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Stanford University Researching Better Batteries
"Cheaper Way to Store Energy from Wind and Solar"

Stanford University Researching Better Batteries

Further development of flow batteries could benefit landscape contractors in the future by providing a more efficient battery that can power equipment for longer periods of time.

Researchers at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, Calif., are working on making a new type of flow battery that would be capable of storing large amounts of renewable power created through wind and solar sources.

To clarify the difference between a regular battery and a flow battery, the Energy Storage Association states, "A flow battery is a type of rechargeable battery where rechargeability is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within the system and most commonly separated by a membrane. The fundamental difference between conventional batteries and flow cell [batteries] is that energy is stored as the electrode material in conventional batteries but as the electrolyte in flow cell [batteries]."

The team at Stanford, which consists of Ph.D. candidates: Geoff McConohy, Antonio Baclig and Andrey Poletayev, are working on a new combination of the two chemical components typically found in flow batteries.

In a Stanford article, it is estimated that the research could "more than double the maximum voltage of conventional flow batteries and could lead to affordable storage of renewable power."

Reportedly, the group has already made a prototype that was able to last for thousands of hours at double the voltage, but effective only at 392 degree Fahrenheit. They are also looking into a room-temperature flow battery.

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October 20, 2019, 6:01 pm PDT

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