Our power demands are ever-increasing, but our ability to carry or store power is limited.To put that in perspective, a fridge uses around 1,600 Wh a day, and petrol stores about of 13,000 Wh/kg – or more than 50 times the energy of even the best lithium-ion batteries.Safety is key and thermal management is crucial.The battery market is forecast to be worth $120bn in 2019 according to industry research firm Freedonia Group, and vacuum cleaner firm Dyson recently joined electric carmaker Tesla, Korea s Samsung, Panasonic of Japan and IBM in investing heavily in battery research.Many consider a range of 500 miles crucial – the distance an average petrol or diesel car can travel on a single tank.Since 2009, IBM s Battery 500 Project has been working on lithium-air batteries, which have the potential to reach similar energy densities to petrol.
For reference, Tesla's Powerwall costs $3,000 for 6.4 kWh of storage, not factoring installation costs.Nissan's xStorage battery is currently only available in Europe, and there are no plans yet to bring it over to the United States.The automaker will begin taking pre-orders in September to put the batteries in residential homes.Nissan is attempting to set itself apart as a more sustainable battery provider by powering its units with 12 battery modules from Leaf electric cars, rather than brand new cells.Mercedes also builds at-home batteries that holds 2.5 kWh of energy.However, like Tesla's Powerwall, the Mercedes batteries are meant to be modular with the ability to stack eight for 20 kWh of energy storage.Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.Copyright 2016.More from Tech Insider:A veggie burger that 'bleeds' is now sold in the meat case at Whole FoodsYour Android smartphone will get rid of passwords this year GOOG The future of shopping is this unmanned grocery store in a tiny Minnesota townI tried a $330 hoodie designed to slow down your nervous systemThis high school has no classrooms and spends each semester in a different countryNOW WATCH: This factory is the key to Tesla s futureLoading video...
Apple may be laying the groundwork to unveil its first electric car.The tech giant is reportedly interested in rolling out its own charging stations for electric vehicles, a move that suggests the company wants to have the infrastructure in place for its own electric car.According to a Reuters report, the iPhone maker has recruited several experts in the field and is in talks with several companies already in the business of building charging stations.While Apple has never publicly said it is developing an electric car, the company has hired a number of auto and charging experts that suggest some sort of car project is in the works.According to the Reuters piece, Apple has hired at least four charging experts from various backgrounds.One of those hires includes Kurt Adelberger, a former Google engineer who worked on developing energy storage and charging technology.According to Adelberger s LinkedIn, he left Google in July 2015 for Apple, where he is now a product designer.However, as Quartz first reported earlier this month, Adelberger had co-authored a patent prior to leaving Google for a smart charging system that would basically make the whole process more seamless and more affordable.Apple has also hired a number of former Tesla employees, including Chris Porritt, the former vice president of engineering at Tesla Motors.While some of its auto hires are based in California, the company reportedly also has a team involved with the project in Europe.In April, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that Apple had also set up a hub in Berlin where it has a separate team of engineers working on the project.Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.Copyright 2016.More from Tech Insider:A lot of people had police run-ins when they played the game Pokémon GO is based onApple TV may get a major challenge from new, smaller Xbox devicesScience says parents of unsuccessful kids could have these 9 things in commonApple may be building more than just an electric car AAPL Google is opening a new driverless car facility near Detroit this yearNOW WATCH: Here s what it s like to drive the Tesla Model X — 'the best car ever according to Elon MuskLoading video...
The 2016 Volvo XC90 turned more than a few heads when it hit the scene late last year, but while its opening act was a whirlwind of sleek Scandinavian styling and unexpectedly plush luxury, it's the encore that's really going to cement its run in the hearts and minds of SUV-seeking American buyers.It's hard to see what could be more of a gamble than betting well-heeled families are willing to walk away from the forced-induction eight-cylinder engines that populate the upper echelons of the people mover segment in favor of a four-cylinder that's not only turbocharged AND supercharged, but also backed by a pair of electric motors.Certainly, the T6 was in no position to challenge its European rivals in a straight line, despite the considerable refinement offered by its still standard eight-speed automatic transmission.The Volvo XC90 T8 presents a radical re-think of the T6 setup, disconnecting the front and rear drive axles by replacing the driveshaft with the SUV's energy storage unit, but it maintains all-wheel drive capability through the careful integration of its pair of electric motors.The SUV's advertised 5.3 second jaunt to 60-mph is nothing to sneeze at, either, and represents over a full second of improvement compared to the T6.The latter feature works remarkably well, and in fact I was able to achieve 26-mpg from the XC90 T8 over the course of a week the vehicle's official EPA rating stands at 53 MPGe, or 25-mpg combined .
