January 8, 2014
Help Wind Power Go Big : Low-cost materials could make storing hours of power from a wind farm economically feasible. (Kevin Bullis, January 8, 2014, Technology Review)
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 8, 2014 2:02 PMHarvard University researchers say they've developed a new type of battery that could make it economical to store a couple of days of electricity from wind farms. The new battery, which is described in the journal Nature, is based on an organic molecule--called a quinone--that's found in plants such as rhubarb and can be cheaply synthesized from crude oil. The molecules could reduce, by two-thirds, the cost of energy storage materials in a type of battery called a flow battery, which is particularly well suited to storing large amounts of energy.If it solves the problem of the intermittency of power sources like wind and solar, the technology will make it possible to rely far more heavily on renewable energy.