MIT researchers have engineered a new rechargeable low-cost battery that has the potential to foster widespread use of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power.
The device relies on a phenomenon called ‘laminar flow‘ to store and release energy.
The palm-sized prototype generates three times as much power per square centimeter as other membraneless systems.
This represents a power density that is higher than many lithium-ion batteries and other commercial and experimental energy-storage systems.
“Energy storage is the key enabling technology for renewables,” said Bruie, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT.
The market for residential solar photovoltaic energy storage systems is expected to boom in the coming years, according to market analysts at IHS Electronics, with cumulative installations amounting to 2.5GW by 2017, equivalent to the solar power that could be generated by more than 600,000 homes.
Countries like Japan, who is investing US$299.5 million for battery projects and Germany who launched its energy storage incentive in May are leading the pack.