Could the sand battery make renewable energy more dependable?

Jul 29, 2022
A start-up in Finland unveils the world’s first commercial heat storage system using sand to solve the problem of the variability of solar and wind power.
The sand battery at Kankaanpaa in southwest Finland.
Courtesy Polar Night Energy

The price of lithium is way up. And right now, electric cars depend on it.

Jan 26, 2022
The metal is a key ingredient in the batteries that power all those electric cars.
The price of lithium, used in the batteries of electric vehicles, has increased by more than 40% in the past year.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Lithium may fuel a mining revival in England's Cornwall

Oct 19, 2020
Tin mining in Cornwall ground to a halt more than 20 years ago. Now the county has discovered what may be a rich new source of underground wealth.
The harbor at Mullion Cove, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images

Why are the Dreamliner's batteries malfunctioning?

Feb 1, 2013
Big battery packs are a balancing challenge -- if the cells work unevenly, one can overheat and burst into flames.

That battery in your cell phone packs a lot of history

Jan 31, 2013
Prof. John Goodenough discovered the advance that made the lithium-ion battery -- and the wireless world -- possible. But now another breakthrough is needed.

Jelly, not just for donuts, for batteries too

Sep 12, 2011
One of the biggest problems with the lithium batteries used in everything from laptops to electric cars, its liquid electrolyte. It gets really hot...