Prominent energy scientist dies in California at 96

AP News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2015 4:54 PM

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) — Richard Post, a prominent scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who researched how to store renewable energy, has died. He was 96.

Post died Tuesday in Walnut Creek after a sudden illness, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday (http://lat.ms/1GzGcuv)

Post was an avid inventor who had his name on 34 patents. In recent years, he focused on the goal of storing energy in a flywheel.

He believed flywheels could be used to hold vast quantities of renewable energy, helping to combat global warming by making the generating of renewable energy more affordable. Because green energy from wind and solar farms is produced intermittently depending on the availability of wind and the sun, it has to be backed up by fossil-fuel plants, adding significantly to its cost.

"His loss is a huge one for us, and we all believe it is also a huge loss to the scientific community and the field of alternate energy," Markie Post, his daughter, told the Los Angeles Times.

"We thought he would be here a lot longer. We were spoiled by his vigor," said Post, a Hollywood actress who was in the 1980s sitcom "Night Court."

Richard Post, who had a doctorate in physics from Stanford University, joined the Livermore lab within months of its opening in 1952.

Post envisioned a flywheel system that could store energy at more than 90 percent efficiency, which is better than any current battery. He was among a relatively small number of scientists working on the technology, according to the Times.

His work will continue at Livermore, with plans to build a new flywheel moving forward.

"It will still go ahead," lab spokesman Steve Wampler said. "But no one is Dick Post."

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/