Arthur Vasek


Presentation 1

Some questions

  1. Do heavy metals from batteries in landfills pose a significant health risk?
  2. What ideas are being pursued to increase the number of usable cycles of rechargeable batteries?
  3. What causes some lithium batteries to burst into flames?
  4. Are there major breakthroughs in battery technology on the horizon? Is there steady progress?
  5. Some rechargeable batteries need to be discharged nearly completely each cycle to retain their ability to store charge. Why?
  6. How does the energy storage density of various battery systems compare?
  7. What is a typical open-circuit discharge rate? How is it influenced by temperature?
  8. Are there safety concerns about ultracapacitors? How do their charge retention properties compare to batteries?
  9. How do organic batteries work?
  10. What limits the charging rate? What is trickle charging?
  11. Do batteries cease to function when they are too cold? Is this a problem for electric vehicles?

~Peter Saeta 2010 March 31 at 02:05 PM PST

Second Presentation


1. What are the main varieties of batteries and their current use?

2. What are the relative lifetime efficiencies of the different varieties?

3. What are the newest varieties, and what advantages are they purported to have?

4. What are the applications for batteries by quantity?

5. What is the footprint of the materials for a battery?

6. What could new / better batteries bring to the current energy use characteristics?

7. What are the environmental concerns associated with the various batteries?

Smart Grid

1. What is a smart grid?

2. Why is it any better than the current system?

3. Should we retrofit our current system to conform to a smart grid?

4. What are the problems with our current system?

5. Who and how will this infrastructure be supported?


1. How are batteries and smart grids related?

2. What varieties of batteries does this entail?


Crompton, TR. "Battery Reference Book". Oxford, England ; Boston : Newnes, 2000.

Technology Review: Better Batteries.

A Smarter, Greener Electric Grid.