JCESR touts new flow battery design

Formed at the end of last year, the US Department of Energy (DoE) Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is already claiming its first research triumph. Supported by the JCESR project, researchers from the US DoE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a new lithium/polysulfide (Li/PS) semi-liquid flow battery for large-scale energy storage.

Still at a very early stage, the new battery is of interest as it simplifies the traditional flow battery model by dispensing with highly expensive vanadium as an electrolyte. Additionally, it does not require a membrane, which forms an essential part of other designs.

Although it remains to be seen if the JCESR can live up to its stated 5x5x5 goal (batteries that are five times more powerful and five times cheaper within five years), its simplification of a technology that is already causing a lot of excitement in the industry is promising to say the least.

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