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GCEP researchers develop new high cycle rate, high-efficiency battery

In order for solar, wind and other renewable energy sources to be integrated in the electrical grid, new types of energy storage are needed to respond quickly to short-term energy fluctuations that arise from their use.

A Stanford research team led by associate professor Yi Cui and postdoctoral scholar Mauro Pasta, both of Materials Science and Engineering, has developed a safe, high cycle rate, high-efficiency battery that could be tailored for this type of storage.

Mauro Pasta and Yi Cui

Postdoctoral fellow Mauro Pasta and GCEP investigator Yi Cui
Photo Credit: Maxine Lym

Through their GCEP research, the group recently created novel anodes and cathodes with a Prussian Blue open-framework crystal structure, which allows large sodium ions to move quickly between electrodes.

Symmetric open-framework cell schematic

Symmetric open-framework cell schematic.
Courtesy: Cui Lab

According to their paper in Nature Communications, the battery can achieve round trip energy efficiency as high as 96.7% and there is no measurable capacity loss after 1,000 deep-discharge cycles.

Made from inexpensive, Earth-abundant materials, this aqueous electrolyte battery could be integrated into the electrical grid and potentially store renewable energy during periods of low demand.

Michael Toney and Johanna Nelson of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Robert Huggins, Colin Wessells, Nian Liu and Matthew McDowell of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University also contributed to this research.


March 5, 2014

Nature Communications article (pdf) January 6, 2014

GCEP Fact Sheet: Safe, Inexpensive and Very High-Power Batteries for Use to Reduce Short-Term Transients on the Electric Grid

Cui Lab

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