Research highlight

Batteries: Grid-scale energy storage

Nature Communications

October 24, 2012

A new type of safe, fast, inexpensive, and long-life battery is reported in Nature Communications this week. The paper describes the development of a new type of anode material that is used to produce an aqueous alkali ion battery. This new material could help to pave the way towards grid-scale energy storage applications, which will require a substantial increase in cycle life to accommodate the integration of renewable energy sources.

Yi Cui and coworkers developed a novel class of hybrid anodes that are compatible with an open framework crystal structure cathode, which allows fast storage of energy into the battery. The electrodes operate in safe, inexpensive aqueous electrolytes. The resulting batteries show high power and energy efficiency, and a zero capacity loss after 1000 deep-discharge cycles. The performance, scalability, and safety of these batteries make them desirable for stationary energy storage applications in the future.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms2139

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