The summer this year saw temperatures soaring to record levels across Europe with many places in France recording temperatures exceeding 45°C. More than 1500 people were reported to have died due to the unprecedented heat wave. In Germany, it was reported that demand for electric fans soured and shops in many towns ran out of stock. In India, the oppressive summer temperatures across the country have been worsening with 50°C summer peaks no longer making to the front page. Grimly, the last four years have seen the warmest summers in the recorded history.
Electricity is what makes our modern life possible. It provides comfort- lighting, cooling and heating in our homes and offices. It runs many of our modern transport systems, hospitals, schools, factories, and more importantly our computers and the internet. In short, the modern world and economy is inconceivable without electricity. No wonder the per capita electrical consumption is an indicator of the prosperity levels of any country.
The electrical infrastructure, the grid, makes all this possible and is one of the marvels of human ingenuity. It is ubiquitous and we take it for granted. It is a complex network of interconnected electrical networks and is characterized by three important elements: Generation, Transmission and Distribution.
Read what Dr. Babu Chalamala, Head of the Energy Storage Technology and Systems Department and Laboratory Program Manager for Grid Energy Storage at Sandia National Laboratories, thinks about the latest developments and technologies in the energy storage sector.