The immortal battery

alveo energy battery

San Francisco-based Alveo Energy is developing a battery that it says could last forever.

What's so special about this battery? Typicallys the energy produced for electricity -- whether it's from a solar panel, wind turbine or a coal plant -- has to be consumed immediately. Electric grids haven't had a lot of ways to efficiently or cost-effectively store energy.

All batteries eventually stop working, and ones that are big enough to provide adequate backup storage are typically very expensive.

But Alveo says its "radical new" battery can be charged and recharged without degrading.

The company says it's also cost competitive because it uses simple ingredients like sodium -- essentially table salt -- and Prussian blue, which is a pigment that can be sourced from blue jeans, paint and crayons.

Dr. Colin Wessells, the startup's founder and CEO, said he plans to have the product ready for testing in about two years.

"If we're successful with this battery technology, what you can imagine is a world where solar and wind and other renewable resources can be deployed much more widely," Wessells said in an video for ARPA-E.

First published March 9, 2016: 10:25 AM ET

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