Solar Power Storage: MIT Develops Liquid Battery for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is a hot topic currently due to our dependency on fossil fuels. One of the biggest concerns with renewable energy is the ability to store the energy for future usage given the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Donald Sadoway, a professor at MIT, has developed an answer to that very issue with creation of the liquid battery. This would allow the energy that is captured during ideal conditions- daylight, periods of excessive wind/sun off-peak energy times, etc. to be contained for use during peak energy times, nighttime and periods of cloudy weather.

The battery is comprised of three liquid layers, which are naturally formed given the difference in densities between the metal alloys and the electrolyte. The liquids are constantly kept at a temperature of 700 degrees Celsius to allow renewable energy to be stored until needed. While charging, the liquids collect energy from exterior power supplies (such as solar panels) and when in use carry the electrons to the electrical grid for electricity.

The liquid battery’s cost would be less than 1/3 of today’s batteries due to the inexpensive materials used and simple manufacturing required. Since there are no solid active materials that can corrode, the lifespan of the battery would also be greater. But, the most exciting aspect of this battery is that the electrodes of the battery operate with electrical currents at a rate of ten times greater than today’s battery allowing it to rapidly absorb a large quantity of electricity. Given what information has been released surrounding the liquid battery’s proposed cost, longevity and large capacity, the future of being able to depend on solar energy seems bright.

Luckily for us (while we wait for these batteries to be brought to market), some of the technologies in today’s solar energy market don’t require energy storage. Moonworks carries the Repower Home Solar Hot Water System, which can be adapted to your existing hot water tank and allows you to take advantage of Solar Energy without needing to store it.

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