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New Flow Batteries from Harvard Can Last Up to 10 Years

It is undeniable that people look for batteries that can last through the day. In fact, there are many who use portable battery chargers in order to keep their devices going with hours of use. Well, there is great news for people who desire longer lasting batteries for their modern lifestyle.

Modern batteries might not be bothered about their capacity due to their longer lifespan, but lithium-ion packs could become useless after heavy usage. This is bad news for your mobile devices, but even worse for storage systems to last for long. Considering the invention made by researchers from Harvard, replacement of power packs shouldn’t be done often.

Indeed, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences developed a new flow battery in order to meet current demands. The concept of this battery uses water as a medium to dissolve organic molecules that would store energy. Anyone can recharge this battery as frequent as possible, which would last a decade of use without any degradation.

The battery stores energy in liquid solutions lasting over a decade of use. This invention would modify the molecules in the electrolytes, viologen, and ferrocene to make the solution more stable, resistant to degradation, and water-soluble. When dissolved in water that is neutral, it loses only 1% of energy capacity in each one-thousand cycles. In fact, you can even see a slight drop in its performance after a matter of several years.

Flow batteries can store energy in external tanks of liquid solutions. If the tank is bigger, it can store more energy in the process. The use of flow batteries provides a promising storage solution to acquire intermittent and renewable energy such as wind or solar power. The dissolution of electrolytes in neutral water, you can get a long-lasting battery that you can perhaps put on your basement.

According to Harvard researchers, this new discovery is nontoxic when combined with neutral pH water, which makes this less hazardous when spilled or leaked. The use of water is likewise great for the environment, not to mention your bank account as well. Since, it is not toxic or corrosive in nature, you could worry less about the impact of leaking batteries inside your home. All you might require is a mop when leaks are present.

Basically, it doesn’t require polymers that you would use in common flow batteries. It only needs safe materials, but not some exotic tanks or pumps to avoid harmful chemicals. Moreover, this setup would only need little maintenance in comparison with other flow designs that you might know of.

Although there are no concrete evidences for this concept to be brought out to the world, a market for such an invention is existing. In fact, many people around the world are into renewable energy, which has become increasingly cost-effective. At the same time, this type of long-lasting battery is inexpensive unlike other proven methods.

According to the Department of Energy, there is already a goal of building a battery to store energy less than $100/kwh, making stored solar or wind energy as competitive as traditional power plants in your area.



About Kevin

Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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