US scientists have developed a flow alkaline battery they hope will help alleviate the problem of storing energy from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
The battery performance is similar to current flow batteries, but uses non-toxic and cheap to store energy organic molecules. It is precisely the opposite of the existing batteries using metal solutions and they are usually quite expensive.
The energy storage batteries is vital to be able to better develop the energy that comes from sources such as solar or wind. By having batteries that provide sufficient capacity for the storage, energy companies will think more, every time you have to install a coal or gas in order to increase the electrical capacity of the grid.
Batteries are a technology that provides an answer to this problem, but the market is with a variety of different products, as they are the Li-ion or cell lead-acid, which often involve a high cost and are unable to energy storage for extended periods.
The quality of the flow battery is that they have a better adaptation to the larger-scale energy storage. A battery type where recharge is provided by two chemical compounds dissolved in liquids contained within the system and separated by a membrane. Ion exchange occurs through the membrane, while the two media flow in its own respective space.
Following this loading process, the electrolytes can be stored in external tanks and, being the reversible current return back through the battery to be discharged later.
Michael Marshak, University of Colorado, is who leads the creative team of the new battery. They have found the right key to replace vanadium ions dissolved in sulfuric acid with cheaper components, abundant and non-toxic in the alkaline solution.
The equipment used commercially available organic molecules, such as Ferro cyanide and 2,6-diamino-anthraquinone, commonly used as food additives.
This will lead to different systems to be cheaper or more efficient over time.