Scientists develop solar flow battery hybrid system

Solar-battery energy storage system is a common renewable energy combination today. We can use lithium-ion batteries to store excess solar power to stabilize the grid, cut peaks and fill valleys, and transfer solar power during the day to night use. Now, solar energy also has another One partner, a multinational team formed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, has developed an efficient and long-term solar flow battery hybrid system.

The team combines perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells (as shown in the figure below) and redox flow batteries. Tandem cells are solar cells that transmit different materials and absorb different wavelengths. Because of this, the conversion efficiency is higher than other Solar cells are even higher; flow batteries are mostly composed of two electrolyte tanks. During charging and discharging, the electrolyte will be supplemented to the middle power generation chamber. The power generation chamber will also use a thin film to separate the two solutions to form two electrodes. It produces ion exchange to generate electricity, and the storage time is longer than that of ordinary lithium-ion battery energy storage systems.

According to Weida's research, solar power will charge one of the electrolyte tanks of the flow battery, store the electricity in the liquid, and drive the flow battery system when electricity is needed. In order to find the optimal voltage of the flow battery, the team also developed a new modeling method: looking for chemical substances that operate normally under the ideal voltage, and directly searching for chemicals that meet the experimental needs, hoping to maximize efficiency.

The team’s flow battery electrolyte is also different from the past. It mainly uses salt-containing organic compound aqueous solutions, does not require precious metals as catalysts and does not contain strong acids. This magical electrolyte can still be used after hundreds of hours and hundreds of charge and discharge cycles. Maintain high efficiency, retain most of its capacity, and have a longer service life than previous technologies.

On the whole, the new system has a long service life and an efficiency of up to 20%, which is the highest record. The previous research and development of the team’s solar flow battery efficiency was only 14%. It also uses more expensive solar cell materials, and there are corrosion problems that affect the solar liquid. Flow battery life. The team’s lead researcher Song Jin said that we can harvest 20% of the sun's energy during the day, or use 20% of the previously stored solar energy at night.

The team will continue to develop solar flow batteries, hoping to improve efficiency again, and ultimately achieve cost reduction and expansion. The team believes that this system has many advantages, not only can use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, but also long-term storage of flow batteries. Energy is also a big advantage. Although the solar flow battery is still some distance away from commercialization, it can help power consumption and storage in rural areas.

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