Cheap Batteries Can Solve The Problem Of Renewable Energy Storage

- Oct 24, 2017-

China energy storage net news: in order to reduce the cost of renewable energy in the grid store, capture more energy at the same time, the MIT researchers have developed a composed of sulfur, air, water and salt new battery, this is much cheaper than the battery on the market at present nearly 100 times, and energy storage is the double of lead-acid batteries.

The results have been published in joule.

"To make renewable energy a major part of energy, we need to match technology."

The senior author of the paper, ying-ming Chiang, of the Massachusetts institute of technology's department of materials science and engineering, said.

"This work helps us move in the right direction, but we need to move forward quickly because there is not much time left."

For now, one criticism of renewable energy is its variability.

And renewable energy generation and energy storage of the coupling is still in its infancy, in the amount of solar and wind power, only a small part of storage, the storage cost is one of the biggest obstacles.

At present, the chemical cost of battery material is $10 ~ $100 / KWH.

The Chiang research team is working on how to create low-cost storage units, mainly based on positive negative and electrolyte cheap materials.

The researchers are particularly interested in the potential of sulphur as the core component of a lightweight and inexpensive battery, a rich non-metal product that is used in natural gas.

All batteries are made up of positive, negative and electrolyte, and the team wants to explore how sulphur ACTS as a negative pole while water electrolytes.

For the anode of the battery, the researchers found in an accidental lab that oxygen might be the positive pole of the battery, so they chose the air as the positive pole of the new battery.

In addition, Chiang said, "we need to add another component, a charge carrier that moves back and forth between the sulfur and the air electrodes, and we chose sodium."

Eventually, the total chemical cost of the battery is about $1 / KWH.

The scientists designed a flow battery structure that, through a pump and tube setting, would flow through the battery's components, producing chemical reactions that would help capture electrons.

One complication of this approach is that the amount of charge that can be stored depends on the volume of the positive negative.

That means the battery needs to take up more space than a conventional battery, but the low cost of the material offsets the flaw.