Chemical Cluster Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Electrical Grids


To power entire communities with clean energy, such as solar and wind power, a reliable backup storage system is needed to provide energy when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t out.

One possibility is to use any excess solar- and wind-based energy to charge solutions of chemicals that can subsequently be stored for use when sunshine and wind are scarce. During these down times, chemical solutions of opposite charge can be pumped across solid electrodes, thus creating an electron exchange that provides power to the electrical grid.

The key to this technology, called a redox flow battery, is finding chemicals that can not only “carry” sufficient charge, but also be stored without degrading for long periods, thereby maximizing power generation and minimizing the costs of replenishing the system.

Researchers at the University of Rochester and University at Buffalo believe they have found a promising compound that could transform the energy storage landscape.

Read more at University at Buffalo

Image: Timothy Cook, UB assistant professor of chemistry, and Anjula Kosswattaarachchi, UB PhD candidate, partnered with the University of Rochester on the research. (Credit: Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo)