2015 - New Battery Technologies: A Year of Progress

 

Moderator:
Jim Kelly, Former Senior Vice President, Southern California Edison
Speakers:
Erica He, Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Innovation Core SEI Inc.
Tomio Tamakoshi, General Manager of Design Department, NGK Insulators, LTD. NAS Battery Division
Atsushi Honzawa, Senior Engineer, Hitachi LTD., Energy Solutions Business Management Division
Akira Morise, Assistant General Manager, Transmission & Distribution Division, Toshiba International Corporation

Governments around the world, as well as high-tech investors, are funding many experiments and smart researchers as the race to develop “revolutionary” battery electrochemistry. However, for the most part, the battery-based devices on the market today seem to still feature variations on 20 year-old lithium-ion chemistry. A year ago, the Wall Street Journal recently summarized the “battery race” in these words: “Batteries of the future will come in all shapes and sizes and will store energy for a broad range of applications—from power grids to biomedical implants. But the demands on those batteries basically will remain unchanged: They must be cheap, long-lasting, safe and rechargeable over long periods... Batteries for power grids may hold the most promise for pushing research beyond lithium ion. Because they are stationary, energy density and weight matter less. One possibility is "flow" batteries, where dissolved chemical materials flow within the cell to create energy. Another is liquid metal batteries, which use molten metals to create energy. Another technology that has long interested researchers is using air as a catalyst, either with lithium or zinc. But zinc so far has defied efforts to get it to recharge enough times to satisfy consumer electronics needs...” So, the question for our panel of experts today is simple:  How have we advanced battery technology over the last year – and where are we heading in the next few years?  Are we really on the verge of a worldwide battery revolution?

 
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New Battery Technologies-VX