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Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

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www.ted.com What's the key to using alternative energy, like solar and wind? Storage -- so we can have power on tap even when the sun's not out and the wind's not blowing. In this accessible, inspiring talk, Donald Sadoway takes to the blackboard to show us the future of large-scale batteries that store renewable energy. As he says: "We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big. We need to think cheap."
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at www.ted.com/translate
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Science & Technology

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Mar 26, 2012

Donald Sadowayalternative energyenergyinventiontechnologyTED2012TEDTEDTalkTalkTalks

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Comments 1 204
James iPad
James iPad 19 hours ago
This guy is a salesman, nuclear, can deal with increases in demand no problem, we been do it for a long time
Kerri Lynn
Kerri Lynn 2 days ago
Need to keep your ideas on down low or others will hijack your project
Senol Samast
Senol Samast 11 days ago
Alt yazı yokmu ne anlıcaz bu konuşmadan...
Victor Dupree
Victor Dupree 15 days ago
Another possible solution check out "Canadian Answer to World Energy Crisis" ruvid.net/video/video-PucnwcN39lk.html
Michael Law
Michael Law 16 days ago
The mobile phone and computing devices are wonderful on a fully charged battery for hours, maybe a whole work day. But I always need fully charged backup power packs to keep them mobile and still they are not full service devices. How many cycles can this battery endure before degradation makes them dead batteries or drops storage capacity?The curious thing about old line phones was they always worked, even in a power outage due to.a storm for the length of a power outage. Interesting idea good luck! Personally I’d like to see controlled nuclear fusion.
Daniel ODonoju
Daniel ODonoju 18 days ago
ruvid.net/video/video-NiRrvxjrJ1U.html
Tandemwings
Tandemwings Month ago
7 years later. Where's the battery?
James
James Month ago
Does it leak
litltoosee
litltoosee Month ago
Even with this bat tech, you still have to collect highly dispersed raw materials, that being sunlight and wind to charge it. Solar farms and wind turbines are highly invasive, requiring huge tracts of land surface. The answer to the question "so, where are these miracle bats now?" is this: Lack of energy density. The solution to our energy problems was actually developed and successfully tested over 60 years ago at Oakridge National Labs by Alvin Wienberg. The Molten Sodium Reactor Experiment. This was a liquid core, sodium cooled, graphite moderated reactor. Modular, scalable, passively safe. Today's version is known as a LFTR, or Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. Check it out if you really want to see a practical, viable solution to our energy problem, and then ask yourself the same question: Where are they? You might want to address that question to your Congressional Rep. You still won't get an answer, but it's fun to watch them struggle to reply....
Joel Mwaura
Joel Mwaura Month ago
Great job Professor. I think you and your team will crack this soon...
Dave Bowling
Dave Bowling Month ago
lobbying for finance because the market isn't responding... ??
Orion1632
Orion1632 Month ago
what happened to this battery?
tractor
tractor Month ago
Batteries ????? You are a lunatic ! Oil is king. You cannot make plastic or rubber from solar, stupid professor !
Truth Seaker
Truth Seaker Month ago
Bombing and killing your way out is as American as apple pie
Emo Muzz
Emo Muzz Month ago
Moof!
Alex Knight
Alex Knight Month ago
In 2015 Ambri targeted sub $1k/kWh . Tesla powerpak grid level storage is now $445/kWh. Nothing personal Ambri
YeTenuousUmbrae
YeTenuousUmbrae Month ago
Problem: theyre very expensive. If anyone's interested in a better solution. RUvid '1414 degrees'
John Orosz
John Orosz 2 months ago
Scientists with the United States Navy say they have successfully developed a way to convert seawater into jet fuel, calling it a potentially revolutionary advancement. Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed technology to extract carbon dioxide from seawater while simultaneously producing hydrogen, and then converted the gasses into hydrocarbon liquid fuel. The system could potentially shave hours off the at-sea refueling process and eliminate time spent away from missions. Currently, most of the Navy’s vessels rely entirely on oil-based fuel, with the exception of some aircraft carriers and submarines that use nuclear propulsion, reports the International Business Times. The ability to render fuel from seawater may change that.
Naasik Hendricks
Naasik Hendricks 2 months ago
Lol we not going to bomb our way out
James Cockroft
James Cockroft 2 months ago
Why can't your projected time line for the liquid metal battery be sped up by at least two years? It is needed sooner! With proper financing this acceleration may actually be possible.
mark lewis
mark lewis 2 months ago
...maybe they're keeping the BATTERY to themselves,
Sparkes TV
Sparkes TV 2 months ago
Bending light to electric 2012
Sparkes TV
Sparkes TV 2 months ago
Am in the numbers
joseph annett
joseph annett 2 months ago
Devices that seem to serve as batteries were found looong before the modern reference he makes.
dieselhead24
dieselhead24 2 months ago
2MWh? Our local PWR is 2,000MWe!! There probably isn't enough antimony on planet earth to build one that big Unethically mined and supplied by the Chinese Government
richard rhodes
richard rhodes 2 months ago
Infinite source of hot air - all we need is a sterling engine...….. Not a humble man, bit of a man attached to huge gaseous wind bag ego
Miguel Ferreira Mouta Junior
Renew George Soros !
