Lithium-polysulfide “Flow” battery helps solar and wind power the grid

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have managed to design a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar …

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

The new Stanford/SLAC battery design uses only one stream of molecules and does not need a membrane at all. Its molecules mostly consist of the relatively inexpensive elements lithium and sulfur, which interact with a piece of lithium metal coated with a barrier that permits electrons to pass without degrading the metal.

When discharging, the molecules, called lithium polysulfides, absorb lithium ions; when charging, they lose them back into the liquid. The entire molecular stream is dissolved in an organic solvent, which doesn’t have the corrosion issues of water-based flow batteries.

“In initial lab tests, the new battery also retained excellent energy-storage performance through more than 2,000 charges and discharges, equivalent to more than 5.5 years of daily cycles,” Cui explained.

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