Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “batteries”

The ESS Iron Flow Battery

We have spent so much time digging into grid energy storage solution, and well this, might be the most promising solution we’ve come across. The ESS Iron Flow Battery requires no lithium, nickel, or cobalt. The only ingredients are water, salt, and iron. Flow batteries aren’t perfect, and they aren’t made for every application, but when it comes to grid energy storage, there’s a LOT to love about the ESS Iron Flow Battery! Let’s dig into it, on this episode, of Two Bit da Vinci!

[] – Company site
[] – Flow battery
[deepresource] – Our flow battery posts

Lithium Sulfur Batteries could come with a Sweetener

The lithium–sulfur battery (Li–S battery) is a type of rechargeable battery, notable for its high specific energy. The low atomic weight of lithium and moderate atomic weight of sulfur means that Li–S batteries are relatively light (about the density of water). They were used on the longest and highest-altitude unmanned solar-powered aeroplane flight (at the time) by Zephyr 6 in August 2008.

Lithium–sulfur batteries may succeed lithium-ion cells because of their higher energy density and reduced cost due to the use of sulfur instead of cobalt, which is commonly used in lithium-ion batteries. Some Li–S batteries offer specific energies of the order of 550 Wh/kg, while most lithium-ion batteries are in the range of 150–260 Wh/kg. Li–S batteries with up to 1,500 charge and discharge cycles were demonstrated in 2017, but cycle life tests at commercial scale and with lean electrolyte are still needed. As of early 2021, none were commercially available. The key issue of Li–S battery is the polysulfide “shuttle” effect that is responsible for the progressive leakage of active material from the cathode resulting in low life cycle of the battery. Moreover, the extremely low electrical conductivity of a sulfur cathode requires an extra mass for a conducting agent in order to exploit the whole contribution of active mass to the capacity. Large volume expansion of sulfur cathode from S to Li2S and the large amount of electrolyte needed are also issues to address.

[] – Lithium–sulfur battery
[] – Sugar-doped lithium sulfur battery promises up to 5 times the capacity
[] – A saccharide-based binder for efficient polysulfide regulations in Li-S batteries

The viability of lithium-sulfur batteries as an energy storage technology depends on unlocking long-term cycle stability. Most instability stems from the release and transport of polysulfides from the cathode, which causes mossy growth on the lithium anode, leading to continuous consumption of electrolyte. Therefore, development of a durable cathode with minimal polysulfide escape is critical. Here, we present a saccharide-based binder system that has a capacity for the regulation of polysulfides due to its reducing properties. Furthermore, the binder promotes the formation of viscoelastic filaments during casting which endows the sulfur cathode with a desirable web-like microstructure. Taken together this leads to 97% sulfur utilisation with a cycle life of 1000 cycles (9 months) and capacity retention (around 700 mAh g−1 after 1000 cycles). A pouch cell prototype with a specific energy of up to 206 Wh kg−1 is produced, demonstrating the promising potential for practical applications.

Aluminium Air Battery – Hype or Solution?

Aluminium–air batteries (Al–air batteries) produce electricity from the reaction of oxygen in the air with aluminium. They have one of the highest energy densities of all batteries, but they are not widely used because of problems with high anode cost and byproduct removal when using traditional electrolytes. This has restricted their use to mainly military applications. However, an electric vehicle with aluminium batteries has the potential for up to eight times the range of a lithium-ion battery with a significantly lower total weight.

Aluminium–air batteries are primary cells, i.e., non-rechargeable. Once the aluminium anode is consumed by its reaction with atmospheric oxygen at a cathode immersed in a water-based electrolyte to form hydrated aluminium oxide, the battery will no longer produce electricity. However, it is possible to mechanically recharge the battery with new aluminium anodes made from recycling the hydrated aluminium oxide. Such recycling would be essential if aluminium–air batteries were to be widely adopted.