Brent Farler
Brent Farler 2 months ago
they failed. the seals wouldn't hold up to the heat supposedly coming up with a new battery next year. most of these companies have failed so far.
Juan Griñán Llor
Juan Griñán Llor 3 months ago
donold sodowey
Lars Paulsen
Lars Paulsen 3 months ago
TED talks has become a place where ready-screened climate aware people can talk about what ever invention they want you to help them pay for...
Michael Linner
Michael Linner 3 months ago
I don't know why we just don't go to dimension C-137 and steal this technology from the "Rick"!
Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller 3 months ago
7 years ago now. No batteries.
R. m
R. m 2 months ago
news.mit.edu/2018/metal-mesh-membrane-rechargeable-batteries-renewable-energy-0122
YodaWhat
YodaWhat 3 months ago
Batteries? _Batteries???_ *_We don need no stinkin Batteries!_* ;) Try superconductive magnetic energy storage (SMES), liquid air energy storage, high-temperature thermal energy storage, high-pressure underground hydraulic energy storage, etc.
Stacy Clarkson
Stacy Clarkson 3 months ago
A giant Toxic Battery,replacing non Toxic CO2!!! Really!!
fm2dmax
fm2dmax 3 months ago
He said " should be made out of earth abundant elements if you want to make something dirt cheap make it out of dirt! Preferably dirt that's locally sourced" Here ya go ... built in 1979 ... "The Bath County Pumped Storage Station is a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant, which is described as the "largest battery in the world",[2] with a generation capacity of 3,003 MW[3] The station is located in the northern corner of Bath County, Virginia, on the southeast side of the Eastern Continental Divide, which forms this section of the border between Virginia and West Virginia. The station consists of two reservoirs separated by about 1,260 feet (380 m) in elevation. It is the largest pumped-storage power station in the world.[3]" en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station
Rof Lhard
Rof Lhard 3 months ago
All talk. Very confident. But nada.
MasterFeiFongWong
MasterFeiFongWong 3 months ago
I have an idea for constant energy flow :) Imagine a bunch of water wheels positioned above each other, each one when spinning generates an electrical current not so unlike a wind mill does but with water. At the top is a big basin of water, as the water falls straight down it spins the water wheels generating electrical current. When it reaches the bottom their is another basin, but this one can be shaped some what like an up side down bowl and is slanted down so water flows into areas that are separate and in these areas the water is evaporated and then travels up tubes and back to the top where water re-condenses and falls back down. In these tubes the steam is traveling up through, there is a smaller tube coming down from the top and small windmill like contraptions protruding from it. The rising steam spins these small windmills and generates electrical current that travels through wires in the center of these inner tubes and can either be used for extra energy output or help to heat the bottom bassins or even the tubes themselves so the evaperated water stays evaperated all the way up. The energy to keep the bottom hot enough to evaporate water comes from as many of the water wheels spinning as needed. To get more energy output you just make the contraption taller with more water wheels, It will always only take so many wheels spinning to keep the water on bottom boiling so more wheels equals more energy output. The material in the top basin can be designed as a heat sink to help the water re condense into liquid form, if built correctly, so no water/steam escapes, it just keeps going and going utilizing natural forces to function. If the device was built inefficiently, in that water was escaping from it in small amounts over time. One could easily rectify this issue by attaching a device to the top of it that naturally gathers moisture (Water) from the air and releases it periodically into the system to replenish it. :) Now just add the proper electrical wiring and chargable baterries into its design so all the excess energy being perpetuated can be accessed from plugs on bottom and/or top of device and presto you got yourself free energy.(Free in the sense that you didnt pay for it :) Please share this Idea with Everyone. Signed Adam McKenzie Anderson Extra Note: If anyone uses my ideas for none profitable means great I hope it helps but if they are used to gain profit in any way I want 25% of anything that comes out of it. :) My EMail is starfire7654321@yahoo.com
saul2007t
saul2007t 3 months ago
Sadoway has the right logic. We need a super cheap battery to store that power that sun and wind generates. This tech needs some deep pocket investors with vision, or big government funding (where the public reaps the reward by lower cost electricity).
