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Highlight Seminar: Venkat Srinivasan, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Date: March 7, 2016

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Location: Maeder Hall

Dr. Venkat Srinivasan, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will speak on “Energy Storage: Present Status and Future Prospects” as part of the 2015-2016 Highlight Seminar Series.

Electrochemical energy storage (i.e., batteries) is an enabling technology that holds the key to transitioning from fossil fuels for our vehicle needs and managing the intermittency of renewables on the grid.  Over the last 5 years, numerous electric vehicles have entered the market and storage technologies are being deployed on various grid applications.  These changes are mainly driven by innovations in lithium-ion batteries, both in materials and in manufacturing, that have resulted in the cost of the technology decreasing at a steady pace.  This cost reduction is expected to accelerate in the near future, by leveraging economies of scale (e.g., Tesla’s recently announced Gigafactory) and vertical integration.  However, despite these exciting changes, more is needed to ensure widespread deployment of electrified vehicles and stationary storage for grid-connected applications. Further decreases in cost, increase in cycle/calendar life and energy density, and significant improvement in safety will remain challenges.  Advances in battery technology, ranging from incremental improvements to Li-ion technologies, “beyond” Li-ion concepts, and lower-cost technologies for grid storage, including flow batteries, are needed to enable an electrified future.

This talk will summarize the present status of battery technology for vehicle and grid applications and provide a gap analysis between the present status and the requirements. The talk will then describe the efforts now underway to bridge the gap, both in development of new technologies and in manufacturing of these systems with the eye on reduction of the cost.  Emphasis will be placed on describing the challenges in the various approaches with the aim of educating the audience on the possible evolution of technology in the future.

Venkat Srinivasan is Deputy Director for Research at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR, the battery “Hub”) and a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he leads the Lab’s batteries effort.  His research interest is in developing next-generation batteries for use in vehicle and grid applications with a focus on improving performance and mitigating degradation effects.  Dr. Srinivasan and his research group develop continuum-based models for battery materials and combine them with experimental characterization to help design new materials, electrodes, and devices.  He has over 50 publications.

In addition to his research, in his Deputy Director role in JCESR, Dr. Srinivasan helps direct the research program and manage the deliverables.  His role in JCESR is a continuation of a decade of leading large research programs, first as the technical manager of the Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technologies (BATT) Program, a $15 M per year program and then as Department Head of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources (ESDR) department at LBNL.  He also conceived the idea of a unique public-private partnership to accelerate technology commercialization by developing an ecosystem around batteries, named CalCharge.

In addition to his research and leadership experience, Dr. Srinivasan is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Electrochemical Society, has taught a course on batteries at the University of California, Berkeley, and is an author of a popular blog on batteries titled, “This Week in Batteries” found at  He serves on the boards of CalCharge, Applied Materials Office of the CTO, and the NECCES EFRC.

Dr. Srinivasan joined the scientific staff at LBNL in 2003 after postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley and Pennsylvania State University.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2000.

All seminars are held on Mondays from 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment’s Maeder Hall. A reception will be provided in the lobby of Maeder Hall immediately following the seminar.