Energy Storage Research Projects
Day/night cycles and the otherwise intermittent nature of renewable energy sources presents significant challenges for the electrical grid at large penetration, which can be mitigated through the use of energy storage technologies including batteries. Among other functions, batteries can provide for peak shifting and frequency control, and are especially essential for microgrid applications. Four Grand Challenge projects in electrical energy storage have been established to address those needs:
- High energy density lithium ion batteries. The utilization of the Li-ion battery technology into the field of storing energy from the sun will require significant improvement in the battery performance, cost reduction and safety enhancement.
- Sodium-based batteries. This project deals with the investigation of a wide spectrum of sodium-based materials that would stimulate the development of new abundant and cost effective materials with improved electrochemical performances.
- Redox flow batteries. Power and energy can be customized independently in these unique but currently costly batteries, with electroactive materials stored in tanks outside of the battery module.
- Sulphur-based batteries. Despite their high energy and cost advantages, lithium sulphur batteries present significant challenges with respect to sulphur dissolution, electrolyte contamination and lithium metal instability.