Aluminium-powered vehicles have been under discussion for some decades. Hybridisation mitigates the costs, and in 1989 road tests of a hybridised aluminium–air/lead–acid battery in an electric vehicle were reported. An aluminium-powered plug-in hybrid minivan was demonstrated in Ontario in 1990.

In March 2013, Phinergy released a video demonstration of an electric car using aluminium–air cells driven 330 km using a special cathode and potassium hydroxide. On May 27, 2013, the Israeli channel 10 evening news broadcast showed a car with Phinergy battery in the back, claiming 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) range before replacement of the aluminum anodes is necessary

[] – Aluminium air battery

Gravity Battery

Commercial Demonstration Unit August 2020 – Arbedo-Castione

With wide-spread hydropower facilities, constant threats of avalanches and mud slides, as well as trains having to bridge altitude differences all day, Alpine country Switzerland knows a thing or two about potential energy: the energy that can be won by lowering big masses of matter and converting it into kinetic energy.

But now they might be pushing it a little too much, as they are embarking on an uphill-struggle, pun intended.

Reuters – Energy Vault, a developer of utility-scale battery storage technology backed by SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) and the venture arm of Saudi Aramco (2222.SE), has raised $100 million in a funding round, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday (21 Aug 2021).

Energy Vault offers a design of a gravity storage systems that stacks 35 ton concrete blocks upon each other with cranes to build towers, converting excess electricity from regardless which source, into potential energy. The density of concrete is about 2.4 times that of water. If electricity is required, the tower is torn down in a (hopefully) controlled manner. Round-trip efficiency 90%. In Switzerland, the concrete blocks can be produced locally. Intended max. tower height: ca. 130 meter, a large church tower. Capacity: 35 MWh.

To illustrate the point, here my holiday pictures of 2012:

[deepresource] – Mattmark Hydro Power Plant

This is a medium-sized storage, able to produce 130 MW for merely a couple of hours. Total storage capacity of the lake: 77,500,000 m3 or 77,500,000 tonnes at a height difference of almost 1500 m or 254.5 GWh in energy terms. In other words, the midsized mountain lake of Mattmark contains 7300 times more energy than the proposed concrete tower. Switzerland has 556 hydroelectric power plants.

The gravity battery could be ideal to illustrate the concept of potential energy to students, but one of those suffice for that purpose. To solve the energy storage problem, they are merely a gimmick. 35 MWh, that’s the equivalent of 1000 kg hydrogen, that can be stored as NH3 or methanol or borohydride in a container of a few m3.

[] – SoftBank-backed storage developer Energy Vault raises $100 mln
[] – Energy Vault
[] – Energy Vault company site
[Google Maps] – Arbedo-Castione Energy Vault

LeydenJar Battery Startup Collects €22 million

A little physics excursion to 1745 and the invention of de Leidse Fles (Leyden Jar).

LeydenJar Eindhoven has collected €22 million, which could enable the company to go public quickly, on the basis of a SPAC IPO, with a technological battery innovation. Their selling point: by applying a 100% silicon anode, they achieve a spectacular energy density of 1.35 kWh/liter. This technology could increase the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries with 70%. Additionally, the CO2-emissions, tied to the production of lithium-ion batteries, could be reduced by 85%. LeydenJar aims at deals with large battery manufacturers, like Tesla.

Financial stakeholders: ING, Invest-NL and the BOM. The workforce, currently at 20, should be expanded to 70 in the coming few years.

Yet another nail in the coffin of the gasoline/diesel car.

[] – De Eindhovense accustartup LeydenJar haalt €22 miljoen op en mikt op een beursgang via een SPAC
[] – Company site
[] – Technology white paper
[] – Leyden jar
[] – Silicon anode startup Leydenjar raises money for the home stretch
[] – Proeffabriek van Leyden Jar in Eindhoven haalt doel met superbatterij

Tesla 4680 Battery Pack

The bottleneck for Tesla is not so much producing cars, but acquiring sufficient battery capacity for them.

