We are not going to get rid of the internal combustion engine tomorrow, and Chris Beekhuis knows this. He is the CEO of Gridtential, and they have developed a very interesting battery technology, named Silicon Joule.
The lead-acid battery technology that his company has patented in Silicon Joule fills an interesting niche, and has the ability to harness our existing infrastructure in a variety of powerful ways. It is made with a silicon substrate that gives the battery the ability to outperform a standard lead-acid battery by a substantial margin.
Everyone is hot for lithium batteries, and while all the cool, new, sexy electric cars use state of the art lithium based batteries, many people don’t know that lithium batteries are not as green as some may think.
While they do provide a wonderful solution for high-performance autos that can easily compete with a luxury auto that runs on gasoline, a lithium battery is sort of a one way street.
About 5% of most types of lithium batteries are recoverable for reuse, compare that with a recovery rate of almost 100% for a lead-acid battery, and you start to see the value of what most people think of as a technological dinosaur in the modern world.
Mr. Beekhuis sees the change over to 48v systems in automobiles as inevitable and incipient. He very well may be right, and if he is, his company is perfectly positioned to take advantage of a sea-change in automotive engineering,
But that isn’t what his batteries are really for.
Gridtential has a much larger market in mind with the Silicon Joule, and that is the aging electrical grids. His batteries would be the perfect solution to a hybrid electrical grid that is integrating new forms of green energy with the present power infrastructure.
For places like Northern Europe that routinely produce excess power via green sources like wind and solar, the batteries that Gridtential have designed are an ideal solution for power storage, and offer clear advantages over any other type of battery that is commercially viable.
It is hard to see any sort of flaws in these silicon joules.