Technology break-throughs are, little-by-little, changing buildings and the systems that support them. This one may transform the grid:

A new battery designed by Harvard researchers may remove on of the big  roadblock for large-scale use of solar and wind - sometimes the power isn't there when you need it (like at night) or there's too much of it (like on a windy day). Researchers at Harvard believe 'flow' batteries might solve the issue.

A flow battery holds energy in tanks of liquid chemicals. The actual battery cell, which converts chemical energy into electricity, is separate. This means the amount of storage can expand without altering the wattage capacity of the battery.

Engineers developed flow batteries decades ago, but they have typically required expensive metals like vanadium. Now with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Harvard engineering team has found an alternative in an organic molecule found in rhubarb.