Liquid metal battery could lower cost of storing renewable energy

Liquid metal battery could lower cost of storing renewable energy

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As dreamy as it might be to combine renewable energy sources with storage batteries, there’s a problem: those batteries are expensive. It might take you years to recoup the costs. You’ll be glad to hear, then, that Stanford scientists have a way to make those batteries more cost-effective. They’ve developed a liquid metal-based flow battery that can store electricity at a lower price, even on a large scale. A metal-producing mix of sodium and potassium serves as the negative side of the battery, providing nearly twice the maximum voltage of typical flow batteries (making them high-value) without having to resort to exotic chemicals or extreme temperatures.

It sounds simple, but there was a challenge to making this work. The team had to use a ceramic membrane that combined aluminum oxide and potassium to separate the positive and negative materials while still allowing a current.

There’s still some tweaking left, such as optimizing the membrane to improve the power output and choosing a liquid for the positive side that won’t weaken the membrane. And like many battery experiments, there’s a long road from a successful lab test to something you can buy. There’s a strong incentive to make this a reality, though. If it lowered the price of storage batteries, both homeowners and electrical grid operators might be more likely to switch to solar or wind power knowing that they’d recover their investments that much sooner.

Battery

tech-reading

via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

July 23, 2018 at 03:24AM

GM is supplying next-gen batteries for Honda EVs

GM is supplying next-gen batteries for Honda EVs

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GM has expanded its collaboration with Honda to supply the Japanese automaker with next-generation batteries. These will go in EVs built mainly for the North American market, and though neither company stated when they would start using the new power options, sources told Reuters that they’re expected to begin production in 2021.

GM’s innovations intend to cut electric battery costs in half — which is huge, given their typical pricetag between $10,000 and $12,000, sources told Reuters earlier in the year. The deal will help Honda speed up EV production after 2020. It’s not the automaker’s first collaboration with GM: In early 2017, the pair went in together on a Michigan factory dedicated to producing hydrogen fuel cells to power their vehicles. But given the auto industry’s increasingly expansive investments in electric vehicles — GM included — this is a savvy move to get more EVs on the road.

Battery,EV

tech-reading

via Engadget http://www.engadget.com

June 7, 2018 at 09:03PM

Nanostructured Electrolytes for Stabilizing Lithium Metal Anodes

Nanostructured Electrolytes for Stabilizing Lithium Metal Anodes

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Scientific Achievement

The addition of salt to block copolymers results in the spontaneous and surprising formation of well-ordered lamellae in a sample that originally had a disordered morphology.

Significance and Impact

The geometry of ion-conducting pathways (bright domains) is crucial for both prevention of dendrite formation at the lithium metal anode and for conducting ions between the battery electrodes.

Research Details

  • The morphology-conductivity relationship of a solid block copolymer electrolyte was studied by combining X-ray scattering, electron microscopy and electrochemical characterization.
  • Conductivity data contained three separate local maxima that had not been previously identified.
  • The maxima were related to morphological transitions.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02415

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Battery

sustainable-energy

via JCESR http://www.jcesr.org

March 28, 2018 at 03:05AM

Lithium-Oxygen Battery with Long Cycle Life in a Realistic Air Atmosphere

Lithium-Oxygen Battery with Long Cycle Life in a Realistic Air Atmosphere

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Scientific Achievement

Advances in materials functionality for Li-O2 electrochemistry have resulted in a Li-O2 battery that is able to run under a realistic air atmosphere with a long cycle life.

Significance and Impact

The new Li-O2 cell architecture is a promising step toward engineering the next generation of lithium batteries with much higher specific energy density than lithium ion batteries.

Research Details

  • Development of new materials with key functionalities: a robust lithium protective coating, a synergistic electrolyte blend, and very active cathode for O2 reduction and evolution.
  • These new materials have been successfully merged to create a highly reversible and stable Li-O2 electrochemical cell operating in air.
  • Density functional and molecular dynamics simulations have provided key insight into electrochemical properties of the new materials and how they enable long cycle life.

DOI:10.1038/nature25984

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Battery

sustainable-energy

via JCESR http://www.jcesr.org

March 27, 2018 at 09:01AM