We've see plenty of green power research over the years, from solar plants
to underwater turbines
, but relying on the sun or the sea for electricity is not without its challenges: the sun doesn't always shine, for instance, and sometimes the water is calm. A group at MIT led by professor Donald Sadoway is developing grid-scale storage solutions for times when electricity isn't being generated. Since these batteries are intended for the power grid instead of cellphones and Roombas, the researchers can use materials not feasible in consumer electronics -- in this case, high temperature liquid metals. Besides being recently awarded a grant from ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency, Energy) to put these things in green power facilities, MIT has just embarked on a joint venture with the French oil company Total to develop a smaller-scale version of the technology for homes and office buildings.