Revolutionary New Battery

By Deane Barker on July 5, 2007

New battery packs powerful punch: This is really, really interesting to me for one reason: it could facilitate and promote wind energy.

A new type of a room-size battery, however, may be poised to store energy for the nation’s vast electric grid almost as easily as a reservoir stockpiles water, transforming the way power is delivered to homes and businesses. Compared with other utility-scale batteries plagued by limited life spans or unwieldy bulk, the sodium-sulfur battery is compact, long-lasting and efficient.

The bane of wind power is that it’s sporadic, not steady. The way to fix this is feed a battery from the wind generator, then just draw steadily from the battery. Sadly, batteries have generally sucked. Until now, I hope.

Believe me, out here in the Dakotas, we got lots of wind. I drive along the two-hour stretch of I-90 between here and Albert Lea, and there are windmills all over the place. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stationary blade among them. Fix the battery problem, and it’s free energy.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. You might want to check out Sanyo’s “Eneloop” products. They are standard AA and AAA size units, combining the longevity and low self discharge of traditional batteries with the rechargeable capabilities of accumulators. Out of environmental and price considerations I long ago switch to rechargeable batteries, but it always drove me mad that fully charged accumulators were empty by the time I needed them. I introduced the Eneloop batteries first in the office, and about 4 weeks later at home. I never thought it was possible but it actually works out.

    Oh my, this reads like advertisement. So in order to give it some credibility here’s the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eneloop

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