Researchers from the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long life flow battery that will help integrate renewable energy to the electrical grid.
Their new flow battery uses a simplified, less-expensive design than other batteries, which may improve its scalability and cost-effectiveness. In laboratory tests, it also demonstrated excellent energy-storage performance through the equivalent of more than five and a half years of daily charge and discharge cycles.
The research is a product of the new Joint Centre for Energy Storage Research and illustrates the importance of bringing together "top researchers in a concerted effort to tackle major energy challenges", said Patricia M. Dehmer, Acting Director of DOE's Office of Science.
The results of the research was reported in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. "It also shows the potential for significant progress in batteries and energy storage through transformative scientific research," added Dehmer.
The researchers plan to make a laboratory-scale system to optimize its energy storage process and identify potential engineering issues. It also plans to start discussions with potential hosts for a full-scale field-demonstration unit.