New type of flow battery may replace vanadium, bromine, and lithium
The salt water flow battery may prove a viable alternative for grid based storage compared to expensive Lithium, Vanadium, and Bromine.
MADISON, WISCONSIN, USA, December 24, 2022/ EINPresswire.com / -- As the demand for grid-scale storage solutions increase, the pressure on lithium prices is skyrocketing. While vanadium and bromine redox flow batteries show some promise, the complexity of needing a membrane has faltered their entrance into the market.
The new kid on the block is salt. The technology was first used in 1884 to electrically power the dirigible La France.
Fast forward over 100 years and this technology is re-emerging as a eco friendly contender for large scale energy storage.
A redox flow battery uses two separate tanks of electrolytes, and when combined over electrodes can store or discharge energy. The simplicity of the concept is the separation of the electrolytes. While this may not be perfect for a car or semi, it certainly is for large scale storage for wind and solar power, like the Tesla megapack.
Not only is it scalable, but it’s also inexpensive. The cost of the electrolytes is less than five dollars per kilowatt. While Vanadium and Bromine seem to share the flow battery momentum, they require an expensive membrane which complicates the system, and has impeded its rise to commercial success. Most of the system can be sourced and assembled on-site, which empowers local communities to build their own storage systems.
An added benefit is that salt water doesn’t have the same flammability issues as Lithium. It’s non-toxic and is available everywhere. You can find it in salt lakes, brine pools, oil and gas well producer water, lithium mining operations, cooling ponds for power plants, desalination effluent, and even in your home water conditioning system.
As the demand for energy storage increases, the salt water flow battery may be organic alternative which can meet the requirements of large scale storage.
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