[] – Tesla’s plans for batteries, China scrutinized as Musk drops features
[] – Panasonic develops the 4680 battery cell for Tesla
[] – Tesla Shows First 4680 Cells And Pack Video
[] – Sandy Munro Reveals His Tesla 4680 Battery Pack Mock-Up
[] – Tesla Pressured to Deliver Amid Questions Over Batteries, Bitcoin, China

Analysts expect slip in US EV-maker’s second-quarter results; Critical launch of self-produced battery has suffered series of setbacks. Tesla Inc has weathered the pandemic and supply chain crisis better than many of its rivals, achieving record deliveries last quarter – but Chief Executive Elon Musk now faces pressure to deliver on breakthrough batteries and new factories and models, which are late… Musk last month pushed back the debut of the 4680s by cancelling the longest-range Model S Plaid+, which he had said would use the cells, sparking concern. He has said 4680s would go into volume production next year and would be used in the Model Y from the Texas factory under construction. Now, Tesla aims to produce vehicles with 4680 batteries starting with small volumes this year in as-yet-unfinalised models, sources told Reuters.

A little skepticism here:

[] – Where Was the Battery at Tesla’s Battery Day?

Musk had promised to show the world something “very insane” that would result in a “step change in accelerating sustainable energy.” This turned out to be a fat lithium-ion battery called a 4680—a reference to its diameter, 46 millimeters, and its length, 80 millimeters—that is being produced in-house at Tesla. To be sure, Tesla’s new battery appears to offer large performance gains in a few key areas, but it was unclear whether Tesla has actually achieved these upgrades or whether this is the projected performance for the finalized battery.

Read the Youtube comments for more skepticism.

User Experiences with Home Batteries

Heineken and ZES Start Electric Inland Shipping

Beer brewer Heineken has started an electrified inland shipping shuttle service between the Heineken plant in Zoeterwoude and container terminal Moerdijk (with access to international shipping), on a ten-year contract with Zero Emission Services (ZES), that will provide the batteries with the size of containers, as well as the battery charge, that is 2 containers with 4 MWh in total. Range per container of 2 MWh: 60 km or 2-4 hours of sailing.

ZES has the ambition to provide a nation-wide service network of its battery-pack for short-distance shipping at 20 locations. ZES is backed by heavy-weights like ING, Engie, Port of Rotterdam and Wärtsilä.

The intended ZES container battery charging network. Note the hubs in Germany along the Rhine, the busiest river in the world. It won’t be long and ZES could contemplate to invest in a wind park of its own, just like other corporations like Dutch Rail and Google have done. 15 minutes operation of a 15 MW wind turbine suffice to bring a “Heineken ship” from Rotterdam to Zoeterwoude. Perhaps it is an idea to lay a cable on the bottom of the Rhine river and supply charging stations along that river until Switzerland.

[] – ZES corporate site
[] – Heineken biertransport elektrisch over water
[] – Heineken wil zijn bier klimaatneutraal vervoeren
[] – Containers vol met accu’s vervangen diesel in de binnenvaart: ‘Hier gebeurt echt iets voor milieu en klimaat’

The Netherlands has a very dense system of waterways and is particularly suited environment for companies like ZES to operate in. The route shown here could very well match that of the Heineken containers.

This is the ship “De Alphenaar” from 2019, that has been retrofitted for electric propulsion. The ship has place for 52 containers. Depending on the destination of the trip, more containers can be stacked onto the deck. The beauty is that since the ship needs to be loaded anyway, the crane to load these battery containers into the ship is present anyway for the regular cargo. This is precisely the reason why battery replacement system could work with shipping, where it failed (in Israel) with cars.

