Energy and Sustainability Program Hosts Renowned Professor to Teach On Energy Storage
Bauer College recently hosted one of Time magazine’s most influential people to give a lecture to students as MIT engineer Daniel Sadoway spoke during the Seminar in Energy Efficiency course last month.
Alongside his team, Sadoway has found a way to redefine immobile energy storage by exponentially growing the lifespan of storage technology with the invention of a liquid metal battery. This has the potential to keep energy stored as a long-term resource for many.
“Electricity is modernity,” Sadoway said, pointing out the slide projected on the board behind him, which depicted a dichromatic image of the world that illuminated cities in white. “Where the lights are, that’s where the modern world is.”
Sadoway, named in Time’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2012, worked with a team of multinational students — novices in the chemistry field — to create the battery and Ambri, the company that will produce it. The battery operates on layers of salt and liquid metal and has the potential to store solar- and wind-generated energy for more than 300 years.
“I didn’t consult anyone in the battery industry,” he said, stressing that, while there are innovative companies working on projects, they are creating tomorrow’s energy “with yesterday’s technology.”
Instead, Sadoway turned to passionate students and, over three years, developed and tested models for the battery. Now, Ambri holds investments from top-investors and philanthropists like Bill Gates. Research continues for the project, and he said he expects that installations will begin in the next few years.
The Seminar in Energy Efficiency course is one of many new classes created for the Energy and Sustainability minor. Bauer Supply Chain Management Professor Suryanarayanan Radhakrishnan, one of the directors of the course, said the course is part of an overall focus on energy at the university and college.
The seminar meets Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m., and features a different expert speaker and discussion every week, focusing on the significance of efficiency in the electricity field. As one of these guest lecturers, Sadoway’s address resounded with the theme of the course, stressing the importance of electricity.
“Electrify the world,” Sadoway said. “Without electricity, you can’t do anything.”
By Trey Strange