Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Archive for the ‘Energy Storage’ tag

“Flow” Batteries Could Help Energy Storage for Renewables

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As has been discussed before on this website, batteries and energy storage technology are key to increasing renewables in our energy grids. Particularly wind and solar energy have too much variability to work efficiently with the diurnal consistency of current energy usage. Efficient storage of the energy generated during wind gusts or bright sun would allow it to be used when it’s needed. Ideally this would come from private firms rather than taxpayer dollars, but either way it’s good to see progress being made towards these objectives.




New Battery Design Could Help Solar and Wind Power the Grid

April 24, 2013 – 4:20pm

WASHINGTON – Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life “flow” battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.

Continue reading here.

Written by Jason

May 1st, 2013 at 11:27 am

Improving Energy Storage Tech Is Key

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Due to the high variability of renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar, improving the efficiency of energy storage is essential to the future of our energy matrix. Unlike coal, natural gas, or nuclear power, renewables vary with wind speeds, sunshine, and other uncontrollable factors. This makes our dependence on these resources quite tenuous.

If firms like the one described in the article below can create batteries that can store energy longer, and produce them using materials that are not as rare and unsafe as many used in today’s batteries, we will be in a much better position to power our electricity grid with energy that ebbs and flows.

In Presidio, a Grasp at the Holy Grail of Energy Storage

Published: November 6, 2010

Dozens of gray compartments, lined neatly in rows, inhabit a boxy concrete building on the edge of the impoverished border town of Presidio. The only sound, aside from occasional clanking, is the whirring of air-conditioners to keep the compartments cool.

This $25 million contraption is the largest battery system in the United States — locals have dubbed it Bob, for Big Ole Battery. It began operating earlier this year, and is the latest mark of the state’s interest in a nascent but rapidly evolving industry: the storage of electricity.

Storage is often referred to as the holy grail of energy technology, because it can modernize the grid by more efficiently matching demand for power with the generation of electricity.


The state is especially keen on storage because of the proliferation of wind turbines in West Texas. The machines generate the most power at night, when people are sleeping — so if their power could be stored for use during the day, the usefulness of wind power, which currently accounts for about 6 percent of the state’s electricity generation, would significantly increase.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

November 8th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Energy Storage Tech Must Improve for a Clean Energy Future

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These energy storage technologies are so important to the energy matrix we’ll be seeing in the coming years. The huge advantage of coal, natural gas, hydroelectric dams, and nuclear is that they deliver consistent streams of energy into the grid.

Solar and wind simply cannot mass their consistency. But if battery technology can improve (right now it is highly inefficient (link to article explaining this), it will allow us to rely much more heavily on those variable power sources.

As Gov. Granholm discusses, perhaps one of the biggest advantages is the boon to our economy as we become more self sufficient for our energy needs, creating jobs here at home that have been lost in places like the auto industry.

Keep innovating, Michigan.

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm

Governor of Michigan

Posted: September 14, 2010 07:06 AM

Shaping America’s Clean Energy Future

Livonia, Michigan. Home to over 100,000 citizens, great schools and parks, one of Michigan’s best burger joints (Bates Hamburgers) — and now home to North America’s largest advanced battery plant, further solidifying Michigan’s position as the advanced battery capital of the world.


It’s great news for Michigan. It’s great news for American manufacturing. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s great news for our nation’s energy future, helping to ensure that we don’t replace our current dependence on foreign oil with a dependence on foreign batteries. No other place in the country is doing more to lead the advanced battery industry than Michigan — and it’s paying off, through innovative public-private partnerships like the one that caused A123 to center its U.S. manufacturing in Michigan.

Read the entire article here.

Ice Energy rolling out utility-scale project

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Improvements in energy storage technology are extremely important to our 21st Century energy grid. It would enhance efforts at decentralization as well as energy security.

January 27, 2010 — WINDSOR – Ice Energy’s energy storage technology will be rolled out in Southern California in what the partners are calling the first cost-effective, utility-scale distributed energy project in the nation.

The Southern California Public Power Authority entered into an agreement with Windsor-based Ice Energy on the 53-megawatt project. Ice Energy’s Ice Bear energy storage system shifts demand on the electrical grid from air conditioning units from peak to off-peak hours. In simple terms, energy generation during off-peak, evening hours is more efficient due to lower temperatures and reduced transmission line-stress.

Read the entire story here.