Flow Battery: The Newer Wave of Batteries to Store Renewable Energy

The major problem associated with renewable energy is its availability. Relying on nature to power up a plant, a home, or an office, can be quite problematic, as these green energy sources are predominantly intermittent in nature. Solar power is bountiful during the day but has limited performance at the night. Wind energy, on the other hand, is highly irregular and can never be accurately quantified.

Experts in the field of renewable energy are currently seeking for a solution to these particular woes. And what they are coming up is a kind of battery that can store the energy obtained from renewable sources. But more than just developing that battery, they are also challenged by the need to make it fully affordable and economical.

Chemists and engineers at the Harvard University will work on it with the $600,000 grant awarded to them by the US Department of Energy. They are tasked to create the Flow Battery that will create an eco-friendly, grid-scale storage of green energy that is also cost-effective. The battery will provide the means to store the power obtained from photovoltaics and wind turbines.

The flow battery, upon its completion, is also expected to reduce the dependency for fossil fuel to as much as half. Flow Battery is a special type of fuel cell in liquid form that can be recharged accordingly. It is also designed to replace the solid-state batteries that are being used today. These solid state batteries, after years of evaluation, are deemed to be rather expensive and have low economic sense.

The project is intended to potentially reduce the dependency on using fossil fuel as a major sustainable energy source. Its development could be a game changer, considering the range of opportunities that it opens up. The idea is use flow batteries as energy storage for structures that use solar panels. The battery is also foreseen to replace lead-acid batteries used in the more remote areas.

Filed in: Renewable Energies

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