Understanding Modern Batteries (06:10)
As technology develops, scientists are researching how to make batteries better, cheaper, cleaner, and longer-lasting. David Pogue describes the technology of today's batteries, including the chemical reactions which make them possible.
Powering Electric Vehicles (04:18)
Several battery experts define the term "energy density," why it is important when making a good battery, and how it should be doubled or tripled within ten years. Finding a cost-effective and safe battery to power electric vehicles is a critical step in fighting climate change. Jay Leno's 1909 Baker Electric creates no pollution.
Properties of Lithium (05:27)
Lithium batteries are the most popular, but developers and consumers find they are prone to exploding and catching fire. Author Theodore Gray discusses lithium properties. A lithium metal battery has a permeable separator making failures less frequent.
Lithium Alternative (05:31)
Returning lithium ions clump on metal surfaces and build dendrites that grow until they touch the positively charged electrode, causing the battery to short circuit. Th lithium-ion battery is safer but stores far less energy. Pogue visits the University of Michigan's battery lab to learn about the technology.
Future of Battery Technology (03:49)
Electric cars are not popular in the United States. Venkat Srinivasan discusses American skepticism of driverless cars. Pogue visits the Tesla plant and LG Chems to learn abut their batteries.
Building Safer Batteries (09:26)
Pogue visits a battery abuse testing lab to better understand how to prevent dangerous chemical reactions and explosions during car accidents. Mike Zimmerman reveals a battery that is safer than conventional batteries; Pogue cuts the battery.
Electrical Supply and Demand (04:16)
The electrical grid is a complex machine. Renewable energy sources cannot advance without the development of a new, robust energy storage solution. Pogue visits a rechargeable hydroelectric dam in Virginia.
Energy Storage Systems (09:14)
Amber Kinetics works to create a renewable energy storage in the form of massive spinning disks; the flywheels store energy for up to four hours. A largescale windfarm near the Mohave Dessert uses a system of lithium-ion batteries to store energy generated by the turbines. Jay Whitacre sacrificed lightweight lithium-ion to produce the saltwater battery.
Batteries of the Future (03:15)
Levi Thompson and Pogue discuss the rechargeable flow battery designed with a system powered by large tanks filled with chemicals. These batteries are more efficient and cost-effective than sealed systems.
Credits: Search for the Super Battery (00:51)
Credits: Search for the Super Battery
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