Research gets closer to producing revolutionary battery to power renewable energy industry
New research verges on development of a commercial hydrogen-bromine flow battery, an advanced industrial-scale battery design engineers have strived to develop since the 1960s.
Any resident of the Great Plains can attest to the massive scale of wind farms that increasingly dot the countryside. In the Midwest and elsewhere, wind energy accounts for an ever-bigger slice of U.S. energy production: In the past decade, $143 billion was invested into new wind projects, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
However, the boom in wind energy faces a hurdle -- how to effectively and cheaply store energy generated by turbines when the wind is blowing, but energy requirements are low.
"We get a lot of wind at night, more than at daytime, but demand for electricity is lower at night, so, they're dumping it or they lock up turbines -- we're wasting electricity," said Trung Van Nguyen, professor of petroleum and chemical engineering at the University of Kansas. "If we could store this excess at night and sell or deliver it during daytime at peak demand, this would allow wind farm owners to make more money and leverage their investment. At the same time, you deploy more wind energy and reduce demand for fossil fuels."