Science Frontiers – Battery of the Future

Frontiers of Science Battery of the Future

What’s the battery of future going to be like? Well perhaps a cookie! I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Piilonen: One of the things that I think is certainly within reach of research that’s going on today is designing a better battery.

Physicist Leo Piilonen

We have been so tied to energy sources that don’t depend on storage of energy.
For instance, fossil fuels, the energy’s available on demand. But if you want to move away from those kinds of sources of energy to abundant sources, like solar, the problem with all these other forms of energy, other than perhaps, nuclear, is that we have to store it at least for part of a day, if not longer. And if that can be done, then you can harness solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy all kinds of things that require you to capture the energy for a while and then release it later.
The person who’s studying this kind of new form of energy storage is probably working ..in material science research, trying to devise a new material or a new way of putting materials together that will have a much higher energy density in a safe form that will then allow that energy to be released later. So, we don’t want that energy to be released quickly, like a bomb. We want it to be released slowly, like eating a cookie and burning it off. You know a cookie stores a lot more energy than the same mass of TNT, but you never think of a cookie as a dangerous thing. But it’s because it releases its energy slowly, while you digest, whereas a stick of TNT releases its smaller amount of energy very suddenly. So, if you can find a way to store energy like a cookie does but in a way that you can scale up and then harness so that you can release that energy stored at a later time when you need it, that’ll be a big win for all of society.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.
What’s

Science Frontiers - Battery of the Future

What's the battery of future going to be like? Well perhaps a cookie!
Air Date:01/10/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Frontiers of Science Battery of the Future

What's the battery of future going to be like? Well perhaps a cookie! I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Piilonen: One of the things that I think is certainly within reach of research that's going on today is designing a better battery.

Physicist Leo Piilonen

We have been so tied to energy sources that don't depend on storage of energy.
For instance, fossil fuels, the energy's available on demand. But if you want to move away from those kinds of sources of energy to abundant sources, like solar, the problem with all these other forms of energy, other than perhaps, nuclear, is that we have to store it at least for part of a day, if not longer. And if that can be done, then you can harness solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy all kinds of things that require you to capture the energy for a while and then release it later.
The person who's studying this kind of new form of energy storage is probably working ..in material science research, trying to devise a new material or a new way of putting materials together that will have a much higher energy density in a safe form that will then allow that energy to be released later. So, we don't want that energy to be released quickly, like a bomb. We want it to be released slowly, like eating a cookie and burning it off. You know a cookie stores a lot more energy than the same mass of TNT, but you never think of a cookie as a dangerous thing. But it's because it releases its energy slowly, while you digest, whereas a stick of TNT releases its smaller amount of energy very suddenly. So, if you can find a way to store energy like a cookie does but in a way that you can scale up and then harness so that you can release that energy stored at a later time when you need it, that'll be a big win for all of society.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.
What's