.   The utility saves so much in peak power costs and added revenue at off peak EV's might get free fuel for their service.

      Recent CCGT tech can be throttled up to 50% power using NG also will cut the need for grid storage.

  Another Solar thermal panels are used to suppliment NG power plants meaning no storage needed.  Biomass, Hydro also are on demand.   Really the only problems are big distant wind farms that start/stop together and even their with cogen biomass to cover when the wind isn't blowing.

   And last for now, far more RE spread out in small systems on many homes, buildings will average out very well again making storage far less.

  This whole scam was made up by big energy/power because they know RE is already if well shopped in many places competitive with coal even before the 30k people/yr in the US that die, etc. from it's pollution.  And they want the corporate welfare to continue paying congress to make sure it happens.

 

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: What's so hard about battery technology?
Jerry dycus   12/13/2011 5:58:21 PM
NO RATINGS
 

  What's the big deal?  Spoken like someone who doesn't have to do it.

  Facts are we have improved batteries by a factor of 4 but no matter how good they are, everyone wants more for less in a smaller size. Then they bitch when given bleeding edge tech and the laptop bursts into flames! 

  Maybe consumers could stop wanting all those features they never use, maybe a slower cpu or a car that does take 4000lbs to move a 200lb person around?

  And back on topic, we already have $100/kwhr batteries for grid UPS work. They are called lead batteries.  Yet no grid battery banks of them. Why?   Lead in grid UPS use costs under $10/kwhr/yr.

   Could it be there is no market for batteries in that service? 

Semipro
User Rank
Iron
Re: What's so hard about battery technology?
Semipro   12/14/2011 9:21:28 AM
NO RATINGS
"Why is it so hard to make batteries that last long enough for the application, whether it's laptops, EVs or the grid? What's the big deal?"



Are you serious?

Page 1/6  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Electronics News
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
It’s time once again for the Annual Design News Science and Engineering Movie Contest, which names no winners, awards no prizes, isn’t really a contest, and appears every three years or so.
Frank Langro of Festo Corp. describes how AquaJelly, the intelligent artificial jellyfish, works. Festo demonstrated AquaJelly at its booth at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago this week.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service