"By using a slurry of carbon particles as the active material of supercapacitors, we are able to adopt the system architecture from redox flow batteries and address issues of cost and scalability," Gogotsi said
In flow battery systems, as well as the EFC, the energy storage capacity is determined by the size of the reservoirs, which store the charged material. If a larger capacity is desired, the tanks can simply be scaled up in size. Similarly, the power output of the system is controlled by the size of the electrochemical cell, with larger cells producing more power.
"Flow battery architecture is very attractive for grid-scale applications because it allows for scalable energy storage by decoupling the power and energy density," said Dr. E.C. Kumbur, director of Drexel's Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory. "Slow response rate is a common problem for most energy storage systems. Incorporating the rapid charging and discharging ability of supercapacitors into this architecture is a major step toward effectively storing energy from fluctuating renewable sources and being able to quickly deliver the energy, as it is needed."
This design also gives the EFC a relatively long usage life compared to currently used flow batteries. According to the researchers, the EFC can potentially be operated in stationary applications for hundreds of thousands of charge-discharge cycles.
"This technology can potentially address cost and lifespan issues that we face with the current electrochemical energy storage technologies," Kumbur said.
"We believe that this new technology has important applications in [the renewable energy] field," said Dr. Volker Presser, who was an assistant research professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the time the initial work was done. "Moreover, these technologies can also be used to
|Contact: Britt Faulstick|