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A German university offers a new solution for energy storage devices that contain an electrochemical cell. The process stabilises cell performance and leads to an increased cell and battery life. The invention is ideal for renewable energy applications. Industrial partners are sought for license agreements.
The present invention of a German university relates to the field of electrochemical energy storage devices. In particular, it relates to the field of redox flow cells. Electrolytic deposition of lead has been around for decades in industrial applications and is well known for the high energy yield of almost 100%. In a SLFB cell (soluble lead flow battery) a similar process is used to generate energy in form of layered deposits to store on a surface of two electrodes.
The invention relates to an energy storage device that comprises at least one electrochemical cell. The cell is made up of a negative electrode and a positive electrode in contact with an electrolyte comprising a lead salt in an acidic solution. The positive electrode comprises a substrate having at least a portion of its surface reversibly covered with a lead dioxide layer and the negative electrode comprising a substrate having at least a portion of its surface reversibly covered with a lead metal layer. At least a portion of the surface of the positive electrode has an initial lead dioxide layer and at least a portion of the surface of the negative electrode has an initial lead metal layer. Initial layers partially remain on the electrodes during cycling of the cell. This results in stabilizing cell performances and extending the cell or battery life.
By means of this invention, the adhesion of active masses to the electrodes can be significantly improved. This allows for a higher energy efficiency, as well as the replacement of the very costly electrode materials by cost efficient alternatives. SLFBs stand out especially by a cost effective and simple structure – with a comparably high efficiency and capacity as achieved in lithium-ion systems. The present invention is usable in stationary energy storage and load levelling applications. It is especially suited for effective consumption increase in photovoltaic systems, or for power stabilisation of fluctuating power plants such as wind, solar and tidal power plants. Unlike vanadium and zinc bromine redox flow batteries SLFB uses comparatively cheap and non-corrosive materials in redox flow technology.
Industrial partners, e.g. battery manufacturers, are sought for license agreements. The agreement could include further research to develop the invention further in order to implement it.
• As less expensive and non-corrosive materials are used in the redox flow technology, it is more cost efficient than conventional vanadium and zinc bromine redox flow batteries
• Improved overall performance
• Significant increased cell life / battery life
• Higher energy efficiency
The invention is in the form of test programmes and laboratory cells made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
Patent applied in Germany
The university offers access to rights for commercial use as well as the opportunity for further co-development to industrial companies within license agreements. Partners would be involved in energy storage device manufacturing and research. They would contribute to taking the lab-tested invention and developing it to market readiness.