The Evolution of Energy Generation and Storage
Nathan Magnuson
Capstone 499
Shin-Ping Tucker


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Introduction

         As technological advancements in computers, smartphones, auto motives, and home improvements arise there is a need for more power and a way to store it.  Electricity is a large part of our lives from powering our personal devices to keeping our refrigerator running so that food doesn’t spoil.  Electricity generation and storage are both very important to the future of most of our fast moving technology.  Generation of electricity must be efficient, safe, and have a small environmental footprint with a preference on renewable energy sources.  The storage is something that was been lacking in the past few years, because applications have become more powerful, but at the same time more efficient.  So, the need for better battery technology is not needed or the pitfalls of not having better battery capability is believe to be the normal outcome with having better applications/processors/etc.  Both technologies are either a large part of the world we currently know or they are going to be, thus the demand for better generation and storage has pushed the need to research and develop more advance forms of electricity generation and storage.

 

Types of Energy Sources:

Coal:

Bituminous makes up 45% of US consumption.  Generally used to generate electricity.
Subbituminous makes up about 47% of US consumption and 90% of this coals comes form Wyoming

Petroleum:

In 2016 the US used 7.19 billion barrels.  About 48% went to gasoline, another 20% is used for heating oil and diesel fuel, and about 8% is used for jet fuel. The rest is broken up amongst small applications.

Natural Gas:

In 2015, natural gas accounted for about 29% of the total energy that the US consumed.
1/3 went to electric power, another 1/3 was for industrial uses, and the last 1/3 was broken up between residential (17%), commercial (12%), and transportation (3%).
Texas is the highest user of natural gas at 14.3% of the total US consumption in 2015

Renewable:

Solar:
PV Panels, called photovoltaic, converts light into direct current by a semi-conductor

Wind:

Wind energy is harnessed by giant turbines typically on wind farms. These can help power a large city or Surrounding communities, but are reliant on strong wind currents to make them useful.

Hydro-electric:

Hydro-electric dams, nicknamed Hydro plants, use large rivers to produce electricity from water rushing through turbines. 92% of hydropower comes from the private sector. The US has a total of 1,756 hydro-electric dams in operation.

Batteries:

Lithium-ion: Standard for batteries today. Rated any where from 120-200 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). All battery concepts are held to the standard of lithium-ion with the hope that a new battery type will surpass at least on aspect of the lithium-ion, while still maintaining all other aspects associated with lithium-ion.

Lithium-air: Students at Dallas University have developed a lithium-air battery that will supposedly be 1/5 the price of lithium-ion, while also lasting five times longer. Unfortunately this technology is 5-10 years out.

Gold nano-wire: At the University of California Irvine, scientists have developed a gold nanowire battery that uses a gel around the nanowires to help prevent the battery from degrading. This allows the battery to be recharged multiple times, while showing no signs of degrading.

Graphene: The graphene battery nickname the "Grabat" is created by a company called Graphenano. The purpose of this battery is to allow cars to travel 500 miles on a charge with the benefit of being charged in minutes. This battery can be charged and discharged 33 times faster than lithium-ion, while also having a 1,000 watt-hours per kilogram

Silicon Lithium-ion: This battery could be commercialized very soon since it was in a May 9th press release. The battery is 70% silicon lithium-ion battery and has been approved by the UN and has passed multiple global safety standards. These standards ensure that the battery will be safe for things such as transportation and being able to withstand multiple charge and discharges. This lithium-ion variant is about four times more dense than traditional lithium-ion batteries.

 

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