Dazed Maestro
Dazed Maestro 3 months ago
You either have to be stupid or ignorant to be against nuclear and to wanna build solar and wind. Anyone can have a discussion with me.
fm2dmax
fm2dmax 3 months ago
With this "gravity water battery" built in 1979 we can defray delay and relay power from ANY source be that tital, geothermal, wind or solar to the time and place it is needed ... therefore nuclear is just another way to boil water and the most dangerous and expensive way to boil water humanity ever cooked up ... "The Bath County Pumped Storage Station is a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant, which is described as the "largest battery in the world",[2] with a generation capacity of 3,003 MW[3] The station is located in the northern corner of Bath County, Virginia, on the southeast side of the Eastern Continental Divide, which forms this section of the border between Virginia and West Virginia. The station consists of two reservoirs separated by about 1,260 feet (380 m) in elevation. It is the largest pumped-storage power station in the world.[3]" en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station
KC Toh
KC Toh 3 months ago
I don't think 4 years is a long development cycle. Certainly their people are still staying at the Periodic Table for low melting point, high valency and high electrical voltage and materials for high power density. But I think much development too can be in external stochiometry so that capacity can exceed a daily cycle. Looks like we have to wait.
Andras Libal
Andras Libal 3 months ago
The problems with the batteries is the same as with solar and wind: energy density.
YodaWhat
YodaWhat 3 months ago
Batteries and many other forms of energy storage are needed to even out the irregularities of *renewable power.* Many options are seldom discussed, like using ice and liquid air at large scales. Innovation and production of _renewables technologies_ has barely begun, and some should be approached with caution. While not an exhaustive discussion, consideration of many variables and options is covered, with references, here: www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328491-700-power-paradox-clean-might-not-be-green-forever/
Pablo Horteg
Pablo Horteg 3 months ago
2019, still no batteries. There are clearly issues with his theoretical batteries.
Morten Skogly
Morten Skogly Month ago
How can they get grants if they actually deliver?
R. m
R. m 2 months ago
news.mit.edu/2018/metal-mesh-membrane-rechargeable-batteries-renewable-energy-0122
R. m
R. m 2 months ago
That's not how technology works paw, the research is still ongoing.
samdee pride
samdee pride 2 months ago
In today's world you cannot keep on talking and wasting time...China is ready to kill everyone's dream..many startup companies are going bust due to Chinese aggression.Yes it's already 3 years now nothing is coming out.TOTAL and Bill gates have invested in his imaginary discovery....
M W
M W 3 months ago
Wind and solar are terrible for it the environment. Nuclear has already been invented, no need to reinvent the wheel, or the battery.
Chris Van Bekkum
Chris Van Bekkum 4 months ago
You actually admitted , renewables wont work (as it is now anyway) people in ontario are going broke paying for electricity generated by windmills and solar collectors.
Lord Fnord
Lord Fnord 3 months ago
Chris, That's a lie. Ontario has made a very small investment in a small number of demonstration wind projects at prices which are typical of all pre-mass-production situations. Nobody is going broke from it. Cut it out, wouldja, please? You're polluting public discourse.
William Finnegan
William Finnegan 4 months ago
Someone tell AOC, she will believe this hype. Shameless self promotion coupled with misleading presentation.
DrGrandpa
DrGrandpa 4 months ago
Seven years and counting. Maybe he should have hired a few of those battery experts instead of the student grunts. And these batteries seemed to have some much potential... 5 volts worth.
R. m
R. m 2 months ago
news.mit.edu/2018/metal-mesh-membrane-rechargeable-batteries-renewable-energy-0122
Greg Barton
Greg Barton 4 months ago
It's 7 years later and storage is just as far from being able to fully back up intermittent renewables. Watch the performance of the largest battery in the world, the Tesla battery in Australia: opennem.org.au/#/regions/sa Deselect everything except "Battery (Discharging)". Now select any other source. How large is the battery in comparison? Now select all sources again. Can you see the battery output?
MrBlueDevil93
MrBlueDevil93 4 months ago
Blatantly omits a massive number of variables. Exogenous variables galore. No way it is cheaper than fossil fuels on the face of what he presented. He projects costs cheaper than other processes; but, reality is aluminum re-cycling programs have been pushed so hard, because, cost of smelting aluminum is so great. GENERATING HIGH HEAT COSTS MORE NOT LESS. Finance returned on finance input will be negative IMHO. If now show us.
YodaWhat
YodaWhat 4 months ago
It is not even _supposed to be_ "cheaper than fossil fuels"; that is not the purpose of ANY battery.
Jason Whittle
Jason Whittle 4 months ago
Cool. But if we use nuclear we don't need to wreck the ecosystem building a million+ gigantic batteries.
fm2dmax
fm2dmax 3 months ago
Don't need either ... with this "Gravity Water Battery" built in 1979 we can delay, relay power from ANY source to the time and location needed: "The Bath County Pumped Storage Station is a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant, which is described as the "largest battery in the world",[2] with a generation capacity of 3,003 MW[3] The station is located in the northern corner of Bath County, Virginia, on the southeast side of the Eastern Continental Divide, which forms this section of the border between Virginia and West Virginia. The station consists of two reservoirs separated by about 1,260 feet (380 m) in elevation. It is the largest pumped-storage power station in the world.[3]" en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station
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