This Week in Sustainability: The Next Generation of Battery Technology

| Josh Henretig

This week, Treehugger looked at new battery management technology that could increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by an astounding 40 percent. Created by a father-and-son team of an electrical engineer and a university chemistry student, the technology manages the energy in a lithium-ion battery, enabling it to store more energy, extend its life and increase its capacity. What makes this technology more exciting? Not only would it enable us to use our devices for longer periods of time, it could also have a positive impact on the environment. As the piece highlights, because the new technology would enable devices to last longer and hold power longer, devices wouldn’t need to be disposed of as often, creating less e-waste.

But how can new battery technology help at a larger scale? GigaOm wrote a piece reporting on just that, a new flow battery technology from Primus Power to help the power grid and large-scale utilities function more sustainably. While this type of battery is already on the market, Primus Power is looking to implement them into the grid through its EnergyPods, which can store up to 250 kilowatts of energy and be stacked on top of each other for those looking for larger installations. Not only does this offer a cheaper alternative for the grid, but it can also provide energy storage for longer periods of time.

Even better, the piece highlights that with several power companies looking for technology that helps decrease the intermittency of renewable sources such as wind and solar, the flow battery could offer a great option to release stored energy when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. With industries across the board striving to have less of an environmental footprint, new battery technology is already proving to be a hot topic for 2014.

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