In case you’re new to the Legends Energy Group blog, we like to talk about some of the newest developments and interesting stories revolving around the energy and sports industries respectively. We keep a constant eye out for thought-provoking content that we believe you will enjoy reading and in turn, we enjoy receiving great articles from people and companies as well. Such is the case here – we wanted to give proper credit to Jen Begeal, or @jlbhart on twitter, for sending us a video clip titled ‘The Battery of the Future’ about a group of MIT researchers led by Dr. Donald Sadoway that have potentially uncovered a new form of technology that could transform renewable energy as we know it with a new kind of battery. After a little digging of our own, we came across an article that goes into a bit more detail about the findings.
The link is here.
Simply put, the energy industry has started to change. The reflection of new technologies and the means of producing cleaner, more efficient energy has become a worldwide trend in developed countries like the US. Solar panels, wind farms, and fracking for natural gas have become popular options for energy sources.
But the question always looms – What happens when the wind isn’t blowing? Or when the sun isn’t out? Or when we’ve tapped out our natural resources? The fact of the matter is that these sources of energy are strong and effective on-demand, but when it comes to storing energy, they can often come up short under duress.
This explains why these new developments are so important. Sadoway and his fellow researchers have created the technology that could be used to build large-scale liquid metal batteries that, on a large enough scale, could be used to store massive quantities of energy for homes, towns, even large cities. I’ll allow the article to explain a little further…
The battery developed at MIT uses a mechanism to alloy and dealloy a battery, thus giving rise to voltage. Reversing the current reenergizes the battery, explained MIT professor Donald Sadoway…The high-temperature (1,292 °F) liquid metal battery has a negative electrode made of magnesium, a molten salt electrolyte, and a positive electrode of antimony that lay in three distinct layers because they are of different densities. 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…
The kicker, in case you didn’t catch it above, is that these batteries are self-regenerating. In comparison to a lithium ion battery that will last a couple years then die out, ‘these batteries don’t fade’ says Sadoway.
In addition, the energy that is stored within the battery could be instantaneously distributed where needed. Nearly all other alternatives to energy generation cannot say that because they need to power up their systems before they can generate power. The self-regeneration and instant distribution capacity place the liquid metal battery prototype with a solid competitive advantage, which benefits both the end user on preventing blackouts and the utilities from running out of energy when the grid becomes overloaded.
As the article states, they are now beginning to enter the engineering and manufacturing phases for the prototype. For the benefit of many, we would be very happy to see this product succeed!
For more information on energy news and services, click here or here. Legends Energy Group, in conjunction with Energy Curtailment Specialists and BidURenergy, offers expert energy consultation to large-scale businesses. Our website explains demand response and how it can help companies reduce their energy usage.