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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1977394  
Subject: Re: Manhattan Project for Electrical Storage Date: 12/2/2012 2:45 PM
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It's time. When make up our minds to split the atom, or put man on the moon, we do it.

I hope so. But I admit I know very little about battery technology, so I have my doubts.

When we split the atom, we had physicists telling us that it was theoretically possible, and Einstein explaining how much energy was locked up inside the atom. When we decided to go to the moon, we had the rudimentary beginnings of rocketry and it was not difficult to imagine putting a human instead of explosives on top of a missile.

Do we have that with "batteries"? I don't know. Aiming for a 25-fold increase from a technology that's more than 100 years old is a lofty goal, I'll say. We've managed to go from 8mpg to 50mpg cars, but it took a century to get there. I suspect that if we are to manage the "electrical storage" goal it won't be with improved batteries. We didn't unleash the atomic bomb by making better gunpowder, it took a paradigm change of high order.

Still, if they can coax out a 100% improvement it will have been worthwhile, and maybe there are some breakthroughs bubbling around that will get us to the goal, which we surely need to do - somehow.

And if they are successful, it will be the start of a foundational technology, as important to electricity as silicon is to chips. That would be an immense score for Illinois and for the schools they've enlisted.
 
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