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Battery Breakthrough Technology Could Power Homes for Pennies Per Kilowatt Hour

Monday, April 12, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: batteries, home power, health news

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(NaturalNews) Scientists with Ceramatec, the research and development arm of CoorsTek, say that they have developed a new kind of deep-storage battery that, when coupled with on-site power generation mechanisms like wind and solar electricity, could power an entire home for only pennies per kilowatt hour.

Most wind and solar-powered homes remain connected to the national electric grid, largely because it is difficult and expensive to install batteries large enough to keep the house powered through low wind or sun periods. Ceramatec's new battery, however, uses solid materials to store between 20 and 40 kilowatt hours of electricity at temperatures of only 90 degrees Celsius. In contrast, most high-density batteries use liquids heated to dangerous temperatures of roughly 600 degrees.

The batteries are currently being tested to see how many charge-discharge cycles they can support throughout their lifetimes. Currently the batteries have made it through 200 and are still going strong, and the scientists estimate a lifespan of 3,650 cycles -- or one cycle every day for 10 years. Since each battery costs approximately $2,000, this would translate into a cost of only three cents per kilowatt hour -- in contrast to the eight cents per kilowatt hour charged by the typical electric company.

The battery can release electricity at a continuous rate of five kilowatts for a period of four hours. This would be enough to power a vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, trash compactor, food processor, thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs and one electric stovetop burner.

Batteries such as these, matching high capacity with low cost, have the potential to revolutionize the field of home-generated electricity, perhaps even rendering centrally generated power obsolete.

"This changes the whole scope of things and would have a major impact on what we're trying to do," said Clyde Shepherd of Alpine, Utah, whose home is powered by two windmills. "Something that would provide 20 kilowatts would put us near 100 percent of what we would need to be completely independent. It would save literally thousands of dollars a year."

Sources for this story include: www.heraldextra.com.

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