• 4 minutes Some Good News on Climate Change Maybe
  • 7 minutes Cuba Charges U.S. Moving Special Forces, Preparing Venezuelan Intervention
  • 12 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 15 minutes Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate
  • 3 hours is climate change a hoax? $2 Trillion/year worth of programs intended to be handed out by politicians and bureaucrats?
  • 9 hours Why Trump will win the wall fight
  • 5 hours students walk out of school in protest of climate change
  • 16 hours Prospective Cause of Little Ice Age
  • 17 hours *Happy Dance* ... U.S. Shale Oil Slowdown
  • 16 hours L.A. Mayor Ditches Gas Plant Plans
  • 1 hour Ayn Rand Was Right
  • 7 hours Maduro Asks OPEC For Help Against U.S. Sanctions
  • 2 days Most Wanted Man In Latin America For AP Agency: Maduro Reveals Secret Meetings With US Envoy
  • 2 days Ford In Big Trouble: Three Recalls In North America
  • 20 hours And for the final post in this series of 3: we’ll have a look at the Decline Rates in the Permian
  • 2 days Why Is Japan Not a Leader in Renewables?
Fifty Shades Of Shale Oil

Fifty Shades Of Shale Oil

A close examination of U.S.…

Alphabet’s Secret Lab Develops Competitor For Lithium-Ion Battery

EV

A new project by Alphabet Inc.’s clandestine X lab could put salt and antifreeze at the center of battery technologies for renewable energy sources.

A decade ago, this lab made headlines for its driverless car. Now the lab’s leaders claim its Malta project could store energy anywhere around the world, while boasting a longer lifespan than lithium-ion batteries.

“If the moonshot factory gives up on a big, important problem like climate change, then maybe it will never get solved," said director Obi Felten, referring to his lab’s shoot-for-the-stars process in picking new projects. "If we do start solving it, there are trillions and trillions of dollars in market opportunity.”

Bloomberg describes the facility as a four-tank power plant that can be adjusted in size to fit the needs of the facility it powers. The collision of hot and cold air spins a massive turbine that generates electricity for the buildings to which the tanks are connected.

“The thermodynamic physics are well-known to anyone who studied it enough in college," Malta product manager Julian Green said. "The trick is doing it at the right temperatures, with cheap materials. That is super compelling."

Lithium-ion batteries are the Malta project’s main competitor for financial success, as the former’s prices continue falling. Low oil and gas prices have fueled investment in renewable energy technologies that do not risk breaking the bank during fossil fuel oversupply. Three years of bearish markets have incentivized research and development in green power infrastructure all over the world.

Related: Waning OPEC Compliance Threatens Oil Price Rally

“[Malta] could potentially compete with lithium-ion," Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Yayoi Sekine said. "But there are a lot of challenges that an emerging technology has to face."

Attracting investments from venture capitalist is one such hurdle, but having the Alphabet brand behind it will certainly help X with the funding issue.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News