Flow Batteries Can Make Clean Energy Reliable

Flow batteries, which can store huge amounts of energy, now hold the potential to smooth out the power from renewables and help usher in the rise of more resilient microgrids, reports Martin LaMonica at Newscientist. Flow batteries are centred around two aqueous electrolytes, held in separate tanks when the battery is idle. To get electricity from it, the liquids are pumped into a chamber separated by a membrane, sparking an electron-producing chemical reaction across the membrane. To store energy, an external current is applied across the membrane and the process works in reverse.The batteries’ size – they can be as big as shipping containers – and ability to store large amounts of energy make them well suited to smoothing out the variable supply of wind, solar and other renewable energies. But they are expensive, and their pumps and tubes make them difficult to maintain. Several firms, including Primus Power, and  EnerVault, are now bringing  to market designs that they say address those concerns. The vision? A vista of self-sufficient microgrids that store their own energy and are far more resilient than our present giant electrical grid.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte

Source

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729096.400-flow-batteries-could-back-up-grid-of-the-future.html

 

Advertisements

About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s