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''Air-Breathing'' Battery Cuts Renewable Energy Storage Costs by One-Fifth

''Air-Breathing'' Battery Cuts Renewable Energy Storage Costs by One-Fifth


Courtesy of the researchers. Left photo: Felice Frankel.

MIT researchers have developed an air-breathing battery that could store electricity for very long durations for about a third the price of current technologies, with minimal location restraints and zero emissions.

A brand new battery could revolutionize renewable energy storage. The "air-breathing" battery from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) can allegedly store energy at one-fifth the cost of current technologies, and according to MIT, with minimal location restraints and zero emissions.

The battery’s moniker isn’t some cheap gimmick. "This battery literally inhales and exhales air, but it doesn't exhale carbon dioxide, like humans -- it exhales oxygen," says Yet-Ming Chiang, the Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.

According to MIT, “An aerated liquid salt solution in the cathode continuously takes in and releases oxygen that balances charge as ions shuttle between the electrodes. Oxygen flowing into the cathode causes the anode to discharge electrons to an external circuit. Oxygen flowing out sends electrons back to the anode, recharging the battery.”

The university is targeting the battery at “sporadic renewable power” sources like wind and solar – it doesn’t take an MIT grad to deduce that it’s not always windy or sunny out, and the somewhat prohibitive installation costs, coupled with pricey energy-storage systems (which, according to MIT, run at a minimum, $100 per kilowatt hour), collude to prevent more widespread adoption of renewable energy.

It’s no wonder companies, universities, and stadiums use renewable energy as a PR coup – the installation and operating costs sometimes exceed any tangible benefits in the short- and long-term.

Meanwhile, the “air-breathing” batteries supposedly reduce energy storage costs to around $20 to $30 per kilowatt hour.

Read more here: http://news.mit.edu/2017/air-breathing-battery-making-renewable-power-more-viable-grid-1011