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    1. After Electric Cars, What More Will it Take for Batteries to Change the Face of Energy?

      After Electric Cars, What More Will it Take for Batteries to Change the Face of Energy?

      ABOUT three-quarters of the way along one of the snaking production lines in Nissan’s Sunderland plant, a worker bolts fuel tanks into the chassis of countless Qashqais—the “urban crossover” SUVs which are the bulk of the factory’s output. But every so often something else passes along the line: an electric vehicle called a Leaf.

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      Mentions: Nissan
    2. Grid-Scale Storage: Smooth Operators

      Grid-Scale Storage: Smooth Operators

      On October 28th a battery factory opened in Concord, North Carolina. That was good for an area which has seen dark economic times, but the event made few headlines. Perhaps it should have made more, though, for this factory’s owner, Alevo, a Swiss company, is not in the business of manufacturing cells for torches, mobile phones or even laptop computers. Rather, it is making batteries that can store serious amounts of electricity—megawatt-hours of it. And it plans to sell them to power-grid operators.

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      Mentions: NC
    3. A Reversible Heat-Pump Promises a Cheap Way to Store Renewable Energy on the Grid

      A Reversible Heat-Pump Promises a Cheap Way to Store Renewable Energy on the Grid

      It was while hang-gliding that Jonathan Howes, a British aeronautical engineer, came up with an idea for a meteorologically powered engine to fly him between thermals, the columns of rising air which glider pilots use to gain altitude. It would use a thermal’s updraught to turn a small turbine which captured some of the thermal’s energy, for storage. Then, when in level flight, the pitch of the turbine blades would change and it would become a propeller driven by that stored energy.

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      Mentions: DoE CO Isentropic
    4. GM Volt fire lessons for stationary battery companies

      GM Volt fire lessons for stationary battery companies
      [Curator: This Economist article about the GM Volt Li battery fires has lessons for the stationary battery market. The fire/explosion of the NGK NaS battery at Mitsubishi is analogous. Reportedly, the fire stopped NGK's sales, halted production, raised fears about installed batteries, and enabled a single ordinary citizen to delay, and potentially prevent, the activation of an already-delivered, strategically important battery (relevant articles are in the archive).]
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      Mentions: GM U.S. Europe
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