A team of researchers in Stanford states that a new combination of material has been created in order to aid in developing a rechargeable flow battery that will be able to store large amounts of renewable power, which will be created by making use of solar or wind sources. With some further developments, the new technology of flow battery will be able to deliver energy to the electric grid as early as possible and at normal ambient temperatures and cost effectively.
The technology, which is a type of a battery known as a flow battery has been long considered as a suitable candidate for storing intermittent renewable energy. On the other hand, until now the types of liquids that could produce the electric current and that have been limited by the quantity of energy they could deliver or that are required some extremely high temperatures or expensive chemicals.
William Chueh, the assistant professor of material science and engineering in addition with his PhD student Jason Rugolo and Antonio Baclig, who is now working as a technology prospector at Alphabet’s research subsidiary X Development, have decided to try with potassium and sodium, which after are mixed from a liquid metal at the room temperature, as the fluid for the electron donor or negative side of the battery.
Theoretically, the liquid metal has around 10 times of the available energy per gram as the other candidates for the negative side fluid of a flow battery. Antonio Baclig stated that they will have a lot of work to be done; however, this new type of the flow battery which could affordably allow a much higher use of wind and solar power making use of the earth abundant materials. This research study has been published in the issue of July 2018 of Joule.