Battery Could Solve Storage Problem Restricting Renewable Energy Use

A novel battery designed by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) could resolve the electricity storage issue that restricts the extensive use of renewable energy.

How the redox flow battery works. Image Credit: University of Southern California.

The new technology is the latest twist on a well-known design that involves storing electricity in solutions, sorting the electrons, and liberating power when it is required. The so-called redox flow batteries have been around for some time, but the USC scientists have developed an improved version based on affordable and readily available materials.

We have demonstrated an inexpensive, long-life, safe and eco-friendly flow battery attractive for storing the energy from solar and wind energy systems at a mass-scale.”

Sri Narayan, Chemistry Professor and Co-Director, Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California

Narayan is the lead author of the study that was recently published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

One of the major obstacles faced by renewable power is energy storage since power demand does not always coincide when sunshine reaches solar panels or wind turbines spin. The quest for a feasible storage solution has been hampered by several difficulties, which is the issue that the USC researchers wanted to resolve.

The focus of the team was on the redox flow battery since it is an established technology and has been deployed in a few applications to date. Fluids are used for storing electrochemical energy, sorting electrons and recombining through oxidation and reduction, and discharging them to generate electricity when it is required.

The main innovation realized by the researchers was the use of different fluids: a type of acid and an iron sulfate solution. Iron sulfate is a waste product of the mining sector, which is affordable and abundant. Anthraquinone disulfonic acid (AQDS) is an organic material…

Source Link