With further development, the new technology could deliver energy to the electric grid quickly, cost effectively and at normal ambient temperatures.
Sodium-potassium alloy is a room-temperature liquid metal that could unlock a high-voltage flow battery.
(Image credit: Antonio Baclig) The technology – a type of battery known as a flow battery – has long been considered as a likely candidate for storing intermittent renewable energy.
Theoretically, this liquid metal has at least 10 times the available energy per gram as other candidates for the negative-side fluid of a flow battery.
The two advances together more than doubled the maximum voltage of conventional flow batteries, and the prototype remained stable for thousands of hours of operation.
This higher voltage means the battery can store more energy for its size, which also brings down the cost of producing the battery.
“A new battery technology has so many different performance metrics to meet: cost, efficiency, size, lifetime, safety, etc.,” said Baclig. »