Smartphones, tablets electric cars, city power grids and more rely on lithium-ion batteries or other means of storing energy, but with that amount of power in a condensed area, safety may be a concern.
“The current technology we have doesn’t allow for it (energy storage) to be scaled up,” California State University, Long Beach, college of engineering dean Forouzan Golshani said.
To help address this, CSULB will have a free lecture/panel discussion from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Thursday, in the Walter Pyramid called, “Renewable Energy Solutions… Batteries Not Included.” Topics will include safety, manufacturing, and reducing dependence on less sustainable resources.
The college has had a Distinguished Lecture Series for the past nine years, Golshani said, choosing topics that are timely and experts in the field.
Those on the upcoming panel include Aerospace Corporation’s Energy Technology Department Taison Tan and AES Southland president Jennifer Didlo. Tan will talk about items such as cell manufacturing, battery systems and lithium-ion safety. Didlo will discuss a large battery installation at the Los Alamitos Power Generating Station.
On the smaller scale, Golshani said people who have Apple or Samsung smartphones that are prone to catch fire should return them for a refund. He said he had a Samsung Galaxy Note7, which is on a voluntary recall.
“In the case of Samsung, the battery charges too fast and it creates an immediate short,” Golshani said. “That is what has created a headache for Samsung. When you pack it so closely and charge it fast, that is when you cause a problem.”
He said the software controls how fast the battery charges, so manufacturers might want to slow down the charge time. The problem also could be how the phone was manufactured, he said. Since everyone wants a small phone, with plenty of battery that charges quickly, the manufacturers attempted to fill their wishes.
Packing a large amount of power for a city is a whole other issue, Golshani said.
“We have quite a bit of learning to do,” he said. “And at a reasonable cost, how can we make these facilities… Whether it’s chemical or water (hydrogen power), these are massive warehouse facilities. Anytime you have stored areas, there’s a cause for concern.”
The free discussion is at 1250 Bellflower Blvd., off Atherton Street. Registration starts at 5 p.m.
Parking is available in lot 13 or parking structure one. The cost is from $1 for 30 minutes or $7 for a day.
For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www2.csulb.edu/colleges/coe/views/dls/current/index.shtml.
Emily Thornton can be reached at email@example.com.