R&D Quick Hits

Facts, Figures, and Findings from EPRI Research, Reports, and Other Sources

Momentum Builds Behind Lithium Ion Battery Technology
Propelled by rapidly falling costs, lithium ion battery technology is likely to dominate the grid-scale energy storage market for at least the next five years, concludes an EPRI report. Although conventional wisdom holds that lithium ion technology is not ideal for many large-scale grid applications, it has a significant head start over competing technologies with respect to grid deployment. Lithium ion costs have fallen dramatically in recent years, driven by investments in the consumer electronics and electric vehicle industries. Manufacturers of lithium ion batteries tend to be large companies with strong ...
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Advanced Tools to Help Design Nuclear Plants for High-Frequency Earthquakes
EPRI has demonstrated robust advanced computer models for considering the effects of high-frequency earthquakes in the design of new nuclear power plants. The design of most existing nuclear plants incorporates potential effects of low-frequency earthquakes. Until recently, there has been little research examining how high-frequency earthquakes can impact the structural integrity and operation of nuclear plant components. As more data on this became available, plant designers and operators added new design considerations. To test the new models, EPRI used them to evaluate the effects of high-frequency earthquakes ...
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Study Aims to Address Knowledge Gap on Bird Vision
An EPRI study recommends ways to use colored markers to prevent bird collisions with power lines, while emphasizing that more research is needed to understand how birds perceive the markers. Many birds are killed each year as a result of collisions with power lines, and utilities deploy markers on lines to improve visibility. Some markers spin or rock in the wind, and some include lights, luminescent bases, and coatings to enhance visibility. Studies indicate that their effectiveness varies widely, and no research has confirmed or quantified how birds perceive ...
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With Urbanization, an Opportunity for Utilities and Cities to Collaborate
By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s people will be urban dwellers, presenting utilities and cities with the opportunity (if not the urgent need) to optimize systems for the delivery and use of gas, water, electricity, transportation, and heat. An EPRI paper points to ways for electric utilities and cities to work together to address the influx of people and the potential for strained city services and power systems—particularly in light of urban load growth and the drive to electrify transportation and heating. Utilities can deploy smart grid ...
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Photo of construction of Vogtle Unit 3 courtesy of Georgia Power. Study: Highly Fluid Concrete Can Reduce Time and Labor of Nuclear Plant Construction
Self-consolidating concrete offers potential to significantly reduce time and construction costs associated with placing concrete for nuclear power plants, according to an EPRI study. When conventional concrete is placed, technicians must temporarily liquefy it with vibrators so that it flows around obstacles and fills forms. This is particularly labor-intensive work in building nuclear plants’ complex structures with reinforcing steel. Developed in Japan in the mid-1980s, self-consolidating concrete contains chemicals that promote ...
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