[] – De binnenvaart gaat elektrisch, dankzij Bon Jovi

De Alphenaar isn’t the first inland vessel to go electric. Already in 2017, the Bon Jovi made a start to get the Dutch inland fleet of 6500 vessels, the largest in Europe, electrified. The Bon Jovi also operates for Heineken; 12,500 containers annually or 600 million bottles. But that ship stils had 2 192 kW diesel generators, that were used to produce the required electricity, in order to gain experience with electric propulsion. Now the time is ready to go really green with batteries.

[] – Heineken verricht doop nieuw duurzaam containerschip van Nedcargo in Rotterdam

Solid State Battery Last 20 Years

A solid-state battery is a battery technology that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries.

While solid electrolytes were first discovered in the 19th century, several drawbacks, such as low energy densities, have prevented widespread application. Developments in the late 20th and early 21st century have caused renewed interest in solid-state battery technologies, especially in the context of electric vehicles, starting in the 2010s.

Materials proposed for use as solid electrolytes in solid-state batteries include ceramics (e.g., oxides, sulfides, phosphates), and solid polymers. Solid-state batteries have found use in pacemakers, RFID and wearable devices. They are potentially safer, with higher energy densities, but at a much higher cost. Challenges to widespread adoption include energy and power density, durability, material costs, sensitivity and stability.

Solid state batteries allow the body of the car to be used as a battery.

[] – Solid-state battery

[] – BMW and Ford Invest in Solid-State Battery Startup for Future EVs

Ford and BMW are investing $130 million in solid-state battery startup Solid Power in a push to reduce the cost and increase the range of their future electric vehicles. Ford initially contributed to an earlier investment round in 2019, and both automakers have joint agreements to use the technology in upcoming electric vehicles that will arrive by 2030.

[] – Can Japan and Toyota win the solid-state battery race?

Read more…

BYD Blade Battery Breakthrough

BYD of China has introduced a lithium-iron-phosphate blade-shaped battery, that should replace conventional cylinder-shaped batteries. The BYD e-platform 3.0 promises advantages on energy density (and hence range, now up to 900 km), charge time (135 km range in 5 minutes), safety, cost, longevity (3000 cycles or 1.2 million km) and environment (elimination of cobalt).

With breathtaking down-to-earth specs like these, it can be foreseen that the public will flock en masse to e-vehicles, replacing the green avant-garde that had more high-minded environmental motives to support the mobility transition.

Well, what-ever it takes to get the job done.

An avalanche of e-vehicle adoption will trigger an avalanche of demand for green power generation. The average daily distance driven in NW-Europe is about 34 km (Netherlands). A 900 km range means an average visit interval to the charging station of 26 days. This results in beneficial storage consequences; it isn’t exactly seasonal storage, but it is much longer than pumped hydro capacity of basins high in the mountains of Norway.

[] – BYD Blade Battery set to revolutionise EV market
[] – BYD next-generation EV platform: Up to 600 miles, 800V charging, optimized efficiency
[] – Lithium iron phosphate battery
[] – BYD Auto

The BYD blade configuration even offers structural reinforcement to the car.

Autonomous Floating Wind Electricity Ferry in Japan

Power ARK 100 – planned to be operational by 2025.

Island nation Japan is surrounded by very deep waters, eliminating the possibility of monopile-based wind farms. So floating wind must be applied. But laying cables in waters of many kilometers deep is problematic. So engineers of the company PowerX came up with a floating battery solutions. Unmanned ghost ships, stuffed with batteries with a cumulative capacity 200 MWh will be commuting between the floating OWFs and mainland Japan.

The Japanese government has OWF ambitions to the tune of 10 GW by 2030 and 30-45 GW by 2040. This electricity will have to be brought onshore, one way or the other.

[] – Transporting Offshore Wind Electricity by Automated Ships – A New Concept Emerges in Japan
[] – PowerX Announces Its Business to Innovate Power Storage and Transmission with “Power Transfer Vessels” and In-house Battery Manufacturing
[] – The automated vessel designed to transport electricity from offshore wind farms to shore

The US Missed Out on Access to $1-3 Trillion Afghan Resources

[source] China has a new client state.

