Stanford, CA, United States

Stanford University
Stanford, CA, United States

Leland Stanford Junior University, or more commonly Stanford University, is a private research university in Stanford, California, and one of the world's most prestigious institutions, with the highest undergraduate selectivity and the top position in numerous surveys and measures in the United States.Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford, former governor of and U.S. senator from California and leading railroad tycoon, and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford, Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford was opened on October 1, 1891 as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Tuition was free until 1920. The university struggled financially after Leland Stanford's 1893 death and after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates' entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley. By 1970, Stanford was home to a linear accelerator, and was one of the original four ARPANET nodes .Stanford is located in northern Silicon Valley near Palo Alto, California. The University's academic departments are organized into seven schools, with several other holdings, such as laboratories and nature reserves, located outside the main campus. Its 8,180-acre campus is one of the largest in the United States. The University is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.Stanford's undergraduate program is the most selective in the country with an acceptance rate of 5.07% for the 2018 Class. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the University is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pacific-12 Conference. It has gained 105 NCAA team championships, the second-most for a university, 465 individual championships, the most in Division I, and has won the NACDA Directors' Cup, recognizing the university with the best overall athletic team achievement, every year since 1994-1995.Stanford faculty and alumni have founded many companies including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems, and Yahoo!, and companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world. Fifty-nine Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the University, and it is the alma mater of 30 living billionaires and 17 astronauts. Stanford has produced a total of 18 Turing Award laureates, the highest in the world for any one institution. It is also one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 17, 2017

When you charge a battery, or when you use it, it’s not just electricity but also matter that moves around inside. Ions, which are atoms or molecules that have an electric charge, travel from one of the battery’s electrodes to the other, making the electrodes shrink and swell. In fact, it’s been a longstanding mystery why fairly brittle electrode materials don’t crack under the strain of these expansion and contraction cycles. The answer may have finally been found. A team of researchers at MIT, the University of Southern Denmark, Rice University, and Argonne National Laboratory has determined that the secret is in the electrodes’ molecular structure. While the electrode materials are normally crystalline, with all their atoms neatly arranged in a regular, repetitive array, when they undergo the charging or discharging process, they are transformed into a disordered, glass-like phase that can accommodate the strain of the dimensional changes. The new findings, which could affect future battery design and even lead to new kinds of actuators, are reported in the journal Nano Letters, in a paper by MIT professor of materials science and engineering Yet-Ming Chiang, graduate students Kai Xiang and Wenting Xing, and eight others. In theory, if you were to stretch out a lithium-ion battery over a fulcrum, with an electrode on each side, Chiang says, “it would go up and down like a seesaw” as it was being charged and discharged. The change in mass as ions shuttle back and forth is also accompanied by an expansion or contraction that can vary, depending on the material, “from 1 percent or so, all the way up to silicon, which can expand by 300 percent,” he says. This research dealt with a different kind of battery, called a sodium-ion battery. The scientists looked at a particular class of materials seen as potential battery cathodes (positive electrodes), called phospho-olivines, and specifically at sodium-iron-phosphate (NaFePO ). They found that it is possible to fine-tune the volume changes over a very wide range — changing not only how much the material expands and contracts, but also the dynamics of how it does so. For some compositions, the expansion is very slow and gradual, but for others it can increase suddenly. “Within this family of olivines,” Chiang says, “we can have this slow, stepwise change,” spanning the whole range from almost zero charge to very high power. Alternatively, the change can be “something very drastic,” as is the case with NaFePO , which rapidly changes its volume by about 17 percent. “We know that brittle compounds like this would normally fracture with less than a 1 percent volume change,” Chiang says. “So how does this material accommodate such large volume changes? What we found, in a sense, is that the crystal gives up and forms a disordered glass” instead of maintaining its precisely ordered lattice. “This is a mechanism that we think might apply more broadly to other compounds of this kind,” he says, adding that the finding may represent “a new way to create glassy materials that may be useful for batteries.” Once the change to a glassy composition takes place, its volume changes become gradual rather than sudden, and as a result “it may be longer-lived,” Chiang says. The findings could provide a new design tool for those trying to develop longer-lived, higher-capacity batteries, he says. It could also lead to possible applications in which the volume changes could be put to use, for example as robotic actuators or as pumps to deliver drugs from implantable devices. The team plans to continue working on easier ways of synthesizing these olivine compounds, and determining whether there is a broader family of crystalline materials that shares this phase-changing property. This research provides “a seminal contribution that links the electrochemical, mechanical, and crystallographic aspects of battery electrodes,” says William Chueh, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University, who was not involved in this work. “Electrode materials used in lithium-ion batteries shrink and expand during charging and discharging, and often disproportionally within a single particle. If the strain cannot be accommodated, the particle fractures, eventually causing the battery to fail. This is similar to a cold ceramic cup cracking when boiling water is poured in too quickly,” Chueh says. This work “identifies a new strain-relief mechanism when the volume change is large, which involves the material turning from a crystalline solid to an amorphous one rather than fracturing.” This discovery, he says, “may lead scientists to revisit battery materials previously deemed unusable due to the large volume change during charging and discharging. It would also lead to better predictive models used by engineers to design new generation batteries.” The team included Dorthe Ravnsbaek at the University of Southern Denmark and MIT, Zheng Li at MIT, Liang Hong and Ming Tang at Rice University in Texas, and Kamila Wiaderek, Olaf Borkiewicz, Karena Chapman, and Peter Chupas at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

