Cutting edge battery to store solar, wind energy

November 27th, 2011 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 27 (IANS) Scientists are developing a cutting edge, durable and extremely powerful rechargeable battery to store excess power generated by wind or solar energy.

The breakthrough by Stanford University researchers comes from a new electrode that employs crystalline nanoparticles of a copper compound.

In lab tests, the electrode survived 40,000 cycles of charging and discharging, after which it could still be charged to more than 80 percent of its original capacity.

Conversely, the much hyped lithium battery can handle only about 400 charge/discharge cycles before it becomes useless, the journal Nature Communications reports.

“At the rate of several cycles per day, this electrode would have a good 30 years of useful life on the electrical grid,” said graduate student in materials science and engineering at Stanford Colin Wessells, who led the study.

“That is a breakthrough performance - a battery that will keep running for tens of
thousands of cycles and never fail,” said Yi Cui, study co-author, associate professor and Wessell’s adviser, according to a Stanford statement.

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