Connecticut firm set sights on a cheaper flow battery
A Connecticut firm is working to bring down the cost of energy storage using a $27 million federal grant, according to the Hartford Business Journal.
Researchers at United Technologies’ laboratory in East Hartford are working with Harvard University, the University of South Carolina and others to come up with a more economical form of long-duration flow battery.
- The researchers are working on producing cheaper membrane for flow batteries and are exploring the use of elements such as iron and man-made molecules to bring down costs.
Flow batteries have great potential, especially for longer duration energy storage applications, but face stiff competition from the lithium-ion battery technology that dominates the market. But several efforts are under way to bring down the costs of flow batteries, which could give them a chance to steal market share from li-ion.
Many of those efforts center on producing flow batteries that use cheaper and less corrosive electrolytic fluids. Currently vanadium is the most prevalent chemical used in flow batteries.
The United Technologies researchers are exploring the use of iron and man-made molecules to bring down cost. Those researchers had previously succeeded in squeezing cost reductions out of flow technology and licensed its technology to Vionx Energy, which has since formed partnerships with companies such as Siemens and 3M.
“Renewables have really raised the bar and storage is kind of the missing link for what we do when the sun doesn’t shine,” Mike Perry an electrochemical engineer at United Technologies, told the Hartford Business Journal.
- The Hartford Business Journal UTRC aims to revolutionize grid-scale battery storage
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