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New energy storage technology – cheaper than lithium-ion batteries

Times 2nd Aug 2017, Google’s parent company Alphabet is turning to salt and antifreeze to
provide energy storage that could be cheaper than lithium-ion batteries.

The technology giant’s secretive X division is working on a way to store
energy from renewable sources that would otherwise be wasted because of the
time mismatch between supply and demand.

The system was designed by Robert Laughlin, a Nobel prize-winning physicist of Stanford University. It takes
in energy in the form of electricity and converts it into hot and cold air,
using a heat pump. These streams heat molten salt and cool the antifreeze
respectively. The process can be reversed to release the energy as the warm
and cold air meet, creating gusts that drive a turbine and feed power back
into the grid.

Scientists had already shown that the technology could store
energy. Alphabet’s engineers have designed a version that works at lower
temperatures, however, which reduces costs and makes it commercially


August 4, 2017 - Posted by | energy storage, USA

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