Organic Mega Flow Battery Promises Breakthrough For Renewable Energy (Prototype)

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posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:15 PM
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Cambridge, Mass. – January 8, 2014 – A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar far more economical and reliable.
The novel battery technology is reported in a paper published in Nature on January 9. Under the OPEN 2012 program, the Harvard team received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) to develop the innovative grid-scale battery and plans to work with ARPA-E to catalyze further technological and market breakthroughs over the next several years.


Harvard

Link to paper

Awesome! This is the kind of stuff (don't come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution) that we should really be paying attention to, and making sure is funded and heavily invested in.


“Our studies indicate that one to two days' worth of storage is required for making solar and wind dispatchable through the electrical grid,” said Aziz.



“The intermittent renewables storage problem is the biggest barrier to getting most of our power from the sun and the wind,” Aziz said. “A safe and economical flow battery could play a huge role in our transition off fossil fuels to renewable electricity. I'm excited that we have a good shot at it.”


Sadly we have about three years development to wait through. Yes, I'm impatient.




posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


This could be the keystone to building a new future.

Great find.S&F

They are not the only one working towards this.


Liquid Metal Battery
edit on 9-1-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 02:52 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


The trouble is not battery technology. Electro-chemical are already more than 90% efficient. Pumped storage and others offer 60% round-trip efficiency.

The problem is

- pricing (this new invention doesn't have significant price-scaling advantage)
- where to get the electricity from (all renewables combined in their current production are less than 1% of world's current energy usage)
- our economies are based on liquid fuels (both transport and many parts of generation). YOu can't pour electricity into a tank. Whole thing needs to be replaced
- where to get all the political will and money from for the replacing of the whole infrastructure
- transition: transition from one energy system to another takes on the average 50-75 years (re: Marchetti)
- Big money holders (big oil, big coal, service providers, etc) will fight to their last dying breath to keep us on oil & coal. The higher the prices go, the more they have money, the more they have lobbying power and more corrupted the politicians become

Sorry, but this is a very dim candle in looming darkness for our energy future.

What we need is several orders of magnitude bigger, more scalable and more radical innovation.

Still, thanks for the link!



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


LOL, 3 years...
Something this big would change the status quo just like a star trek replicator.
We will not see these anytime soon.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:00 PM
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Pathaka
reply to post by Kali74
 


The trouble is not battery technology. Electro-chemical are already more than 90% efficient. Pumped storage and others offer 60% round-trip efficiency.

The problem is

- pricing (this new invention doesn't have significant price-scaling advantage)


The pricing advantage over other liquid batteries is HUGE. You can make the active molecule from plants or oil, instead of mining.



- where to get the electricity from (all renewables combined in their current production are less than 1% of world's current energy usage)


The key cost limitation of small scale solar power these days is the energy storage as the solar cell costs have plummeted below the cost of coal per kw.



- our economies are based on liquid fuels (both transport and many parts of generation). YOu can't pour electricity into a tank. Whole thing needs to be replaced


Afaik with these liquids, that is exactly what you can do, but you have to take out the discharged liquid first. I think the energy density may not be high enough yet. Haven't checked.



- where to get all the political will and money from for the replacing of the whole infrastructure


That would be the main issue tho. An approach would be DIY open source infiltration. This is simple and non-toxic enough.



- transition: transition from one energy system to another takes on the average 50-75 years (re: Marchetti)


Not if you're deep in the poo. As a planet we are deep in the poo.



- Big money holders (big oil, big coal, service providers, etc) will fight to their last dying breath to keep us on oil & coal. The higher the prices go, the more they have money, the more they have lobbying power and more corrupted the politicians become


Opensource and small scale it.



Sorry, but this is a very dim candle in looming darkness for our energy future.


Shame man, did your cat die this morning or something?



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 07:01 PM
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reply to post by g146541
 


By years they didn't mean commercially available.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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Pathaka
reply to post by Kali74
 


The trouble is not battery technology. Electro-chemical are already more than 90% efficient. Pumped storage and others offer 60% round-trip efficiency.