But because it is modular, eight lightweight Mercedes' batteries can be combined for 20 kWh of storage.From a pure energy storage standpoint, Tesla's Powerwall wins, hands down.But one has to consider what homeowners really want: A smaller, less conspicuous battery option that still provides a good amount of energy storage may be more desirable than a 200-pound device that must be mounted."The modules themselves are rather lightweight at less than 30 kilograms, so you can carry it with one man compared to Tesla," Frank Spennemann, senior manager of business innovation at Mercedes' parent company Daimler, told Tech Insider."You can put it on the ground, so you don t have to wall mount it, and it has very easy wiring."It's actually for that reason that battery start-up Orison thinks it has a shot of taking on Tesla in the US: a mountable Orison panel holds 2.2 kWh and weighs 40 pounds, with the option to combine five panels for 13.2 kWh of storage.The Mercedes battery is currently being rolled out in other European markets outside Germany, including the Netherlands and Switzerland, Spennemann said.Mercedes declined to provide the price of a unit, stating that pricing was handled by distributors.More from Tech Insider:Here's why we're excited about 'No Man's Sky,' one of the most creative games ever madeWe tried the awesome new Minecraft mode that turns into a 'Hunger Games'-style deathmatch MSFT Mercedes' at-home battery could have one key advantage over Tesla's PowerwallThe PlayStation 4 is the most popular game console in the worldThese pieces of furniture can fold to become two-dimensional artNOW WATCH: This factory is the key to Tesla s futureLoading video...
The sentence is an inside joke for coders and video game mavens: Musk s seemingly unusual grammar refers to a well-known Internet meme, All Your Base Are Belong to Us, a mistranslation of a Japanese phrase in the early 1990s video game Zero Wing.In doing so, Tesla created a limited, open-source patent pool for the technologies used to build its electric vehicles EVs — including for vehicle components, battery charging, energy storage and power optimization.The cultural and network effects reinforce each other in a positive feedback loop.And that moves Tesla toward its goal: selling all-electric vehicles to an increasingly larger group of buyers — buyers confident they ll have access to power wherever they need it.Consider: What name leaps to mind when thinking about an electric car?The company is less reliant on other market players to assist in setting a standard for FCVs, so it needn t rely on others to help establish a market for them.
In Germany the Mercedes home battery stores energy from solar panels and when the power is used in the home it s converted to AC power via the inverter.Unlike home batteries in the U.S., where the market is also just starting and where Tesla s Powerwall gets all the attention, home batteries in Germany don t draw energy from the conventional electric power grid.Not only is the Tesla Powerwall more powerful, it s also less expensive, priced at $3,000 for the bare unit and with a final cost including installation and inverter often amounting to more than $7,000, according to Tech Insider.You can put it on the ground, so you don t have to wall mount it, and it has very easy wiring.Nissan expects to ship the xStorage battery system in September, according to Ars Technica.Orbison expects to ship by this summer.
Tesla will open its massive battery gigafactory to the general public on July 29.The company will host a grand opening event attended by, among others, owners who won tickets by participating in its most recent referral program.Those new owners are also helping spread the word in the absence of an official public announcement from Tesla.Contest winners received their invitations late Thursday and quickly began posting them to social media.A full copy of the emailed gigafactory invitation posted by a Kushari soon made its way to Tesla enthusiast site Teslarati.The factory is crucial to Tesla s goal of selling the 215-mile Model 3 at a base price of $35,000 before federal, state, and local incentives .Such a large factory is needed to produce lithium-ion battery cells cheaply enough to achieve that price.The gigafactory is already building some battery packs for stationary energy storage, but it isn t fabricating the cells inside them.Drone footage taken earlier this year showed a largely completed building, painted in Tesla s signature white with red accents.Throughout the construction process, analysts have debated whether the gigafactory will be completed on time and whether it will really be able to deliver the promised savings on cells when it s finished.Tesla must meet certain targets in order to get the full $1 billion in tax incentives offered to it by the Nevada state government over a 20-year period.In the shorter term, Tesla must ensure that the gigafactory can actually produce the battery cells required for volume production of battery packs for the Model 3.The company already has somewhere north of 300,000 preorders for the car, which is expected to begin production sometime next year.
