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Energy Storage Technologies

With estimates that energy consumption worldwide will double in the next 50 years, the US and many other nations are committing to increase the proportion of electricity generated by solar and wind technologies, and to increase the number of all-electric, plug-in hybrid vehicles in service.  Both goals place enormous demands on a nation’s power grid, challenging the grid’s ability to provide stable, energy supply 24 hours a day.  To meet these challenges, cheaper, more reliable energy storage systems that are capable of storing more power and energy, and that charge and discharge faster, must be developed. 

The IExE Energy Storage Technology cluster focuses on the development of next generation electrochemical storage systems, and supporting technologies, both for grid-scale and other applications.  For example, IExE teams are studying transport phenomena of small molecules and ions in fuel cells and batteries; investigating multi-electron materials and processes that overcome limitations in contemporary lithium-ion rechargeable batteries; developing design criteria with which to optimize and predict the selection of organic materials for batteries and electrochemical capacitors; and studying new devices and systems that promise a combination of high power, scalable energy capacity, fast charge/discharge and long lifetime performance characteristics, making them ideal candidates for Smart Grid and renewable energy applications.