A team of engineers and scientists of Harvard University has demonstrated an affordable and safe battery that can store energy from solar rooftop panels and other intermittent sources and this is also suitable for our homes.
Some of the other sources from which these rechargeable batteries can store energy are wind and the likes and this is a very cost effective and safe way of powering both residential and commercial buildings.
The operation of the batteries is simple and electrons are picked up by and then released by compounds that are made up of elements that are abundant on earth like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, potassium, iron and other elements that dissolve in water.
The compounds used are non toxic and non inflammable making them safe for residential and commercial uses. The elements are also found in abundant and hence, this is a very inexpensive source of power as well as compared to other battery systems that are generally used.
“This is a huge benefit when it comes to storing a large amount of energy near to the people”- this is what Michael J. Aziz said who is from Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
It is not easy to get a large fraction of the daily requirement of our energy from the renewable sources and that is primarily because of the reason that there is a mismatch between the availability of wind, solar and other intermittent sources of energy and the variability of demand.
This problem can only be solved by finding a cost effective way of storing large amount of energy so that it can be delivered over a long period of time even when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.
Michael Marshak, a post doctoral fellow and Kaixiang Lin, a graduate student worked together along with Roy Gordon, co-lead author and Thomas Dudley Cabot, professor of chemistry and material science in Harvard University to discover this battery chemistry.
Gordon was quoted saying that they combined an inexpensive food additive with a commonly used organic dye in order to increase their battery voltage by more than 50 per cent as compared to the materials used previously.
This resulted in non toxic, non inflammable, high performance, low cost and non corrosive chemicals for batteries.
The battery so made offers potential advantage over lithium batteries in regards to length of time for which it can maintain its peak discharge and cost.