What is the next big thing in energy storage? This is the question for many energy experts and investors. There is a big focus on energy storage because it is the key to clean energy.
High-capacity energy storage will encourage more people to adopt clean energy systems. As researchers make batteries more compact, higher capacity, and cheaper, advances in battery technology are especially needed in the green energy change.
Energy storage systems in Singapore will be very valuable in the mass adoption of solar energy by reducing power intermittency. What technologies will drive the big push to green energy?
The biggest hurdle in using solar energy systems is the intermittent nature of solar energy. You get peak power when the sun is brightest and no energy at night. Solar batteries accumulate energy from the solar panels and store it for later use.
Enovatek energy storage system ensures there is power at night when power demand is at its peak.
Many homes use solar energy systems as backups,but high-capacity solar batteries can also enable a completely off-grid power supply. Solar batteries are becoming more affordable, which also contributes to higher adoption. What are the advances in solar battery technology?
1. Next-Gen Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most widespread type, with varied applications in cars, electronics, home energy systems, and even electric vehicles.
However, Li-ion batteries have been around for a long time, and they have developed higher capacity while dropping in prices.
Li-ion batteries have high charge and discharge cycles, last long, and operate at temperatures ranging from -50°C up to 125°C. They are most widely used in the transport industry where there are high power demands and a need for safety.
Research into disruptive materials will raise the capacity of Li-ion batteries far beyond the theoretical limits of today’s lithium batteries. Some negative terminal materials that promise higher power density include graphite, titanium, and silicon.
2. Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
This battery uses lithium as the positive electrode. A Li-S does not have host structures, unlike a li-ion battery where lithium ions are stored in a host structure. Lithium and sulfur materials change while discharging, which reverses when charging.
Li-S batteries have a high energy density, theoretically up to 4 times more than Li-ion batteries. This has made it a priority research area for high energy applications in space and avionics.
3. Nanobolt Lithium Tungsten Battery
A nanobolt battery creates a bigger surface area for ions to attach to, with a web-like structure of nanotubes made from carbon and tungsten. The large surface area gives the battery higher energy density and faster charging capabilities.
4. Zinc-Manganese Oxide Battery
A zinc-manganese oxide battery has been touted as a viable alternative to the Li-ion battery, especially for large-scale energy storage. Zinc and manganese are also more widely available than lithium, which would make this battery cheaper.
5. Organosilicon Electrolyte Battery
Lithium batteries carry risk because they can catch fire and explode. However, an organosilicon battery uses a carbon-based electrolyte, making it safe for domestic uses.
6. Carbon Nanotube Battery
This battery has vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes to increase surface area and energy storage capacity. This battery promises to have a capacity as much as ten times more than today’s Li-ion batteries and store energy as much as five times longer.
It will also cut charging time to about five minutes. The target market for this battery is electric vehicles, where the biggest hurdle today is charging time and range.
7. Iron-Air Battery
This battery works by converting iron to rust and back to iron in its discharging and charging cycles. When commercialized, it will cost a small fraction of other batteries made using minerals like lithium or nickel because iron is one of the most abundant metals.
8. Nickel-Hydrogen Battery
High costs are the biggest hurdle in battery storage at grid-scale. A nickel-hydrogen battery would cost far less than lithium-type batteries because nickel and hydrogen are abundant materials.
This battery also has the advantage of operating at extreme temperatures. It has successfully been used in space where such conditions exist.
9. Electro-Thermal Storage
This type of energy storage stores and releases energy using temperature differences. It converts electricity into thermal energy, stored in molten salt and very cold liquids. The energy is released when converting the material from one form to another and converted back to energy via a heat engine.
This energy has a good promise for large-scale energy storage for industrial applications because of its large capacity and ability to scale up energy storage. It is also cost-effective because the materials are readily available.
10. Gravity-Based Energy Storage
This type of energy storage converts electricity into kinetic energy by raising bricks. Then, when there is peak demand, the bricks are lowered by gravity to create kinetic energy that moves a turbine to produce electricity.
The whole process is controlled by artificial intelligence. The biggest attraction for this energy storage will be environmental sustainability since the process is free of chemicals, which means less resource extraction.
The next few years will see major strides in energy storage technology, especially battery technology. Singapore alongside the rest of the world must adopt clean energy in the face of climate change, and Enovatek energy storage system will play a big role in this change.