New battery technology under development
Batteries and intelligent storage technologies are an important topic of the energy transition. Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have now possibly developed a new buffer storage solution for use in renewable energy generation. The so-called alkali metal iodine battery mainly consists of zinc, nickel, lithium, and graphite. Using this battery in portable devices or electric cars, on the other hand, would be difficult because the battery requires an operating temperature of 240 degrees Celsius and must therefore be well insulated. Insulation, however, requires a lot of space.
"There are some requirements for such buffer storage units. They must be cheap to manufacture and easy to scale" says Tom Weier of the Helmholtz Center's Institute of Fluid Dynamics. (pv-magazine) This can be achieved if the structure of the battery is as simple as possible. For example, the anode of the alkali metal-iodine battery consists of a nickel sponge encased in lithium. In the lower cell area, electrons are discharged via a graphite felt. The high operating temperature is due to the liquid salt electrolyte, which only reaches a liquid aggregate state at high temperatures.
Because the structure is so simple and does not require a complex membrane, no special machines are needed for series production. Production costs turn out to be low, so the cost of the alkali metal-iodine battery is largely made up of material costs. Finally, another convincing plus point is the battery's high recyclability.
pv-magazine, article by Marian Willuhn (4/3/2022):
https://www.pv-magazine.de/2022/03/04/helmholtz-zentrum-entwickelt-neuartige-alkalimetall-iod-batterie/, accessed: 3/5/2022 at 7 pm.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf HZDR, press release 3/3/2022:
https://www.hzdr.de/db/Cms?pOid=65450&pNid=99, accessed: 3/9/2022 at 8 pm.