Recently scientists at the University at Buffalo developed the battery that made possible the first implantable cardiac defibrillators. Millions of heart patients worldwide have benefited from the implantable cardiac defibrillators with a silver vanadium oxide battery. The team is developing new cathode materials for improved implantable cardiac defibrillator batteries.
But now they are applying to the electrical grid - the vast, national network that delivers energy from suppliers to consumers – their perspective on how to coax the best performance out of battery chemicals.
“In developing the silver vanadium oxide material that now powers the implantable cardiac defibrillator, an idea is taken and turned into a functional battery," says Amy Marschilok, research assistant professor of engineering.
With a new project recently funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority the scientists are developing new, low-cost materials for rechargeable batteries.
The focus is on developing a distributed grid where renewable power is generated closer to where it's needed, rather than in a central place and transmitted long distances, the way the current grid operates.
"One of the key challenges in moving from our fossil-fuel based system to greener, renewable forms of energy is that whether you're talking about solar or wind power, these forms of energy are intermittent," says Professor Ester Takeuchi.
That makes a robust, reliable method of storing energy absolutely critical. And it's a feature that has been essential in the life-saving biomedical devices.
"To generate energy at a usable, consistent level, we will need to couple a dependable, energy-storage system with renewable power sources," she says.
The scientists’ work on biomedical devices has provided them with a special appreciation for the properties of batteries that have exceptional longevity. The typical lifetime of a battery in an implantable device is 5-10 years and the team is one of those leading the push to increase that for both biomedical and utility applications.
"Whether you're talking about the power grid, electrical vehicles or biomedical devices the quest is for low cost, longer life and rechargeability," Takeuchi adds.
COMPAMED.de; Source: University at Buffalo