Cortney's headshotBy Cortney Piper, Executive Director 

There is so much to celebrate in the advanced energy sector today. From three cleantech accelerators in the East Tennessee region to innovative technology coming out of our national lab everyday, how could you not get excited about advanced energy’s power to change the world around us? 

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council has a commitment to our members to foster the growth of advanced energy technologies and startups in our state. One of the ways we do that is to highlight some of the incredible work of advanced energy innovators throughout our state.

Celebrating advanced energy technologies 

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2022 Technology Innovation Showcase, an annual celebration of advanced energy technology from one of our valued members, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The event featured technology presentations, tours and demonstrations from five ORNL researchers who were selected for ORNL’s 2021 Technology Innovation Program (TIP).

ORNL created TIP to accelerate the commercial adoption of promising technologies by making targeted investments to increase the technologies’ commercial readiness and raise their visibility to prospective partners. Every year, ORNL invites researchers to submit applications, where the lab chooses a select number of companies to participate in a year of strategic development investment and industry partner outreach. 

One advanced energy technology that caught my attention during the program was the Sintered Composite Electrolyte for Lithium Batteries (SINC-lyte). With Tennessee wanting to become the top state in the Southeast for the electric vehicle supply chain, any technology that can improve lithium batteries and usher in the “electrification of everything” is worth celebrating.

A new approach to solid-state lithium batteries

One ORNL researcher, Sergiy Kalnaus of the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate, is exploring solid-state lithium batteries. These batteries promise high energy density and inherently safe energy storage systems, but their continued development presents significant challenges. Kalnaus created SINC-lyte, a composite electrolyte to help simplify the battery manufacturing process. 

According to Kalnaus’ presentation, SINC-lyte can impact solid-state lithium battery technology maturation through long-term projected benefits of higher safety and structural rigidity compared to today’s liquid electrolyte batteries. Therefore, batteries containing SINC-lyte can be used as structurally integrated energy storage, making them ideal for drones and other electric aircraft.

Learn more about all five of this year’s cohort and the TIP here.

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