Connecting countries to climate technology solutions
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Russian Spanish Yoruba

Extremely Low-Cost Flow Battery Technology with Improved Power Density

Objective:
Opportunities enabled:
CTCN Keyword Matches:

Large scale utility energy storage is a growing market. Cost effective energy storage will increase the robustness and efficiency of the energy transmission grid will enable the development of a \"smart grid\"" and will facilitate the introduction of intermittent renewable energy conversion systems such as wind and solar. A recent report by Sandia National Laboratory identifies 17 major grid applications that could benefit from energy storage. The market for energy storage is estimated by this report to exceed $228 billion over the next 10 years. For large scale energy storage currently practiced only pumped hydro and compressed air are economical but both are very limited to specific geography and scaling ability. This technology developed by Dr. Robert Savinell and Dr. Jesse Wainright has produced a prototype-stage very low-cost flow battery. The battery is able to attain higher current densities than vanadium-based systems the current state-of-the-art. The electrolyte is novel yet also very inexpensive. The projected overall cost-reduction factor is at least 3-4 times vs. state-of-the-art. Further the materials used are likely to enable more power density as well. The chemistry of the electrolyte facilitates operation with high reactant concentration and with high coulombic and voltaic efficiency. A hybrid version is similar to close-to-commercial zinc-bromine hybrid flow batteries. In this version the energy-to-power ratio of the system is on the order of 1-3. In an alternate version the chemistry of the negative electrode is modified to permit total decoupling of energy capacity to power capacity so ratios of energy-to-power can exceed 10 or even higher. Commercially a prototype battery has been developed and is being refined toward optimization under DOE funding. Under the program electrolytes are also being engineered for improved efficiency higher energy density and improved handling and sizing capabilities. Battery cell and stack designs are also being pursued to increase power density simplify manufacturability and reduce cost. It is estimated that a cost target of $250/kW and $30/kWh with round-trip energy storage efficiency exceeding 75% could be achieved with this technology. Case Western Reserve University is seeking the appropriate commercialization and licensing partner to design-out costs and improve operational structures for the flow battery system."

Benefits:

1) The battery is able to attain higher current densities than vanadium-based systems. 2) Very inexpensive / overall cost-reduction factor is at least 3-4 times vs. state-of-the-art. 3) Further the materials used are likely to enable more power density as well. 4) The chemistry of the electrolyte facilitates operation with high reactant concentration and with high coulombic and voltaic efficiency. 5) It is estimated that a cost target of $250/kW and $30/kWh with round-trip energy storage efficiency exceeding 75% could be achieved with this technology. 6) Improve operational structures for the flow battery system.

Date of release: