Published on March 19th, 2013 | by James Ayre53
Energy Storage Breakthrough: Large And Powerful Redox Flow Battery Developed
A breakthrough has been made in the field of renewable energy battery storage. Researchers have developed a redox flow battery that reaches a stack power of up to 25 kW. This breakthrough in battery technology is important because it will allow the energy from intermittent sources of power, such as most renewables, to be more efficiently stored for later use. The new redox batteries are eight times larger than the systems currently in use, which are only capable of generating 2.3 kW of electricity, so it’s a significant increase in capability.
With Germany’s stated goal of being powered 100% by renewable energy by 2050, big improvements in energy storage would be very helpful, offering a means to balance out periodic fluctuations in the energy supplied by wind and solar. With this in mind, researchers from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft set out to dramatically increase the size and capacity of the redox flow batteries that are currently commercially available, and they succeeded. The new battery is a significant improvement, capable of providing up to 25 kW of electricity. The prototype currently has an efficiency of up to 80%, and “can take a load of up to 500 amps of current.”
The improvements leading the battery were possible primarily as a result of “testing new membrane materials and researching battery management and battery design,” the researchers add. “Flow simulations helped them to optimize the cell structure. A complete redesign of the battery followed which enabled the Fraunhofer team to make their breakthrough.”
The next objective for the researchers is the development of a battery with a capacity of 100 kW.