Zhenguo (Gary) Yang and colleagues point out that concerns over the use of coal, oil, and other fuels that contribute to global warming and are in limited supply, have spurred interest in generating electrical energy from clean, renewable resources such as solar and wind power. But solar and wind are not constant and reliable sources of power, since wind power fluctuates from moment to moment and solar power is generated only in the daytime.
This situation poses a significant challenge for electrical grid operators because other power plants need to compensate for this variability and the U.S. power grid currently has little energy storage capability. To enable a significant level of penetration and effective use of renewable energy sources amid growing energy demands, electrical grids of the future will need a low-cost, efficient way to integrate and store this electrical energy, the scientists note.
The scientists analyzed the conclusions of more than 300 scientific studies and identified several technologies that can be used for energy storage for the green grid. These include high-tech batteries now in development that can efficiently store electricity in the form of chemicals and reversible release it on demand. Among the promising technologies are so-called redox flow and sodium-ion batteries, which could provide a low cost, high efficiency way to store energy.
In addition to the United States, several other countries such as China and countries in Europe are planning to increase research activities related to energy storage and development. "The growing interests as well as worldwide research and development activities suggest a bright outlook for developing stationary energy storage technologies for the future electric grid," the article concludes.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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