UTILITY SCALE FLOW ELECTROLYTE RECHARGEABLE ZINC AIR BATTERIES FOR FACILITIES RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE
Increasingly strict environmental regulations, surging energy demand and oil prices, the proliferation of the internet and (hybrid) electric vehicles have given rise to new growing market demand for efficient, clean and renewable energy sources. It is projected that world energy consumption will double within next 50 years. For the numerous reasons, electric energy storage (EES) is being considered as an essential element in the grid of future. Currently, this problem is primarily solved by pumped hydro in US. Batteries, e.g. lead acid batteries, are beginning to be used in some applications. However, due to high maintenance cost, short cycle life, and negative environment effects, alternative EES systems are highly sought after. Zinc is one of the most abundant elements in the earths crust, and has a rather low electrochemical potential, zinc air battery has the advantages of high specific energy, power low cost. In combination with the flow electrolyte design, flow electrolyte zinc air rechargeable battery could be further explored to meet the utility scale battery needs. However, technical difficulties associated with this battery system, namely, bifunctional air cathode operation life and zinc electrode cycle life, have prevented its further development. In the Phase I program, numerous approaches have been effectively implemented and the feasibility of our approach has been demonstrated with the build of 2 Ah lab cell. In the Phase II program, prototype battery will be built and tested to meet the military electric energy storage needs.
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