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PolyPlus Wins Edison Award for Lithium Air and Water Batteries

February 18th, 2013

When an innovative company wants to win an award, they look towards the Edison. The PolyPlus Battery Company won this prestigious honor with it’s Lithium-Air and Lithium-Water Batteries. The invention won the gold award in the power generation/utilization category.

Being recognized with an Edison Award provides companies with one of the highest stamps of approval and support in the invention industry. These awards honor excellence in creativity and product development as well as sustainability and human-centered design.

These environmentally friendly batteries enable a new group of environmentally-friendly power sources for land and sea. They are ultra-lightweight and made of water-stable lithium electrodes.

The company began in 1991 and is based out of Berkeley, Calif. It has become a leader in the development of these next generation lithium battery products. The company began through innovations made by two scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for an environmentally friendly and cost-effective lithium/organosulfur battery. Its lithium-sulfur battery is now a commercial product. They company currently is working to develop rechargeable and non-rechargeable Lithium-Air, Lithium-Seawater and Lithium-Sulfur batteries.

How it works

PolyPlus developed lithium electrodes that remain remarkably stable in a broad scope of electrolytes, including aqueous and nonaqueous solvents. PolyPlus seals the lithium metal core by using solid electrolyte membranes and a unique compliant seal. The solid electrolyte is conductive to lithium ions, and impervious to liquids and gases. Because of this, the core is electrochemically active, but chemically isolated from the external electrolyte. This isolation allows for the construction of these batteries with unprecedented energy density.

Lithium-Air and Lithium-Seawater batteries are built with non-toxic materials and purposely environmentally safe.

In a lithium-air battery oxygen is taken from the atmosphere, as needed for the cell reaction, resulting in a safe, high specific energy power source. The use of a solid electrolyte membrane in advanced lithium-air technology also eliminates self-discharge, allowing for extremely good shelf life and maintenance of high quality products.

In a lithium-seawater battery, a solid electrolyte membrane is used to prevent direct electron transfer from the negative electrode to species in the aqueous electrolyte, extending the voltage window.

Contact The Talley Group today to be part of the next generation of sustainable energy engineering.

Marconi, Morse, Edison, Kurzweil, and Ford. Wait, Kurzweil?

January 14th, 2013

Ever wonder who invented Siri, the modern-day equivalent of Hal from 2001: A Space Oddessy? It’s a program that feels so lifelike on your iPhone–that it can answer almost anything on the planet. What would you call this person? A modern-day Thomas Edison? Possibly.

Inc. Magazine called Ray Kurzweil the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” Kurzweil not only invented the artificial intelligence technology and voice recognition that make Siri work, but also works as an entrepreneur, spotting the weaknesses in our world that could be improved by innovation.

Like his predecessors, Kruzweil approaches his work in a nonconventional way. As an entrepreneur, he believes in small business over big–and a do-whatever-it-takes model. He also believes in innovation as problem solving, and comes up with most solutions in his dreams. You could say he even works while he sleeps.

Kruzweil recently spoke with Upstart Business Journal, saying that he has been approached by and could run a large company, but prefers being on the small, invention side.

Kurzweil Music is now a division of Hyundai, the speech recognition is now a part of Nuance, Kurzweil Education Systems is part of a major educational organization, and in each case the company has not dissipated into the woodwork, which is often what happens. The technology has stayed distinct and the groups have stayed there. At Kurzweil Music it’s the same eight engineers that have been there 20 years—actually 30 years, since 1982.”

Kurzweil is plenty pleased to keep coming up with new technology that other people can use and enjoy. He likes to leave the management to those who have real management skills. He wants to be known for creating, not managing.

And Kurzweil comes up with most of these great ideas by working in his sleep. Kurzweil enjoys looking at industry and cultural trends, and trying to predict what the next big invention or solution needs to be.

The last thing he does before going to sleep is assigning himself a problem to solve. Then his head hits the pillow–working on the night shift. He believes the mind is the most creative when you sleep, as relaxation takes over.

“Censors in your mind are relaxed when you’re dreaming. That’s why you’ll dream about things that are culturally or socially taboo,” he said.

Kurzweil will actually work through engineering problems in his dreams, and wake up when he get to a point of unrest. He awakes and writes his thoughts down. The next day he gets up, sorts out his thoughts and writes out a patent application.

Simple enough, right?

Maybe for an aspiring inventor, entrepreneur, or the next “heir” to Edison.

The Talley Group can help you find the most inspiring engineering positions. Call us today! If you know an aspiring engineer, refer an engineer today!

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