A team of researchers from the Naval Research Laboratory is on to a new zinc-based alternative to lithium-ion batteries. The new research aims at enabling the Navy to expands its energy storage options. The new zinc battery could also makes its way into the EV market, providing manufacturers with a lighter, less expensive alternative to today’s crop of lithium-ion batteries. Head researcher Debra Rolison, who has been at NRL since 1980, graciously spent some time on the phone last week with CleanTechnica along with her colleague Jeffrey Long to provide some unique insights into the breakthrough. The Navy’s problem with lithium-ion batteries is that they are not considered safe for some applications on ships as well as other facilities due to fire risks. Don’t get the wrong idea about EV battery safety, though. Modern lithium-ion battery packs are designed with control systems that prevent overheating and provide for a longer lifespan. Rolison underscored that you’re only going to get safety failure in a poorly designed control system — hoverboards being one notorious example. That kind of problem has practically zero chance of occurring in today’s intensely regulated auto market. The safety issue does present an obstacle to designing lighter, less expensive energy storage systems, as Rolison explained: “Lithium-ion thermal management has to be designed in. With other safeguards, these energy management systems add weight, volume, and cost.” Rolison also noted that thermal management systems add complexity to the manufacturing end of things. Throw in the additional supply chain complications and you can see why researchers have been pursuing an energy storage system that can safely ditch thermal management systems. Those of you familiar with zinc batteries may be scratching your heads at this point. Though common for single-use batteries, zinc is not the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of rechargeable batteries. Nevertheless, researchers have been hot on the trail of zinc as an alternative to lithium-ion for a while now. In addition to the weight and cost advantages, supply chain security is a big consideration. Zinc can be found in many parts of the world and it is abundant in the US. In contrast, lithium mines are few and far between. That could change, eventually, but for the here and now, lithium supply seems like an issue. “Batteries have to be inexpensive and scalable, and also zinc is not a strategic metal,” Rolison explained. “It can be found anywhere.” The obstacle is that zinc is a tricky beast as applied to rechargeable batteries. During the charge/discharge cycle, zinc batteries form nanoscale spikes called dendrites that severely limit performance and lifespan. Researchers have been looking at various solutions — for example, Stanford University has had a zinc-air battery in the works for a while, and just last year Pacific Northwest National Laboratory came up with a zinc-manganese combo for stationary energy storage. Now, it looks like the Navy is beating them all to the punch. The new battery research is a good example of what can happen when researchers persist. Instead of tinkering around with zinc in its conventional powder form, Rolison’s research team created a nickel-zinc battery that deploys a sponge form of zinc on the anode. “There is a whole family of zinc batteries that goes back to [Thomas] Edison’s 1901 patent — in fact, Edison suggested the idea of establishing a naval research laboratory. “We recognized that the military is comfortable with zinc batteries in their single-use form, and we can re-invent them in rechargeable form. We can apply the zinc sponge across the whole family of batteries. ” The difference between the powder and sponge forms is, well, yuuuuuge according to Rolison: “The advantages of the sponge form is that zinc is always connected to zinc. We never had that before. That’s why we can oxidize over 90 percent and get almost all of it back. That’s not feasible with powder.” “We re-imagined zinc for the 21st century,” is how Rolison described the breakthrough. “We demonstrate that the three-dimensional (3D) zinc form-factor elevates the performance of nickel–zinc alkaline cells in three fields of use: (i) >90% theoretical depth of discharge (DODZn) in primary (single-use) cells, (ii) >100 high-rate cycles at 40% DODZn at lithium-ion–commensurate specific energy, and (iii) the tens of thousands of power-demanding duty cycles required for start-stop microhybrid vehicles.” You can find all the details in the journal Science under the somewhat provocative title, “Zinc can compete with lithium.” As for how long it could take before the new nickel-zinc battery leaps out the laboratory door and lands in your mobile device, that may not take as long as you think. According to Rolison, the new technology is ready for commercialization and the new batteries can be deployed on a drop-in basis. That won’t come a moment too soon considering the dustup over the Trump Administration’s actions banning laptops from passenger cabins on aircraft. For those of you wondering why the Navy has its own research lab, Rolison provided a view of the big picture: “Energy is all about electrons per second, and that means NRL has a huge charter. NRL is focused on technology the Navy needs, and Navy operations are everywhere — on earth, in space — the Navy’s technology spectrum is everything. “NRL looks at the technology of the next generation, always trying to understand what lies in the future.” Women’s History Month has come and gone but in the spirit of recognizing women in STEM fields, here are some snippets from Rolison’s bio: “Rolison heads the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section at the NRL, where her research focuses on multifunctional nanoarchitectures for such rate -­‐‑ critical applications as catalysis, energy storage and conversion, and sensors… “Rolison is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Women in Science , the Materials Research Society (Inaugural Class), and the American Chemical Society and received the 2011 ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials , the 2011 Hillebrand Prize of the Chemical Society of Washington, and the 2012 C . N. Reilley Award of the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry… “When not otherwise bringing the importance of nothing and disorder to materials chemistry, Rolison writes and lectures widely on issues affecting women (and men!) in science, including proposing Title IX assessments of science and engineering departments. She is the author of over 200 article s and holds 24 patents.” Check out our new 93-page EV report. Join us for an upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

