Yet, batteries are critical to the exploitation of intermittent energy from renewable sources. And until we can integrate giant battery storage sinks into our electrical grid, we will be trapped into building transmission systems for peak capacity.
This could be a huge breakthrough in the energy field - exciting stuff. And it goes completely against the traditional wisdom in batteries that you can't let a battery get hot; on the contrary, this battery depends on being hot to operate.
There were some interesting aspects of this talk, from a presentation point of view, some good and some bad.
- TED is known for its whizz-bang presentations (and it's getting to be ever more produced, but more about that later). Sadoway was refreshing in his highly effective use of that old-fashioned device, the blackboard. Bravo!
- Although the majority of TED attendees are American, the conference attracts people from many countries and strives for a world view. Sadoway was notable for presenting this as an American problem (hmm, does the rest of the world not need to solve energy issues?) that would be solved by American ingenuity (are there no scientists outside America?).
- It was also one of the most arrogant talks I've heard at TED, chock full of first person pronouns.