Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Battery technology for Hawaii

Our unexpected night visitor, a rat that ate through our bedroom screen door,  led us to look for a better rat trap.  Our search resulted in a high-tech, battery-powered Rat Trap that zaps rodents rather than crushing them.  The device works because of a new type of lithium battery that reviewers are saying kills tons of rats in their barns and farms before needing to be replaced.  

The latest technology of disposable AA Lithium Batteries last 9 times longer than previous versions. These batteries no longer contain cadmium so they are also less toxic than the first generation of lithium batteries. We are excited about this new technology because we think it could make Hawaii energy independent.


Hawaii’s perpetual sunshine is great for getting electricity from solar panels, but the problem is how to store all the electricity produced during daylight for use after the sun goes down.  When we had a solar panel in Hilo, the sunlight filled the battery before lunch.  The rest of the day was wasted electricity production.  

If rechargeable car batteries could store 10 times more electricity than they do now, it would solve the problem.  Electric cars batteries would provide weeks of driving instead of hours and big energy users like data storage farms, bakeries, and other manufacturing could become viable in Hawaii with large amounts of electricity stored from low cost solar power.   A power company in Oregon is testing a giant new type of lithium battery to help stabilize their local power grid.

When these new types of  batteries become more widely available, Hawaii residents will be able to generate more low cost solar power and the island’s money spent on imported oil could instead be used to improve the land and everyone’s quality of life.


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