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Liquid Metal Batteries For Electricity Storage

Date: Fri Mar 30 2018 18:03:23 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time) ; Tags: Energy Storage

Inexpensive batteries made from liquid metal could store electricity from solar panels, wind farms.

Liquid battery could charge green energy - http://phys.org/news/2012-03-liquid-battery-green-energy.html - Inexpensive batteries made from liquid metal could store electricity from solar panels, wind farms, or existing generation facilities and save it for when it is most needed. "The battery is the enabling device here," he said. "With it we could draw electricity from the sun even when the sun doesn't shine."

Liquid Battery Offers Promising Solar Energy Storage Technique - http://phys.org/news155569564.html

The battery consists of three layers of liquids: two electrode liquids on the top and bottom (electrodes are usually solid in conventional batteries), and an electrolyte liquid in the middle. In the researchers' first prototype, the electrodes were molten metals - magnesium on the top and antimony on the bottom - while the electrolyte was a molten salt such as sodium sulfide. In later prototypes, the researchers investigated using other materials for improved performance.

Since each liquid has a different density, the liquids automatically form the three distinct layers. When charging, the solid container holding the liquids collects electrons from exterior solar panels or another power supply, and later, for discharging, the container carries the electrons away to the electrical grid to be used as electricity.

As electrons flow into the battery cell, magnesium ions in the electrolyte gain electrons and form magnesium metal, rising to form the upper molten magnesium electrode. At the same time, antimony ions in the electrolyte lose electrons, and sink to form the lower molten antimony electrode. At this point, the battery is fully charged, since the battery has thick electrode layers and a small layer of electrolyte. To discharge the electrical current, the process is reversed, and the metal atoms become ions again.

Liquid batteries could level the load - http://phys.org/news/2012-02-liquid-batteries.html

Magnesium-Antimony Liquid Metal Battery for Stationary Energy Storage - http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja209759s

Abstract:

Batteries are an attractive option for grid-scale energy storage applications because of their small footprint and flexible siting. A high-temperature (700 C) magnesium-antimony (Mg||Sb) liquid metal battery comprising a negative electrode of Mg, a molten salt electrolyte (MgCl2-KCl-NaCl), and a positive electrode of Sb is proposed and characterized. Because of the immiscibility of the contiguous salt and metal phases, they stratify by density into three distinct layers. Cells were cycled at rates ranging from 50 to 200 mA/cm2 and demonstrated up to 69% DC-DC energy efficiency. The self-segregating nature of the battery components and the use of low-cost materials results in a promising technology for stationary energy storage applications.

TR10: Liquid Battery - Donald Sadoway conceived of a novel battery that could allow cities to run on solar power at night. - http://www.technologyreview.com/article/412190/tr10-liquid-battery/

Liquid Metal Battery Corporation

The key metals in the battery are common vanadium and magnesium