And to prove who you are you ll need either an invitation or documents that prove you re a shareholder, plus a photo ID.Some and perhaps all of the questions have been predetermined, selected by the Tesla Motor Club forum.And while most questions will center on Tesla models, existing and announced, we can expect other questions relating to the Gigafactory key to hitting production numbers with the Model 3 , Powerwall energy storage products, and possibly Hyperloop.Those are also Tesla Motors products — in the case of Hyperloop, an area of interest and research.But you can livestream it from your home or office.Take notes to share around the digital water cooler and don t forget the popcorn.
Elon Musk has denied reports that Samsung will provide batteries to help Tesla meet high Model 3 demand.Yesterday saw a report from Reuters claim that Tesla was in talks with Samsung SDI over the provision of batteries for its forthcoming Model 3.The implication here is that Tesla's battery partner Panasonic will struggle to meet its quota of batteries for the Model 3.Interestingly, the original report also claimed that Samsung would be supplying Tesla with batteries for its energy storage products, such as the Tesla Power Wall.Related: 5 things you need to know about the Tesla Model 3Musk's rebuttal deals specifically with the Tesla vehicle side of things.Does this omission mean that the Samsung is indeed helping Tesla out with its home and commercial power-storing efforts?
REUTERS/Lucas JacksonSEOUL Reuters - Tesla Motors Inc may source batteries from Samsung SDI Co Ltd for its energy systems in homes, companies and utilities, rather than for its electric cars, the U.S. company's chief executive said on Wednesday.Shares of Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, rebounded 3 percent early Thursday.The stock had fallen 8 percent on Wednesday after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla was working exclusively with longtime partner Panasonic Corp to supply batteries for its upcoming Model 3, the company's first mass-market car.Reuters reported on Tuesday a source with direct knowledge of the matter saying that Samsung SDI was making progress in talks with Tesla to supply batteries for the Model 3, as well as Tesla's energy storage products.It has said it would begin customer deliveries in late 2017.Citing "tremendous demand," Musk said in April that Tesla planned to boost total vehicle production to 500,000 in 2018, two years ahead of its original target.
That task has become harder as the electric version has languished on the old Fortwo platform, while gasoline models got a complete overhaul for the 2016 model year.A redesigned Fortwo Electric Drive will debut this fall at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.The coupe will be followed by a convertible version, and an electric variant of the four-seat Forfour which isn t sold in the U.S. .Daimler is planning to enter the energy storage business as well, and believes Smart battery packs could be reused in stationary energy storage systems after they ve degraded too much for continued use in cars.The next-generation Fortwo Electric Drive should be an improvement over the current model thanks to its new platform, but Smart will still have to address issues of performance and range.Still, Smart does have one advantage: the Fortwo Electric Drive convertible is the only all-electric convertible available in the U.S., and that will likely remain the case with the new model.
A dam with a pumped hydro storage reservoir in Pennsylvania.The obvious solution is to add storage, like batteries, to allow you to shift some of the electricity to when demand is highest.At that point, storage boosts wind's profitability by 11 percent.A rapidly changing marketThe analysis, however, was limited in a number of ways.If that trend continues, it will pose trouble for storage, since it becomes more economic to just sell the power at a moderate price than to spend money to build storage to hold it for when the price is high.And, as more states start to mandate putting storage on the grid, it can definitely help policymakers understand which types of storage make the most economic sense.
Thanks, Obama.On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced a number of initiatives that plan to help the country transition to a smart, more energy efficient, 21st century power grid.The White House is proposing a number of new executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments are proposed to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years, A smart grid, according to the Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, is a system that uses computer-based remote control and communication technologies to help utility workers to monitor and gather data.It s used in other industries, but has only recently been introduced in things such as power plants and wind farms.Along with releasing a report that goes over the number of opportunities for energy storage technologies, while increasing the federal government s storage capacity, the Administration also stated it will be making military bases more efficient, providing funding for microgrids in rural areas, and standardizing to more transparent energy data.A number of leading grid operators, including those from Massachusetts and California, also announced new projects and targets for states energy portfolios.