A battery includes 1) an anode, 2) a cathode, and 3) an electrolyte disposed between the anode and the cathode. The anode includes a current collector and an interfacial layer disposed over the current collector, and the interfacial layer includes an array of interconnected, protruding regions that define spaces.

Claims which contain your search:

1) A battery comprising: a) an anode; b) a cathode; an electrolyte disposed between the anode and the cathode, wherein the anode includes a current collector and an interfacial layer disposed over the current collector, and the interfacial layer includes an array of encapsulating structures that define interior spaces; and c) seeds disposed within the interior spaces, wherein the seeds are configured to promote deposition of an anode material, wherein the seed material comprises zinc.

GlassPoint Solar Inc. and Stanford University | Date: 2016-03-07

Techniques for subsurface thermal energy storage of heat generated by concentrating solar power enable smoothing of available energy with respect to daily and/or seasonal variation. Solar thermal collectors produce saturated steam that is injected into a producing or wholly/partially depleted oil reservoir that operates as a heat storage reservoir. Some of the saturated steam generated by the collectors is optionally used to generate electricity. Heat is withdrawn from the reservoir as saturated steam and is used to operate an active thermal recovery project (such as a producing thermally enhanced oil reservoir) and/or to generate electricity. Withdrawn heat is optionally augmented by heat produced by firing natural gas. The reservoir is optionally one that has been used for thermally enhanced oil recovery and thus is already warm, minimizing heat losses.

Claims which contain your search:

14. The method of claim 11 wherein at least one of extracting heat from the first underground volume in the form of steam and adjusting a condition of the steam to form a second quantity of saturated steam includes using energy from solar thermal collectors.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the energy is in the form of a third quantity of saturated steam.

22. The method of claim 11, further comprising heating the first quantity of saturated steam with concentrated solar energy.

26. The system of claim 23 wherein the oil field technology facility is configured to use energy from solar thermal collectors.

27. The system of claim 16 wherein the energy is in the form of a third quantity of saturated steam.

34. The system of claim 23 wherein the steam distribution line is a first steam distribution line, and wherein the system further comprises: a plurality of solar collectors positioned to heat the first quantity of saturated steam; and a second steam distribution line coupled between the solar collectors and the first underground volume to direct the first quantity of saturated steam to the underground storage volume.

