New liquid alloy
electrode improves sodium-beta battery performance
Sun, wind and other renewable
energy sources could make up a larger portion of the electricity America consumes
if better batteries could be built to store the intermittent energy for cloudy,
windless days. Now a new material could allow more utilities to store
large amounts of renewable energy and make the nation's power system more
reliable and resilient.
A paper published today in
Nature Communications describes an electrode made of a liquid metal alloy that
enables sodium-beta batteries to operate at significantly lower temperatures.
The new electrode enables sodium-beta batteries to last longer, helps streamline
their manufacturing process and reduces the risk of accidental fire.
"Running at lower
temperatures can make a big difference for sodium-beta batteries and may enable
batteries to store more renewable energy and strengthen the power grid,"
said material scientist Xiaochuan Lu of the Department of Energy's Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory.
Read the full article.