Affordable Battery to Store Renewable Energy

11/12/2015 |

Device could improve utility of intermittent power sources

Solar and wind

A low-cost battery device has been created that can store energy from intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Instead of higher priced lithium ion construction, the researchers used magnesium as the battery’s high-energy density anode and paired it with pyrite (commonly known as fool’s gold) as the cathode, using an electrolyte mixture of sodium and magnesium ions.

The study, published in Chemistry of Materials, shows that the improved efficiency yielded an energy density close to that of lithium-ion batteries and could also achieve a two- to three-fold boost in density with improved magnesium electrolytes. Due to the low cost, the researchers say that the design could be scaled to support grid energy storage with further development.

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