The widespread integration of renewable, intermittent energy sources such as wind or solar is dependent upon the development of efficient large-scale energy storage systems for load-leveling the electric grid. Similarly, the acceptance of plug-in hybrid electric — and especially pure electric vehicles — hinges on the availability of intermediate scale, safe, low-cost energy storage batteries to provide driving ranges that exceed the psychological barrier of 100 miles. The first part of the talk will present a perspective of energy storage systems based on Li-ion batteries, and a synopsis of their fundamental chemical and materials science basis. The challenges, opportunities and perceived limits for future improvements will be presented, including storage devices that go beyond Li-ion. In particular, significant advances are possible through the exploitation of nanoporous materials and these will be highlighted in the second part.
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