- 2010 : Smarter Health through Modeling and Simulation
- 2009 : Scalable Energy Storage: Beyond Lithium Ion
- 2008 : Innovating with Information
- 2007 : Navigating Complexity: Doing more with less
- 2006 : Cognitive Computing
- 2005 : Transforming Healthcare with Information
- 2004 : Work in the era of the global, extensible enterprise
- 2003 : Symposium on Privacy
- 2002 : Autonomic Computing
- 2001 : Grand Challenges in Nanotechnology
Almaden Institute - 2009 : Scalable Energy Storage: Beyond Lithium Ion
Big batteries that can store electricity for transportation and wind and solar generation are the indispensable enablers of the Energy Internet of the future.
The world is poised to enter a new era of energy based on smart electricity distribution and use of renewable sources. High density energy storage technologies, scalable over a wide range of sizes, are emerging as the greatest game changer. But they also present the biggest technical challenges.
Many renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, fluctuate continuously, yet society requires a steady, dependable supply of electrical energy. The solution is the development of a grid-scale, efficient, and affordable electrical energy storage network, where energy can be locally stored and distributed in anticipation of supply and demand. This would completely revolutionize the electrical utility business and will prepare it to support widespread use of electric cars.
Currently, the vast majority of the world's oil is burned for transportation uses. Scalable energy storage, deployed in the grid and powering long range all-electric vehicles, can eliminate most of the need to import oil. This has immense geopolitical, ecological and societal implications.
While scalable energy storage is critical to solving our biggest energy problems, progress has been slow. There are no fundamental scientific obstacles to creating batteries with ten times the energy content - for a given weight - of the best current batteries.
Creating such powerful energy storage devices is a difficult problem. Given the enormous growth of supercomputing power, coupled with new tools in nanotechnology, the time is right to greatly accelerate progress. Petaflop-scale supercomputers enable ab-initio modeling of complex chemical systems for electrolytes, catalysts and electrodes. Experimental studies will lead to new nanostructured surfaces, catalysts and membranes.
The goal of the Almaden Institute is to catalyze long-term, concerted efforts to create rechargeable next-generation batteries with ten times higher energy density, compared to the best current Lithium-ion batteries.
Speakers include Nobel Laureate and energy expert Professor Burton Richter, Marc Tarpenning, co-founder of Tesla Motors and Professor Daniel Sperling, author of 2 Billion Cars. Leading experts from academia, government laboratories and industry will give overviews of the current state of the art and discuss their research into next-generation battery technologies and the evolution of energy storage. A panel session will focus on US government funding for energy storage research.
The Almaden Institute is held annually at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. The Institute brings together eminent, innovative thinkers from academia, government, industry, research labs and the media for an intellectually charged, stimulating and vigorous dialogue that addresses fundamental challenges at the very edge of science and technology.
The Institute format is designed to facilitate and foster discussion, debate, interaction, and networking. For more information about the 2009 Almaden Institute, please send a note to:firstname.lastname@example.org.