The next big thing in Renewable Energy storage
The Holy Grail of renewable energy
A new battery promises to be the next big thing in renewable energy storage. Invented by Jay Whatacre, a professor of materials science at Carnegie Mellon University. The new battery would store power from solar panels, wind farms or other renewable energy sources. Living off the grid means you have to be self-sustaining and that means having stored energy ready for use when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. Currently, pun intended, you have to resort to running a generator or using toxic lead acid batteries, which are bad for the environment.
These new batteries promise to be about the same cost as lead acid and are completely non-toxic. Another problem with lead acid batteries is they require air-conditioning to avoid deterioration, whereas the new battery by Whitacre does not. The new battery is expected to last twice as long as current lead-acid batteries. Using materials such as manganese oxide powder, the process bakes the powder in a calciner and then powder is compressed into a form, which turns them into wafers. These wafers are then stacked by a machine in plastic cases with grey foil collectors. They are then separated by white membranes to prevent short circuits. Electrical leads are then attached and the batteries are ready to go.