He pledged to spend more on renewable energy research, attempted to get states to reduce carbon emissions, and even teamed up with perfect head of hair and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau to curb greenhouse gas pollution.On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced a number of initiatives that plan to help the country transition to a smart, more energy efficient, 21st century power grid.The White House is proposing a number of new executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments are proposed to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years .It s used in other industries, but has only recently been introduced in things such as power plants and wind farms.Along with releasing a report that goes over the number of opportunities for energy storage technologies, while increasing the federal government s storage capacity, the Administration also stated it will be making military bases more efficient, providing funding for microgrids in rural areas, and standardising to more transparent energy data.A number of leading grid operators, including those from Massachusetts and California, also announced new projects and targets for states energy portfolios.
"PG has set a shining example" for phasing out other nuclear plants in the nation, said Ralph Cavanagh, energy program co-director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of several environmental and labor groups that struck a deal with PG to close the facility on the California coast.The two 1,100-megawatt-hour reactors at Diablo Canyon, which began operation in 1973, produce nearly 9 percent of California's electricity and provide enough power for 3 million people a year.To replace the lost nuclear power, PG plans to expand energy efficiency, its use of renewable energy, and energy storage that would exceed current state mandates.At present, about 30 percent of the utility's electricity comes from renewable sources, said Keith Stephens, a PG spokesman.PG disagreed, saying monthly bills won't have to rise to cover the costs of the closure and the switch to other forms of energy."There is no need for a cost increase from our customers," said Geisha Williams, president of electric with the utility subsidiary of PG "We don't have to replace the full power output of Diablo Canyon because there will be less need for its electricity" because of the state's energy mandates."This decision by PG will help facilitate greater deployment of advanced energy technologies and services to the grid," said Steve Chadima of Advanced Energy Economy, a national business association."Staff writer Louis Hansen contributed to this story.
On Tuesday morning at the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition 29 in Montreal, Quebec, the German automaker announced plans to turn old batteries from its i3 model into energy storage solutions for both residential and commercial applications.By giving the still-useful battery another assignment, it saves it from being sent out for recycling, which is an energy-intensive process.What's more, it allows homeowners and businesses to capture solar energy if they have a solar system during the day that they can use to charge their EV with at night.Short of solar, the Beck system could be programmed to charge the 2nd Life Batteries when energy prices are at their lowest, thereby saving the EV driver cost on charging.Now, before you get too excited about this plan, there's of course a caveat.That said, BMW confirmed to Mashable that it could start trail programs here in the U.S. as soon as 2017 with larger scale rollout after that.
The offer comes as Tesla, best known for its electric automobiles, pushes to become a behemoth in the burgeoning energy storage industry that is key to making green power cheap and weaning the world s economy off fossil fuels.The world doesn t lack for automotive companies, Musk said during a 32-minute press call Tuesday afternoon.The cost of producing renewable energy has plummeted, thanks largely to regulatory incentives and improved technology.The company broke ground two years ago on what will be world s biggest lithium-ion battery factory, the so-called Gigafactory in Nevada.We re investing heavily into all grid-related services.Tesla s stock price plunged nearly 12 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
Now BMW is joining the game with an energy storage system of its own, developed in concert with Germany s Beck Automation.Unveiled at the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition 29 EVS29 in Montreal, the system uses batteries from the BMW i3.It will be available in 22-kilowatt-hour and 33-kWh sizes, which interestingly enough corresponds to the battery-pack sizes of the current i3 and the longer-range 2017 model that will go on sale later this year.The carmaker also claims its system will be the first on the market to incorporate second-life batteries.Even when they ve degraded too much for automotive use, lithium-ion battery packs typically have plenty of usable capacity left.The commercial launch of BMW s energy storage system comes after years of research into second-life battery uses.
It's a move Musk said he's been thinking about for many years, and that the timing seemed right with Tesla's recent activities in energy storage.Assuming the shareholders agree, this will add a third product line to Tesla's retail stores, which will be literal one-stop-shops for sustainable energy, from power generation via solar panels , energy storage Powerwalls—the battery packs the company announced earlier this year , and electric vehicles.Integrating Tesla's Powerwall storage systems with Solar City's solar panels also promises to remove some duplication—currently both storage and generation systems have to have their own control computers and modems, connecting to different clouds.Musk and Solar City's CEO Lyndon Rive told Ars that the focus will be on both residential and business customers.According to Rive, Solar City's Demand Logic product is already very successful with commercial buildings, growing 300 percent year-on-year and that the company has 100MWh-worth of contracts with commercial customers.Listing image by Image courtesy of Twin Creeks Technologies