Alternative Energy Storage Systems
Most of the current complaints about alternative energy revolves around the lack of a way to store energy for times when energy production (wind. solar, water) is low. Although “Pumped-storage hydroelectricity” has been around for a long time and is very effective in storing large amounts of energy it is not practical for replacing battery storage.
Batteries now made tend to be fairly expensive but more importantly are detrimental to the environment being made from strong chemical processes and producing chemical waste.
- According to an in-depth study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, hybrid cars do, in fact, require more energy to produce than conventional cars, emitting more greenhouse gases and burning more fossil fuels during the manufacturing process. The production of hybrid batteries, in particular, requires much more energy than producing a standard car battery and results in higher emission levels of gases like sulfur oxide [source: Burnham et al].
- “Toyota admits that the production of its lightweight Prius requires more energy and emits more carbon dioxide than the production of its gas-only models” [source: Williams]. The major reason is because hybrids like the Prius include more advanced components than a conventional car, including a second electric motor and heavy battery packs.
- Batteries are an essential component of hybrids. Regenerative braking lets hybrids generate and store their own energy to power the vehicle at low speeds and while idling. Unfortunately, both nickel-hydride batteries and the newer lithium-ion batteries rely on the mining of nickel, copper and so-called rare earth metals. The production of lithium-ion batteries account for 2 to 5 percent of total lifetime hybrid emissions and nickel-hydride batteries are responsible for higher sulfur oxide emissions, roughly 22 pounds (10 kilograms) per hybrid compared with 2.2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) for a conventional vehicle
So the search for a better battery continues:
Enter the “solid state battery” a battery made of stable environmentally sustainable nanoionic materials that don’t change chemically. If those materials are bio degradable and plentiful you have a battery that makes sense. The issue; is there a solid state battery that works and is practical? I believe so.
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