HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
News
Electronics & Test
Harvard Researchers to Develop Green-Energy Storage Battery
12/6/2012

A team of researchers at Harvard University are working on a new type of battery based on organic molecules for storing renewable energy in an effort to make it more viable for widespread use and displace fossil fuels as energy sources. A $600,000 grant from the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding the work.   (Source: Harvard University)
A team of researchers at Harvard University are working on a new type of battery based on organic molecules for storing renewable energy in an effort to make it more viable for widespread use and displace fossil fuels as energy sources. A $600,000 grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding the work.
(Source: Harvard University)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 5/5
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another one
Elizabeth M   12/7/2012 4:04:48 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann, I agree, everyone talks about how to generate energy with renewables and facilitating more and better ways of doing that, which I think is a great idea. But the storage problem must be solved for it to truly displace more traditional means of power and to be cost-effective on a larger scale. I also agree with you in terms of utilities and am a bit of a "hippie" in this thinking about green energy, as i know many friends who live in the countryside "off the grid" with their own local wind and power supplies. Of course, in urban and suburban areas, it's harder to do, but think what could happen if new housing developments were built with their own solar arrays or mini-wind farms (if the location was suitable)? Interesting to ponder, anyway!

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Storage optimization
Elizabeth M   12/7/2012 3:58:36 AM
NO RATINGS
Mydesign, I agree with you about storage optimization as a way forward for renewables to become more viable. What, specifically, are you thinking of in these terms? Batteries obviously are just one way to go.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: another one
Mydesign   12/6/2012 11:01:38 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Ann, I think power storage optimization technology has to be improve. In space launching vehicles (rocket) for carrying more fuel, the fuels are compressing and storing in cryogenic stage. Similarly there should be some mechanism for storing energy in cells.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Storage optimization
Mydesign   12/6/2012 10:57:28 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Elizebeth, any research and development in power optimization and generation has to be appreciated because everywhere in world peoples are facing issues with power scarcity. Eventhough if we can generate energy from solar/wind/tide, storage is a major concerns and expensive. So I think it's better to have a power optimization technology (Storage Optimization), where more power can be stored in a single cell.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another one
TJ McDermott   12/6/2012 10:07:05 PM
Ann, that's a really, really interesting thought.  It means energy delivered in bulk form to one's house, just as it's been done for more than a century.  Think about it. First coal was delivered by horse-drawn carriages, shoveled down into basements to fire furnaces.

Then oil came along, and now oil trucks delivered it to houses with underground tanks to continue firing those boilers.

Today, houses without city natural gas connections will have propane delivered by trucks to above-ground tanks.

If this pans out, those organic liquids will arrive in exactly the same way.  The more things change...

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Organic does not equal green
TJ McDermott   12/6/2012 10:03:35 PM
NO RATINGS
The developers say their compounds are non-toxic, but the source article makes too casual a relationship between organic and "green" technology.

Benzene is a fairly simple organic molecule (C6H6), but I think everyone can agree it is hardly non-toxic or "green".

I am not trying to paint their statement with the opposite brush (all organics are carcinogenic and dangerous), but I think a tiny bit more information from the developers is necessary to support the "green" statement.

 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Flow batteries
Charles Murray   12/6/2012 4:47:56 PM
NO RATINGS
I believe that Ambri, an MIT-spinoff, also has a battery that stores energy in the form of liquid chemicals, although it's clearly different than this one. It's good to see high-powered researchers working on the storage issue.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: another one
Ann R. Thryft   12/6/2012 4:47:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for reporting on this, Elizabeth. It's good to see some original thinking aimed at the storage problem, a very big problem indeed. Regarding Lou's comment, utility-scale storage could become a non-poroblem by going away: why do we need utilities in the first place? If renewable energy creation was done on a local, building-by-building or block-by-block basis, we wouldn't need larger utilities; they're only there for distribution of energy sources located far away from the point of use--and they add considerably to the cost.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
another one
naperlou   12/6/2012 11:01:20 AM
NO RATINGS
It is interesting to see all the ARPA projects going on.  That is the role of this type of orgrnization.  On the other hand, you have to understand that these are early stage research projects.  They encompass ideas that are not practical, yet.  The amounts, as you can see, are miniscule.  If the idea were really viable at that funding level, one could raise it from private investors in a very short time. 

You mention that the materials are expensive.  This is also true of Lithium Ion batteries.  I have talked to people about ultracapicator storage over the last few years.  One investor thought that they would be replacing batteries by now.  I have heard less and less about it over time.  That does not mean that there will not be a breakthrough sometime, but it is odd that there has not been more activity there.

Utility scale storage, whether it be for renewable sources or just to make utilities more efficient and reliable, is not practical yet.  Some concepts, such as liquid metal batteries, are being developed, but they are not there yet.  Since these will need to be deployed widely (meaning EVERYWHERE), cost is the main issue.  A123 Systems had a utility scale Lithium Ion battery unit.  That was just plain silly.  The cost of such batteries for cars has been mentioned on this site many times.  Imagine the cost of a whole 40' container filled with such batteries (and all the attendant cooling and control technology) and you will see how silly it is.  That is what A123 was selling.

So, while I think this is a good direction to go in, don't hold your breath.

<<  <  Page 5/5
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


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.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service