The prominent Dutch newspaper Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant (NRC) sees the recent events in Afghanistan as the Death Knell to American Hegemony. The NRC is a US-friendly newspaper, like all media in Western Europe, empire thingy.

A few hours after the Taliban took over power in Kabul, the Chinese already signaled to be ready for friendly relations with these warriors, straight from the 7th century. Afghanistan is very mineral rich; most interesting potential: lithium, rare earths, gold, silver, zinc, iron.

But most interesting are the lithium deposits, that could be one of the largest reserves in the world, matching those in size of South-America:

[] – $1 Trillion Motherlode of Lithium and Gold Discovered in Afghanistan

A recently unearthed 2007 United States Geological Service survey appears to have discovered nearly $1 trillion in mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself.

The US suffered a major geopolitical defeat, and an unnecessary one. The willing European allies were caught by surprise by this blunder (Alzheimer president, Alzheimer policies). For the unwillingness to pay a small price of an occupation force of merely a few thousand troops, the West lost access to immense commodity reserves. China got Afghanistan and its resources thrown into its lap, thank you very much!

And another major potential geopolitical fact has been overlooked so far, namely that China now has a land bridge to Iran via Afghanistan as well, after it acquired a first one since 2015, via Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan, nice-to-have’s for the Chinese and their New Silk Road project. Don’t be surprised that one day, when the dust has settled, China, Afghanistan and Iran announce the construction of a pipeline between Iran and China over Afghan territory, making China less vulnerable to Anglo maritime blockades of the Gulf. Dirt-poor Afghanistan needs to be propped up economically by some Big Spender, who doesn’t interfere with internal policies and value-systems. That big spender is going to be China, not the West.

[Stratfor] China now has TWO landbridges to Iran and the Gulf: Pakistan and Afghanistan. SCO (Russia + China) now dominates everything between the Arctic Sea and the Gulf and Himalaya. The Godfather of modern geopolitics, Halford John Mackinder, is turning in his grave.

Expect China to operate much smarter that then West, that tried in vain to impose its insane globalist-Marxist ideologies onto a deeply Islamic country. The US research institute Pew noted in 2013 [*] that Afghanistan is the most archaic Islamic country on earth, with 99% supporting the Sharia as the desired law of the land and no less than 85% supported stoning [**] as an acceptable form of punishment. The reason why the Taliban took over the country in record time, was that the Taliban IS Afghanistan. Western media love to present rare liberal-minded female Afghan collaborators from Kabul without headwear, but these people are the exception. The vast majority supports the Taliban.

In 1980, the USSR invaded Afghanistan in order to keep a communist regime in the saddle. The Soviets lost the war against the Jihadists, were forced to withdraw, and shortly after, their society collapsed. Expect a similar result for America, after abandoning the “Graveyard of Empires”, and having to face the 2nd test: the Chinese Hong Kong-style take-over of Taiwan. The US will fail to protect that country as well. After that exercise, Beijing will own Taiwan, with its main economic asset, TSMC, responsible for perhaps 50% of the world’s chip production, the numbers vary depending on who you ask:

[] – How TSMC has mastered the geopolitics of chipmaking

The most important firm in this critical business is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (tsmc). It controls 84% of the market for chips with the smallest, most efficient circuits on which the products and services of the world’s biggest technology brands, from Apple in America to Alibaba in China, rely.

[] – The $490bn question: Can the world afford its Taiwan chip dependence?

Asia has become the heart of global semiconductor production as the industry has grown, thanks partly to the international division of labor between design and manufacturing. Taiwan and South Korea together account for about 43% of semiconductor production capacity worldwide, according to a Boston Consulting Group report. The U.S. has dropped 7 percentage points over the past two decades to 12%, and has been surpassed by China at 15%.

