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November 09, 2009

ARPA E Energy Storage Projects

Six of the 37 first round ARPA E projects were for energy Storage

* Electroville: High-Amperage Energy Storage Device-Energy Storage for the Neighborhood
* Planar Na-beta Batteries for Renewable Integration and Grid Applications
* Low Cost, High Energy and Power Density, Nanotube-Enhanced Ultracapacitors
* Sustainable, High-Energy Density, Low-Cost Electrochemical Energy Storage - Metal-* Air Ionic Liquid (MAIL) Batteries
* Silicon Coated Nanofiber Paper as a Lithium-Ion Anode
* High Energy Density Lithium Batteries

Electroville: High-Amperage Energy Storage Device-Energy Storage for the Neighborhood

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) will develop a paradigm shifting new "all liquid metal" grid scale battery for low cost, large scale storage of electrical energy. If this project is successful, this new class of batteries will allow the U.S. to regain technology leadership in grid scale energy storage and enable constant energy supply from intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and will enable their widespread deployment on the U.S. grid to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Donald Sadoway recipient of one of the ARPA-E awards, and graduate student David Bradwell, both of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, are working on liquid metal batteries, a technology that could make possible grid-scale energy storage.

Professor Sadoway’s “Liquid Metal Grid-Scale Batteries” project was described by DOE as a technology that “could revolutionize the way electricity is used and produced on the grid, enabling round-the-clock power from America's wind and solar power resources.” Sadoway’s proposal, funded at $6.9 million, would use low cost, domestically available liquid metals to store energy at grid-scale. When he learned of the award, Sadoway said, "This is fantastic news. These new funds will allow us to accelerate the rate of discovery.” He noted that the funds will “enable us to enlarge our team and to expand our collaboration with other researchers on campus. The addition of new and complementary skills to the project will help us move this novel energy storage concept to a reality.”


Donald Sadoway's webpage

Sadoway research group webpage

Liquid metal battery interview with Sadoway

This granular stuff is the electrolyte, which is a molten salt, and you can see a second shiny zone at the bottom here, which is the second liquid layer, and it's self-assembled, self-separated; there's no divider, no separator here.

YOUNG: So when this heats up, these metals kind of sort themselves out because they're different densities, is that the deal?

SADOWAY: Exactly, you have two factors here: All three liquids are of different density, okay, and the second thing that's equally important, they're remissible just like oil and water because I don't want to put any separators in here. That's the virtue of it because it has no separator it's – wherever you have a solid in a battery, solid means slow diffusion.

This granular stuff is the electrolyte, which is a molten salt, and you can see a second shiny zone at the bottom here, which is the second liquid layer, and it's self-assembled, self-separated; there's no divider, no separator here.

YOUNG: So when this heats up, these metals kind of sort themselves out because they're different densities, is that the deal?

SADOWAY: Exactly, you have two factors here: All three liquids are of different density, okay, and the second thing that's equally important, they're remissible just like oil and water because I don't want to put any separators in here. That's the virtue of it because it has no separator it's – wherever you have a solid in a battery, solid means slow diffusion.




Planar Na-beta Batteries for Renewable Integration and Grid Applications

Eagle Picher (Joplin, MO), in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will develop a new generation of high energy, low cost planar liquid sodium beta batteries for grid scale electrical power storage applications. This new generation of batteries could vault the U.S. into global leadership in grid scale energy storage and enable continuous power from intermittent renewable resources, like wind and solar power, to allow them to be integrated into the U.S. grid in large quantities to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a highly stable and reliable grid.

Low Cost, High Energy and Power Density, Nanotube-Enhanced Ultracapacitors

FastCAP SYSTEMS (Cambridge, MA), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will develop a game changing new nanotube enhanced ultracapacitor with potential for a 6x improvement in energy density and cost over the current industry state-of-the art. These novel energy storage devices have potential for energy densities approaching those of batteries (33-44 Wh/kg), while providing 20x higher power density and thousands of times the cycle life of existing high performance batteries. If successfully developed, this transformational new energy storage technology would greatly reduce the cost of hybrid and elecricelectric vehicles to enable their widespread cost effective deployment in the U.S. and dramatically reduce U.S. oil imports. This technology also holds great promise to enable continuous power from intermittent renewable resources, like wind and solar, to allow them to grow to a large fraction of grid power while maintaining a stable and highly reliable grid.

Sustainable, High-Energy Density, Low-Cost Electrochemical Energy Storage - Metal-Air Ionic Liquid (MAIL) Batteries

Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ), in partnership with Fluidic Energy, Inc., will seek to develop a new class of ultra-high energy new metal-air batteries using advanced ionic liquids. With a target energy density of 6-20 times that available state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries and at < 1/3 the cost, if this project is successful it will create a gamechanginggame changing new battery technology that will enable rapid and widespread deployment of long range, low cost plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, shifting U.S. transport energy to the grid and drastically reducing U.S. oil imports. Silicon Coated Nanofiber Paper as a Lithium-Ion Anode

Inorganic Specialists, Inc. (Miamisburg, OH), in partnership with Ultramet, Inc., Eagle Picher, Southeast Nonwovens, and the Edison Materials Technology Center, will develop ultra high capacity battery anodes for next generation Li-ion batteries (3x the state-of-the art) based on a novel low cost silicon-coated carbon nanofiber paper. If successful, this low cost manufacturable new battery technology could rapidly accelerate the deployment of cost-effective plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, shifting U.S. transportation energy to the grid and dramatically lowering U.S. oil imports.

High Energy Density Lithium Batteries

Envia Systems (Hayward, CA), in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, will develop high energy density, low cost next generation Li-ion batteries using novel nano silicon-carbon composite anodes and high capacity manganese rich layered composite cathodes discovered at Argonne National Laboratory. These batteries, if successfully developed, could triple the energy density of existing electric vehicle batteries (target: 400 Wh/kg) and rapidly hasten adoption of low cost plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

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