US scientists presented the flow battery for electric carsFebruary 12, 2019
The power reserve of most electric cars available on the market ranges from 200 to 600 km, after which the car must be put on many hours of charging. A team of scientists from Purdue University (USA) presented a membrane-free flow-through battery, which will literally fill electric cars – and just as quickly and safely as machines with an internal combustion engine.
Reportedly, single-fluid technology produces electrons by oxidizing the anode. At the cathode, this starts the recovery process, and as a result, electricity is generated.
Previously, batteries of this type could not compete with lithium-ion batteries due to their low energy density — it did not exceed 20 Wh / kg. For comparison, in Li-Ion, this indicator is at the level of 130-140 W · h / kg.
“Our flow-through battery has an energy density of up to 1300 W * h / kg and, as a result, a small size,” says development manager John Cushman in a press release.
Interestingly, after using the electrolyte is discharged – the waste liquid can be recharged again at a solar or wind power station, or at hydroelectric power plants, ensuring the ecological cycle.
It is necessary to change the electrolyte every 480 km, and after the car has passed 4800 km, it will be necessary to replace the anode. Scientists say that the process will take no more time than oil change, and it will cost about the same – about $ 65.
For the first time, engineers talked about technology in 2017. Then they founded the company IFbattery and patented their development. For two years, Kushman and colleagues tested the flow battery on golf cards and forklifts, now the researchers plan to run the technology on electric cars and various construction equipment.
As one of the advantages of the methodology, engineers argue that it does not need to build the infrastructure from scratch. Converting existing gas stations for refueling stations is easier than installing charging stations for electric vehicles and systems for hydrogen cars.
Researchers also focus on security solutions. According to them, although in the process of generating electricity, a flow-through battery produces hydrogen known for its volatility and flammability, H2 in this case is released gradually and in small quantities. This allows it to be stored under low pressure.
“In traditional electric fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen is usually under enormous pressure — from 5,000 to 10,000 PSI, which carries certain risks.
Hydrogen is stored in our system as a by-product at a safe pressure of up to 30 psi, ”explained Michael Dzikan, senior engineer at IFBattery.
“Our batteries are absolutely safe, so you can safely store replaceable batteries even at home; stable – it makes them easy to manufacture, fill and transport, and cost-effective, “- concluded the specialist.
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