The new battery will be based on water-soluble organic electrolytes, which the scientists claim will be low cost and compatible with optimized low-resistance membranes and fast electrode kinetics. The new technology will allow researchers to develop more environmentally sustainable redox flow batteries with higher power and energy densities, while also offering longer duration.The researchers are aiming for a levelized cost of storage below €0.10/kWh/cycle by the end of the 40-month project, which started last month, and €0.5/kWh/cycle by 2030. The final target corresponds with the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan – the technology pillar of the EU’s energy and climate policy.
The three key materials of the new device, including membranes, electrolytes and electrodes, will now be submitted to initial validation tests. “In 2021, work will begin on integrating the new developments into a prototype designed by the British engineering firm Heights and by Gamesa Electric, a leading Basque partner in renewable energies,” the researchers said.At a later stage, the battery will be tested at a Gamesa facility in Spain. The company is a unit of German industrial conglomerate Siemens. “The project aims to demonstrate that organic flow batteries can be a sustainable alternative to vanadium batteries, a material included in the list of critical raw materials by the European Commission,” the scientists said.
The main forms of renewable energy are: solar, wind, hydro, biofuel and geothermal (energy derived from heat generated under the earth’s surface) and these sources are all continually replenished!
Unlike vanadium redox flow batteries, the devices are more environmentally sustainable because they do not contain heavy metals or hazardous acids. They are also said to offer additional advantages in terms of cost, as prices are independent of commodity markets and are therefore more dependent on scaling.