Disruptive battery tech

batteryBy Susan Schreiner, C4Trends — In May 2013, McKinsey’s Global Institute named energy storage devices or physical systems that store energy for later use as one of 12 disruptive technologies that will impact the economy and shape the future. Batteries power our always-on digital lifestyle but seldom get respect. Today, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries power not only CE devices but also electric and hybrid cars. However, there is a downside to Li-ion. It can overheat and burn, as alleged in two fires on board Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.

Clean-tech company Georelab, based in Singapore, is researching a new technology that promises to control the thermal issues plaguing Li-ion batteries. It is setting its sights on the electric vehicle cooling market. And at the Argonne National Laboratory’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) near Chicago, Dr. Kris Pupek is leading a team to look at making Li-ion batteries five times more powerful and five times less expensive in the next five years. It recently received a $120 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, and has assembled a collaborative team from America’s national laboratories and universities, as well as interested companies. Read more.

Posted July 25, 2013