It’s obvious that Taiwan is FAR more important than Hong Kong. If Beijing takes back their “renegade province”, China will dominate the global chip market.

For Europe, the situation isn’t that dire, because it is a little known fact that the Dutch company of ASML controls more than 90% of the market for chips manufacturing machines (yours faithfully is intimately acquainted with ASML, from the inside). ASML, not TSMC, Intel, Apple, Samsung, etc., holds all the technological cards, meaning that China won’t have that much long-term leverage over Europe. But over the US, they will have.

If the EU decided to forbid exporting these machines to China, Japan and the US, said countries would fall back to the industrial Stone Age in a couple of years. Tantalizing thought. Whatever, the EU is well advised with reducing its chips manufacturing capacity from East-Asia, as the EU intends to do.

[] – Afghanistan: Taliban to reap $1 trillion mineral wealth
[] – The Taliban are sitting on $1 trillion worth of minerals the world desperately needs
[] – Taliban sitzen auf riesigem Lithium-Vorkommen
[] – China wil Afghaanse grondstoffen: er ligt voor meer dan 1000 miljard

[source] Afghan mineral resource map

Read more…

New Lithium-Metal Battery from Germany

Yet another promising development at the battery front:

Researchers have used a promising combination of cathode and electrolyte to increase the energy density and stability of lithium metal batteries. The resulting battery achieves record-breaking values.

Key data:

Energy density: 0.56 kWh/kg
Capacity: still 88% after 1000 cycles
Storage efficiency (out/in): 99.94 %
Cathode: NCM88
Electrolyte: ILE
Safety battery: high
Research Institutions: KIT, Karlsruhe & Helmholtz-Institut, Ulm

To compare:

In August (2016) Tesla announced the P100D with the Ludicrous mode option, a 100 kWh battery with 315 miles (507 km) of range, weighing 625 kg in a 0.40 m³ volume; a density of 160 Wh/kg.

[] – Tesla Model S

This implies that with the new battery from KIT/Helmholtz Institute, car batteries could become lighter with a factor of 3.5.

[] – Dual-anion ionic liquid electrolyte enables stable Ni-rich cathodes in lithium-metal batteries
[] – Neuartige Lithium-Metall-Batterie: extrem hohe Energiedichte bei bemerkenswert guter Stabilität
[] – Recordbrekende lithium-metaalbatterij

CATL’s Sodium-Ion Battery – Better than Lithium?

[] – Contemporary Amperex Technology

Harvard Breakthrough Lithium Solid State Battery

Is there anybody who doesn’t work on storage?

“A lithium-metal battery is considered the holy grail for battery chemistry because of its high capacity and energy density,” said Xin Li, associate professor of materials science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). “But the stability of these batteries has always been poor.”

Now, Li and his team have designed a stable, lithium-metal, solid-state battery that can be charged and discharged at least 10,000 times — far more cycles than have been previously demonstrated — at a high current density. The researchers paired the new design with a commercial high energy density cathode material.

This battery technology could increase the lifetime of electric vehicles to that of the gasoline cars — 10 to 15 years — without the need to replace the battery. With its high current density, the battery could pave the way for electric vehicles that can fully charge within 10 to 20 minutes.

[] – Dynamic stability design strategy for lithium metal solid state batteries
[] – Harvard researchers design long-lasting, stable, solid-state lithium battery to fix 40-year problem
[] – Solid-state battery

Italian Energy Dome Announces $50-60/MWh CO2-Battery

Italian start-up Energy Dome says it can deliver “CO2-batteries” in a few years, with a storage cost of $50-60/MWh, halving the cost of lithium-ion and that comes with a round-trip efficiency of 75-80%. The first module will come a a scale of 25MW/200MWh.

In Energy Done’s thermodynamic storage system, CO2 oscillates between a state of gas or liquid. CO2 is used to avoid extreme cryogenic temperatures and operates in a closed-system.

