Masdar Institute develop energy storage technology
The UAE-based university is working to develop energy storage technology that supports both renewable and conventional energy
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have announced the start of a project aimed at developing energy storage technology that supports both renewable and conventional energy.
Working in close collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the UAE-based research-driven university aims to achieve a breakthrough with the use of Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs).
Dr. Saif Almheiri, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the Masdar Institute said: “There are a few solutions in the market today, but they tend to be expensive and cannot be used in all the operating environments that require renewable energy uptake. But the technology we're working with has the potential to overcome these obstacles.”
A type of rechargeable batteries, RFBs are constructed around two chemical components that are dissolved in liquids contained within different tanks in the system.
With each flow of liquids separated by a membrane, the process enables electrical energy to be stored in chemical energy and converted back with ease when required.
The technology could prove to be a valuable contributor to the global energy storage market, which is projected to reach $113.5bn by 2017.
The team at Masdar are working close association with MIT scientists to create the non-water-based system that could potentially provide higher conductivity, enhanced solubility limits and stable electrodes.
"One of the most promising of all of the redox solutions is one based on the metal known as vanadium. Vanadium can exist in a solution in several different oxidation states, so it can effectively take the place of both of the necessary chemical solutions in the RFB - meaning it can be vanadium on each side of the cell,” explained Dr. Almeheiri.
“Using the same element avoids the risk of contamination across the membrane that can otherwise, over time, impair or damage a battery,” he added.