A Better Battery

EnerG2, a Seattle-based company has just opened a new plant in Albany, Oregon. The goal? Creating high-tech batteries to be used in ultracapacitators. These new batteries are aiming to be both more efficient and longer-lasting. The end goal is to use the batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles.

This new plant, built by an Oregon-based Freeze-Drying company, was financed with $21.3 million of federal stimulus money from th Department of Energy. The facility, according to EnerG2, is the world's "first facility dedicated to the commercial-scale production of synthetic high-performance carbon electrode material".

In addition to constructing carbon-footprint-reducing technology, Energ2 is creating jobs. The Oregon plant will employ 35 people to perform what they call "high-quality jobs" in addition to 50 construction jobs for building the plant.

Ultracapacitators "store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries." They are used in everything from race cars to flashlights. The goal, says EnerG2, is to " deliver an ever-increasing breadth of new ways to improve energy efficiency.

The technology, though, comes with concerns. One main issue is the extremely high voltages at which they operate. Think thousands of volts instead of hundreds. This has given rise to safety concerns with the technology.

Improving batteries is an important step in reducing energy consumption. The cars of the future are likely to be incorporating batteries more and more, and as they change so to must the batteries.

What do you think of this development? Job creation and technology exploration is an important thing, and it's good to see those two things tied together. But, there is a lot of money, federal money, being invested here, so expectations will be high.

Is this plant a waste of time? Is there a future for ultracapacitator technology? Will this even make a difference? Share your thoughts below

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