In February 2014, researchers at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report that outlines how rooftop photovoltaic (PV) arrays, combined with battery-based energy storage could lead electric-utility customers to opt out of the connected grid.
The age of renewables is all about change, not only in the way we generate electricity but also the way we live and function. The acceptance of alternative-energy sources has affected how we view the environment, drive our cars and run our households.
While battery innovators have continued to tweak their products’ chemistries in search of the perfect, safe and affordable companion to rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels, a number of energy-storage entrepreneurs have made an end-run around this technology conundrum.
In a technology-driven era, scientists are always trying to find new and more efficient ways to harness power. The quest places no limits on the imagination. Some ideas are downright wacky, while others are only a little off the mark.
It seems like, every other week, a leading research lab announces a breakthrough technology to make batteries more powerful, more durable or a whole lot less expensive—after just a few more years of research and development.
Once they have finished powering electric vehicles (EVs), it may not be the end of the road for those big batteries, according to a new research project underway at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).