- A critical step toward decarbonization of the energy sector is the ability to store energy from intermittent renewable energy sources such as the sun, or wind. Among the proposed technologies batteries are highly intriguing due to their cost-effectiveness and their easy deployment. Unfortunately, the leading battery chemistries, particularly Li-ion systems are not suitable for this purpose: Lithium as well as the main compounds in lithium batteries such as cobalt and nickel suffers from a severe shortage and cannot support energy storage on large scales (MWh-TWh). Moreover, Li batteries utilize reactive and flammable electrolyte solutions, which had to be completely avoided in such applications.
- Rechargeable seawater batteries (SWBs) have recently been proposed as a method of storing electrical energy by using seawater as an unlimited source of sodium ions. Until now, the majority of SWBs research and development has focused on using cells design with Na-metal anodes that must be protected from seawater by hermetic ion-conductive membranes. These systems, however, are complex and expensive, with a short cycling life.
- An alternative seawater battery that uses a polymeric compound that can store and release a sufficient amount of energy.
- Our proposed battery cell can have a fully open structure, with both the anode and cathode exposed to seawater, which is more cost-effective and safer than previously proposed technologies. Furthermore, the ability of this system to operate even in non-treated seawater opens new opportunities for the utilization of oceans area for energy storage purposes.
The development of rechargeable SWBs as a new battery system is highly promising technology to their ideal merits:
- Use of abundant seawater as an electrolyte solution, which can significantly reduce the cost of the system.
- Use of polymeric compounds with high capacity and efficiency.
- Open cell design made of innovative, cheap, and non-corrosive substances, which allow a constant supply of fresh seawater for unlimited electrical energy storage in the form of Na+ ion storage.
- Our technology will enable energy storage in a cheap, available, and safe way.
- There are several possible applications for SWBs to be used as electrochemical devices for load leveling and peak shaving applications to ensure effective integration between renewable energy sources and the electrical grid.