The problem is

- pricing (this new invention doesn't have significant price-scaling advantage)
- where to get the electricity from (all renewables combined in their current production are less than 1% of world's current energy usage)
- our economies are based on liquid fuels (both transport and many parts of generation). YOu can't pour electricity into a tank. Whole thing needs to be replaced
- where to get all the political will and money from for the replacing of the whole infrastructure
- transition: transition from one energy system to another takes on the average 50-75 years (re: Marchetti)
- Big money holders (big oil, big coal, service providers, etc) will fight to their last dying breath to keep us on oil & coal. The higher the prices go, the more they have money, the more they have lobbying power and more corrupted the politicians become

Sorry, but this is a very dim candle in looming darkness for our energy future.

What we need is several orders of magnitude bigger, more scalable and more radical innovation.

Still, thanks for the link!




Thanks for your input and for adding points to discuss...
According to this source currently the world is at 10% energy usage from renewables and I think the main reason why is because to use, say solar power after dark, you need to store the energy on 20 million batteries. Also the fact that this particular flow battery is organic makes it all the more appealing to greenies like me plus more cost effective.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 08:39 PM
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From what I gather from the paper, this is heavily reliant upon various forms of carbon to operate and more so in the descriptions of further improvements that could be pursued.

Depending on their carbon sources they could face strong political opposition. The demonization of this element has gone off of the deep end lately, hopefully educating people about it will help to bring people around.

Carbon is an AMAZING element as evidenced in its involvement currently in energy production and likely future participation in electronic circuits and energy storage applications.

The storage load requirements of the future will likely be reduced thanks to chemists finally deciding to break out of the defunct model it has been operating under until lately. "Breakthroughs" of late are largely a response chemists investigating elements under various pressures as opposed to single atmospheres.

Researchers advance scheme to design seamless integrated circuits etched on graphene


(Phys.org) —Researchers in electrical and computer engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara have introduced and modeled an integrated circuit design scheme in which transistors and interconnects are monolithically patterned seamlessly on a sheet of graphene, a 2-dimensional plane of carbon atoms. The demonstration offers possibilities for ultra energy-efficient, flexible, and transparent electronics.

Read more at: phys.org...


Synthetic natural gas from excess electricity


The principle is simple: the chemical reaction of hydrogen with CO2 produces not only methane (CH4), but also water (H2O). The researchers use the hygroscopic (i.e. water-binding) property of the zeolite to remove the resulting water from the reaction mixture. The chemical equilibrium then moves towards methane. Result: a higher yield of pure methane and a more efficient catalytic process. As soon as the zeolite is saturated with water, it can be "unloaded" again by heating and evaporation of the water, and is then re-used.

Read more at: phys.org...


This one has great potential to be implemented because one of the catalysts is nickel, along with good ol' carbon, which is already being produced en-mass and utilized by the energy industry. Also existing production facilities can convert this fuel into electricity without the massive expenditures other methods would require.

Molecule's carbon chain length affects oxygen's departure in key reaction for building bio-fuels


Thank you CARBON!

-FBB

EDIT
Just in case folks didn't understand the implications of graphene circuits:
Graphene sheets could make effective transparent electrodes in certain types of photovoltaic cells
phys.org...


Graphene has one key advantage over ITO: it allows more than 97% of light to pass through to the solar cell beneath, regardless of its wavelength. In contrast, ITO tends to block certain wavelengths more than others. Four-layer graphene is slightly more transparent at near-infrared wavelengths than ITO is, for example.

Read more at: phys.org...


The magnetic properties also have potential uses in the shielding mechanisms of fusion reactors.


Flow batteries will likely only be useful for industrial storage of electricity and prove worthless in terms of powering vehicles.
edit on 9-1-2014 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 08:51 PM
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Kali74
Also the fact that this particular flow battery is organic makes it all the more appealing to greenies like me plus more cost effective.


When scientists say something's organic, they mean it relies on complex carbon compounds. Not that it's pesticide free or free ranging. Thus do you get organic and inorganic chemistry.



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