Transatlantic bid for next generation of batteries


America’s Argonne National Laboratory is aiming to secure transatlantic help for a $120 million five-year project to develop the next generation of batteries.

Showcasing the plan – which aims to develop batteries with five times the energy density of today’s at a fifth of the cost by 2017 – at the U.S. embassy in Berlin, project director George W. Crabtree, said: "We have to go beyond lithium-ion batteries for advanced renewable energy battery storage."

The eight-month-old project at the Illinois-based university was presented by Crabtree at an energy storage roundtable at the embassy attended by pv magazine.

The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research project has already recruited around two dozen partners from other national U.S. laboratories, universities and private companies including Johnson Controls (JCI), Dow Chemicals and Applied Materials and is already examining new materials and battery designs.

Crabtree said the project team is already examining the feasibility of replacing solid electrodes with liquid solutions or suspensions and also looking at using magnesium or aluminum anodes.

German R&D institutes, ministries and private companies shared experiences at the roundtable and, as Juliana Walsh from the embassy explained: "We are glad we could give an impulse for stronger transatlantic co-operation in the field of renewable energies with our roundtable."