Stanford University researchers have created a new battery that could change the way we look at renewable energy storage forever.
The team used urea, an affordable, natural, and readily-available material present in mammal urine and fertilizers to create a battery that is significantly more efficient than past versions.
Dai and Angell’s battery may be the answer to this storage issue.
“It’s cheap. It’s efficient. Grid storage is the main goal,” Angell noted.
Grid storage, according to Angell, is the most realistic goal thanks to the battery’s low cost, high efficiency, and long cycle life. The Coulombic efficiency, a measurement of how much charge exits the battery per unit of charge that it takes in during charging, proved high for this battery, coming in at 99.7%. Another important attribute is Dai’s urea battery’s low risk factor. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, for instance, this new battery is not flammable.
“I would feel safe if my backup battery in my house is made of urea with little chance of causing fire,” Dai noted.
The team has licensed the battery patents to AB Systems, which Dai founded. And currently, a commercial version of the batter is underway.
The researchers believe this battery could allow for solar energy to be stored in every building and every home. “Maybe it will change everyday life,” admits Dai.
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