Lithium-ion batteries power lots of different kinds of devices.
Keys to better batteries are found in chemistry and physics, as well as mechanical and electrical engineering.
Better Place: A good idea before its time.
Electric cars are hot, yet their global market penetration remains less than 0.5% of all vehicles. Research points the way to key questions to ask when building new markets.
Oliver Payton/University of Bristol
Phosphorene nanoribbons are like tagliatelle, but carry the potential to boost battery capacity by 50%.
An artist’s impression of a flying car.
With further technology required and practical uncertainties, time is running out for them to be useful in the fight against climate change.
A Shorten government would consult with industry and experts on baselines for individual entities and the timing of reduction.
Labor would aim for a new threshold under a revamp of the existing safeguards mechanism of 25,000 tonnes of direct CO2 pollution annually, which would be phased in after consultation with industry.
This is what a 5-megawatt, lithium-ion energy storage system looks like.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Energy storage could prove an inexpensive way for power companies to handle heat waves and other times when consumers use more electricity than usual.
A battery electric vehicle in The University of Queensland’s vehicle fleet.
It's unclear exactly what mix of technologies will drive the zero-emission vehicles of the future. But in terms of 'well-to-wheel' efficiency, electric batteries outperform hydrogen.
The big battery has notched up a year in operation, during which it has been widely hailed as a success.
AAP Image/David Mariuz
A year ago, the world's largest lithium-ion battery began dispatching power to South Australia's grid. It has been a remarkable success but there are some concerns that have so far escaped scrutiny
Building an electric airplane is very different from building an electric car or truck.
The battery technology and cooling systems needed for electric aircraft to lift people and cargo are getting closer to reality, but they're still very different from electric cars and trucks.
With the right settings, Labor’s new scheme could benefit householders as well as the grid itself.
Federal Labor has promised to give rebates of up to $2,000 to 100,000 households to install batteries to store power from solar panels. Is this good energy policy, or just middle-class welfare?
Research is finding better ways to make batteries both big and small.
Is it too much to dream of batteries that are part of the structure of an item, helping to shape the form of a smartphone, car or building while also powering its functions?
A foldable, biodegradable battery based on paper and bacteria opens a new opportunity in electronics.
Seokheun Choi/Binghamton University
Paper-based devices with foldable, biodegradable batteries provide a new way to reduce electronic waste. But how would these new gadgets work?
Salt water is fun to swim in – but it also carries the electrical signals vital for life.
We take salt water for granted, and often overlook how important it is for our own lives and in sustaining a healthy planet.
The shrinking supply of Colorado River water is evident at the Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Taking millions of gallons of water permanently out of the Colorado River amid a prolonged drought would surely start an interstate fight.
Could this be the way to fill up in future?
The hydrogen economy has been touted for decades as a way to navigate the clean energy transition. Now a new CSIRO roadmap sets out how hydrogen power can become a major energy player.
More needs to be done to prevent deaths from button batteries.
Parents, carers and doctors need to be aware of button batteries in toys and household devices and ensure they can't be ingested.
Electric cars and smartphones have created growing demand – and volatile prices – for once obscure metals.
Grid-scale energy storage systems may make it easier to rely completely on renewable energy.
Saving power to use later lets consumers, businesses and utilities generate energy when it's cheap and deliver it when they need it most. There's not much of it today, but the industry is growing fast.
The proton battery, connected to a voltmeter.
A new rechargeable 'proton battery' - made chiefly from carbon and water - promises to outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries, while also being more environmentally friendly.
More blue sky thinking could help the grid get even smarter.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
'Virtual power plants' offer extra power to the grid by tweaking the operation of batteries and appliances right across the network. But even this might be too blunt a tool for our future energy needs.