A flexible all-solid state supercapacitor is provided that includes a first electrode and a second electrode, and a flexible nanofiber web, where the flexible nanofiber web connects the first electrode to the second electrode, where the flexible nanofiber web includes a plurality of flexible nanofibers, where the flexible nanofiber includes a hierarchal structure of macropores, mesopores and micropores through a cross section of the flexible nanofiber, where the mesopores and the micropores form a graded pore structure, where the macropores are periodically distributed along the flexible nanaofiber and within the graded pore structure.

Claims which contain your search:

7) The method according to claim 6, wherein said flexible nanofibers are conductive current collectors for battery electrodes.

Yang Y.,Stanford University | Zheng G.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,SLAC
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2013

Large-scale energy storage represents a key challenge for renewable energy and new systems with low cost, high energy density and long cycle life are desired. In this article, we develop a new lithium/polysulfide (Li/PS) semi-liquid battery for large-scale energy storage, with lithium polysulfide (Li2S8) in ether solvent as a catholyte and metallic lithium as an anode. Unlike previous work on Li/S batteries with discharge products such as solid state Li2S2 and Li2S, the catholyte is designed to cycle only in the range between sulfur and Li 2S4. Consequently all detrimental effects due to the formation and volume expansion of solid Li2S2/Li 2S are avoided. This novel strategy results in excellent cycle life and compatibility with flow battery design. The proof-of-concept Li/PS battery could reach a high energy density of 170 W h kg-1 and 190 W h L -1 for large scale storage at the solubility limit, while keeping the advantages of hybrid flow batteries. We demonstrated that, with a 5 M Li 2S8 catholyte, energy densities of 97 W h kg-1 and 108 W h L-1 can be achieved. As the lithium surface is well passivated by LiNO3 additive in ether solvent, internal shuttle effect is largely eliminated and thus excellent performance over 2000 cycles is achieved with a constant capacity of 200 mA h g-1. This new system can operate without the expensive ion-selective membrane, and it is attractive for large-scale energy storage. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Document Keywords (matching the query): high energy densities, li s batteries, lithium batteries, storage, energy storage, renewable energies.

Wu H.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,SLAC
Nano Today | Year: 2012

High energy lithium ion batteries are in demand for consumer electronics, electric-drive vehicles and grid-scale stationary energy storage. Si is of great interest since it has 10 times higher specific capacity than traditional carbon anodes. However, the poor cyclability due to the large volume change of Si upon insertion and extraction of lithium has been an impediment to its deployment. This review outlines three fundamental materials challenges associated with large volume change, and then shows how nanostructured materials design can successfully address these challenges. There have been three generations of nanostructure design, encompassing solid nanostructures such as nanowires, hollow nanostructures, and clamped hollow structures. The nanoscale design principles developed for Si can also be extended to other battery materials that undergo large volume changes. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Document Keywords (matching the query): energy, high energy, battery materials, lithium batteries, lithium ion battery.

Barnhart C.J.,Stanford University | Benson S.M.,Stanford University
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2013

Two prominent low-carbon energy resources, wind and sunlight, depend on weather. As the percentage of electricity supply from these sources increases, grid operators will need to employ strategies and technologies, including energy storage, to balance supply with demand. We quantify energy and material resource requirements for currently available energy storage technologies: lithium ion (Li-ion), sodium sulfur (NaS) and lead-acid (PbA) batteries; vanadium redox (VRB) and zinc-bromine (ZnBr) flow batteries; and geologic pumped hydroelectric storage (PHS) and compressed air energy storage (CAES). By introducing new concepts, including energy stored on invested (ESOI), we map research avenues that could expedite the development and deployment of grid-scale energy storage. ESOI incorporates several storage attributes instead of isolated properties, like efficiency or energy density. Calculations indicate that electrochemical storage technologies will impinge on global energy supplies for scale up - PHS and CAES are less energy intensive by 100 fold. Using ESOI we show that an increase in electrochemical storage cycle life by tenfold would greatly relax energetic constraints for grid-storage and improve cost competitiveness. We find that annual material resource production places tight limits on Li-ion, VRB and PHS development and loose limits on NaS and CAES. This analysis indicates that energy storage could provide some grid flexibility but its build up will require decades. Reducing financial cost is not sufficient for creating a scalable energy storage infrastructure. Most importantly, for grid integrated storage, cycle life must be improved to improve the scalability of battery technologies. As a result of the constraints on energy storage described here, increasing grid flexibility as the penetration of renewable power generation increases will require employing several additional techniques including demand-side management, flexible generation from base-load facilities and natural gas firming. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.

