Development of eco-friendly and efficient energy storage systems that can preserve the excess energy generated by renewables, is currently receiving much more attention than the actual energy generation technologies. It all makes sense, especially when advances in solar and wind have led to an incredible boost of performance of solar cells and wind turbines, but when the sun is not shining, and the wind is not blowing, we still need a back up.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise, that MIT gives away their Lemelson-MIT 2015 Prize of $500,000 to the maker of an energy storage technology. But, of course, it is not an ordinary battery- it is one that wins over all the others with efficiency, price and, above all, eco-friendliness. It is made by Aquion Energy, it is called Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) battery technology, it is backed up by Bill Gates, and in the last two years (since we introduced it here) it went from under development to being made and sold in numerous countries around the world.
What makes AHI battery special is the fact that it is made of the most abundant, non-toxic, resources around- saltwater and carbon. Developed especially as an energy storage system for wind and solar-generated electricity, it provides a cheap and effective solution to a major problem, which others solve by using toxic, heavy, bulky and expensive technology (if any). The AHI battery is so ‘green’ that its inventor, Jay Whitacre, took a bite from it.
Besides the battery, Jay Whitacre, was also recognized for his mentorship, his skills for fast and effective commercializing of the technology, and of course, for his desire to solve world’s pressing issues. When given the prize by the executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, Joshua Schuler, Whitacre was presented as a person, who ticks all the boxes that define the mission of the prestigious program.
Image (c) Aquion Energy