Core data: 1 kg CO2 has a volume between 1.3 liter (compressed at 70 bar and ambient temperature) or 550 liters (expanded). Energy density: 66.7 kWh/m3.

A first pilot of 2.5MW/4MWh will be built in Sardinia.

[] – New CO2 battery will make wind and solar dispatchable ‘at an unprecedented low price’
[] – Company site

Charging a Car Battery in 5 Minutes

German language video

German battery giant Varta plans to enter the lucrative market for e-vehicles and claims to have a battery, with which a car battery can be charged within 6 minutes. If that were the case, the victory of the battery over alternative power forms, like hydrogen, would almost be certain.

Varta is not alone, competitors in the rapid-charging segment are Tesla and the Israeli company StoreDot. StoreDot expects market introduction of their “5 minutes product” by 2024; the company can point to cooperation with BP, Samsung and Daimler, as well as the large Chinese battery company EVE Energy. The architecture of the new battery is relatively simple and based on nanotechnology. Existing production lines for lithium-ion-batteries can be retrofitted.

It looks as if the battery technology will be a few years ahead of the required charging infrastructure, able to deliver 150 kW or more. Perhaps it would be a good idea to bury new power lines next to highways, to cope with the to be expected strong increase in demand for electricity for transport purposes. Build charging stations along the highway, replacing gasoline fuel stations. This would eliminate the need to have hundreds of thousands of charging points, littered all over the country. In this way, the conventional grid could be kept separate from the “highway grid”.

[] – Vartas Batteriezelle für E-autos soll in 6 Minuten geladen sein
[] – Varta steigt in die E-Mobilität ein
[] – Introducing V3 Supercharging
[] – StoreDot belooft een oplaadtijd van 5 minuten

Recycling and Old EV-Battery

Deutsche Welle documentary:

Lithium-ion batteries have enabled us to build electric cars that let us drive around without burning fossil fuels. But how green are these batteries actually? And where do they end up once they’re spent?

The Future of Energy Storage – Prof Yet-Ming Chiang, MIT

Professor Chiang is involved in the Form Energy iron-air battery project.

Iron-Air – The Prospect of $20/kWh Grid Storage

It’s raining good storage news this week. The latest story comes from Massachusetts, USA, where a startup called Form Energy claims to have made substantial progress in Iron-Air battery technology, shortly after the German University of Münster reported progress in a related Zinc-Air storage technology. Form Energy says that its technology has the potential to lower the mineral component of the storage price to $6/kWh, ten times lower than with Lithium-Ion. The company hopes to have its first batteries working by 2025 and attached to the grid; a complete battery would cost about $20/kWh. The batteries are too heavy btw to be mounted in cars. In contrast to lithium, iron is abundantly present in the Earth’s crust.

A full charge cycle consists in turning pure iron into rust (discharge) and back again into iron (charge). The battery can hold the charge for up to 150 hours.

A metal–air electrochemical cell is an electrochemical cell that uses an anode made from pure metal and an external cathode of ambient air, typically with an aqueous or aprotic electrolyte. During discharging of a metal–air electrochemical cell, a reduction reaction occurs in the ambient air cathode while the metal anode is oxidized. The specific capacity and energy density of metal–air electrochemical cells is higher than that of lithium-ion batteries, making them a prime candidate for use in electric vehicles. However, complications associated with the metal anodes, catalysts, and electrolytes have hindered development and implementation of metal–air batteries, though there are some commercial applications.

[source] Artist sneak preview of Fe-O2 grid storage of the future.

[] – Company site
[] – Scientists develop an ‘iron-air’ battery that stores electricity for days through rusting – and is a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion equivalents
[] – Metal–air electrochemical cell
[] – European – U.S. Renaissance of the Iron–Air Battery
[] – Startup Claims Breakthrough in Long-Duration Batteries
[deepresource] – Zinc–Air Battery Could Replace Li-Ion Soon
[] – Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 Hours

Read more…

Post Navigation