Document Keywords (matching the query): energy resources, battery technology, storage materials, electrical energy storages, electrochemical storage, integrated storage, energy storage, compressed air energy storage.

Stanford University | Date: 2016-03-03

High density energy storage in semiconductor devices is provided. There are two main aspects of the present approach. The first aspect is to provide high density energy storage in semiconductor devices based on formation of a plasma in the semiconductor. The second aspect is to provide high density energy storage based on charge separation in a p-n junction.

Claims which contain your search:

8. The device of claim 1, wherein the device is configured to release stored energy by emission of electromagnetic radiation.

1. An energy storage device comprising: first and second conductive electrodes spaced apart; a first volume of active material disposed between the electrodes; a first volume of barrier material disposed between the first electrode and the first volume of active material; wherein the first volume of active material is a semiconducting material comprising a first region having a first Fermi level and a second region having a second Fermi level different from the first Fermi level; and wherein application of a voltage of greater than 5 V across the electrodes produces an energy density of greater than about 1 Wh/L in the device.

3. The device of claim 2 further comprising: a second volume of active material and a third volume of barrier material disposed between the first and second volumes of active material; wherein the second volume of active material comprises a third region having a third Fermi level and a fourth region having a fourth Fermi level different from the third Fermi level; wherein the barrier material in the third volume of barrier material has a third breakdown field strength, and wherein application of the voltage across the electrodes to produce an energy density of greater than about 1 Wh/L in the device produces an electric field in the third volume of barrier material less than the third breakdown field strength.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein the device is configured to release stored energy by flow of electrical current through an electrical load.

Kinda makes you wonder if they shouted "Urea-ka!" after the discovery. One of the biggest missing links in renewable energy is affordable and high performance energy storage, but a new type of battery developed at Stanford University could be the solution. Solar energy generation works great when the sun is shining (duh...) and wind energy is awesome when it's windy (double duh...), but neither is very helpful for the grid after dark and when the air is still. That's long been one of the arguments against renewable energy, even if there are plenty of arguments for developing additional solar and wind energy installations without large-scale energy storage solutions in place. However, if low-cost and high performance batteries were readily available, it could go a long way toward a more sustainable and cleaner grid, and a pair of Stanford engineers have developed what could be a viable option for grid-scale energy storage. With three relatively abundant and low-cost materials, namely aluminum, graphite, and urea, Stanford chemistry Professor Hongjie Dai and doctoral candidate Michael Angell have created a rechargeable battery that is nonflammable, very efficient, and has a long lifecycle. A previous version of this rechargeable aluminum battery was found to be efficient and to have a long life, but it also employed an expensive electrolyte, whereas the latest iteration of the aluminum battery uses urea as the base for the electrolyte, which is already produced in large quantities for fertilizer and other uses (it's also a component of urine, but while a pee-based home battery might seem like just the ticket, it's probably not going to happen any time soon). According to Stanford, the new development marks the first time urea has been used in a battery, and because urea isn't flammable (as lithium-ion batteries are), this makes it a great choice for home energy storage, where safety is of utmost importance. And the fact that the new battery is also efficient and affordable makes it a serious contender when it comes to large-scale energy storage applications as well. According to Angell, using the new battery as grid storage "is the main goal," thanks to the high efficiency and long life cycle, coupled with the low cost of its components. By one metric of efficiency, called Coulombic efficiency, which measures the relationship between the unit of charge put into the battery and the output charge, the new battery is rated at 99.7%, which is high. In order to meet the needs of a grid-scale energy storage system, a battery would need to last at least a decade, and while the current urea-based aluminum ion batteries have been able to last through about 1500 charge cycles, the team is still looking into improving its lifetime in its goal of developing a commercial version. The team has published some of its results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, under the title "High Coulombic efficiency aluminum-ion battery using an AlCl -urea ionic liquid analog electrolyte."

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