Search for the Super Battery

Search for the Super Battery: Discover the Powerful World of Batteries is a 2017 American documentary film about energy storage and how it may help provide an environmentally friendly, or green, future. The basic mechanism of batteries, including lithium-ion types, is described. The benefits and limitations of various batteries are also presented. Details of seeking a much safer, more powerful, longer-lasting and less expensive battery, a so-called “super battery”, is discussed. The broad importance of energy storage devices, in mobile phones and automobiles, and in the overall electric grid system of the United States, is examined in detail.

The documentary film is narrated by Jay O. Sanders and includes the following participants (alphabetized by last name):

According to David Templeton of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the program “walks the viewer through the science of how batteries work, returning to that theme time and again to explain variations in design to create cheaper, safer, longer-lasting batteries and energy-storage systems.” Notable discoveries, featured in the program, Templeton reports, are a safe battery “made with saltwater electrolytes”, as well as a safe battery “made of plastics that can use lithium metal rather than a traditional lithium ion to produce longer-lasting, safe power.” Vicky Hallet of the Washington Post writes that lithium-ion batteries “gained widespread popularity because of their ability to pack a lot of energy into a lightweight package.” However, such batteries – due to the thermal runaway properties of the varieties of lithium-content rechargeable cells that use lithium cobalt oxide in their positive electrodes – can potentially burst into flames. The program shows several possible ways to make batteries safer. Hallet reports that the program presents an important notion: “Batteries are evolving to do more, and do it safely. It’s powerful stuff.”

David Pogue(Host)

Theo Gray(Chemist and author)

Daniel Kammen(University of California, Berkeley)

Jay Leno(1909 electric car owner)