Renewable energy sources are green, to be sure, but they do have their quirks. Solar power plant output varies with sun intensity and cloud cover, as well as being useless at night. Hydro-electric power output can vary with rainfall, and wind turbines also depend on a specific range of wind speed in order to operate efficiently.
In order to absorb some of the ebb and flow of electrical generation from these sources, rechargeable battery packs can absorb and release energy as required to keep the grid stable.
One of the problems with rechargeable battery packs of any size, is that cycling them causes them to break down. Eventually, after enough cycles, capacity and resilience starts to suffer. Replacement or reconstruction is an expensive endeavour, but Stanford University may have come up with a solution to make a long-lasting and effective rechargeable battery pack, with new electrodes.
The test battery, which was only developed in 2004, is an aqueous electrolyte lithium-ion battery, which for its own reasons is very special, as all the components are cheap and readily available. Stanford University made a slight adjustment to the electrodes by coating the cathode with copper hexacyanoferrate and using an anode made of activated carbon and a conductive polymer. The new electrodes’ material allows ionic transfer with no significant degradation.
The new rechargeable battery has been tested up to 1,000 cycles without any appreciable performance loss. New technology, such as the new electrodes in Stanford University’s latest battery design, can be implemented easily and can be put to use backing up inconsistent energy production from renewable energy sources.