A new approach to rechargeable batteries

David L. Chandler, MIT News Office:  A type of battery first invented nearly five decades ago could catapult to the forefront of energy storage technologies, thanks to a new finding by researchers at MIT and other institutions. The battery, based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using a new type of metal mesh membrane, could be used for grid-scale installations to make intermittent power sources such as wind and solar capable of delivering reliable baseload electricity.

The findings are being reported today in the journal Nature Energy, by a team led by MIT professor Donald Sadoway, postdocs Huayi Yin and Brice Chung, and four others.

Although the basic battery chemistry the team used, based on a liquid sodium electrode material, was first described in 1968, the concept never caught on as a practical approach because of one significant drawback: It required the use of a thin membrane to separate its molten components, and the only known material with the needed properties for that membrane was a brittle and fragile ceramic. These paper-thin membranes made the batteries too easily damaged in real-world operating conditions, so apart from a few specialized industrial applications, the system has never been widely implemented.

But Sadoway and his team took a different approach, realizing that the functions of that membrane could instead be performed by a specially coated metal mesh, a much stronger and more flexible material that could stand up to the rigors of use in industrial-scale storage systems.  Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

IMO Precision Controls - Keeping Solar Safe

IMO Precision Controls - Keeping Solar Safe

The IMO FireRaptor provides three forms of Solar Panel Rapid Shutdown to ZERO VOLTS in case of fire or other emergency: Manual Panel Shutdown to 0V Operated from Ground Level, Automatic Panel Shutdown to 0V at >85°C (185°F) Temperature, and an automatic Panel Shutdown to 0V on External Power Loss. The FireRaptor can be installed without any set-up and with any string inverter as its functionality is completely independent. "Plug & Play" style installation using industry standard connectors is easy, whether fitted to new installs or retrofitted to existing projects to upgrade fire safety functionality. Meeting NEC2017's regulation to switch DC current at the PV panel in under 30 seconds, FireRaptor is remains one of the safest and most effective means of isolating DC current at the source, and the only rapid shutdown with a 20 year warranty.