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Grid Scale Rechargeable Battery Gets New Electrodes and Increased Lifespan

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 World's Largest Battery - Zhangbei, Hebei province, China - 36 MWRenewable 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.

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1 COMMENT

  1. See: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – 
    “GVEA s Fairbanks battery bank keeps lights on”
     
    http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/12739242/article-GVEA-s-Fairbanks-battery-bank-keeps-lights-on?
     
    Fairbanks, AK spent $35 million in 2003 for a battery backup that can keep the power on in Fairbanks for 7 or 15 minutes, depending on how bad the blackout is.  That is enough time to start up their diesel backup.  Diesel fuel is fossil fuel.
     
    To go with renewables only, you need a whole week’s worth of battery power for the whole world.  How much does that cost?  Hint: You run out of the things you need to make batteries very quickly.  BraveNewClimate addressed that question for 2 kinds of batteries.
    bravenewclimate.com/2011/11/13/energy-storage-dt/
    See: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – 
    “GVEA s Fairbanks battery bank keeps lights on”
     
    http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/12739242/article-GVEA-s-Fairbanks-battery-bank-keeps-lights-on?
     
    Fairbanks, AK spent $35 million in 2003 for a battery backup that can keep the power on in Fairbanks for 7 or 15 minutes, depending on how bad the blackout is.  That is enough time to start up their diesel backup.  Diesel fuel is fossil fuel.
     
    To go with renewables only, you need a whole week’s worth of battery power for the whole world.  How much does that cost?  Hint: You run out of the things you need to make batteries very quickly.  BraveNewClimate addressed that question for 2 kinds of batteries.
    bravenewclimate.com/2011/11/13/energy-storage-dt/
     
    The US uses roughly 500 GW-hr of electrical energy per hour.  The Fairbanks system stores  40 MW x 7 minutes = 280 MW-min of energy.  To run the whole US for a week requires 168 hours X 500 Gigawatts =84000 gigawatt hours = 5040000 GW minutes =18 million times the Fairbanks battery.
    $35 million times 18 million = $630 Trillion.
     
    That is, if there is enough stuff at constant price to build the battery.

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