Sodium-Based Energy Storage

Sharp Laboratories of America
Low-Cost Sodium-Ion Battery to Enable Grid Scale Energy Storage: Prussian Blue-Derived Cathode and Complete Battery Integration
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$2,904,393
Location: 
Camas, WA
Project Term: 
03/28/2013 to 03/27/2016
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
Our national electric grid has limited ability to store excess energy, so electricity must constantly be over-generated to assure reliable supply. Though wind and solar power are promising clean alternatives to fossil fuels, their natural unpredictability and intermittency make them incapable of delivering the power on-demand necessary to operate today's grid. The U.S. needs technologies that can cost-effectively store renewable energy for future grid use at any location. Flexible, large-scale storage would create a stronger and more robust electric grid by enabling renewables to contribute to reliable power generation.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
Sharp Labs and their partners at the University of Texas and Oregon State University are developing a sodium-based battery that could dramatically increase battery cycle life at a low cost while maintaining a high energy capacity. Current storage approaches use either massive pumped reservoirs of water or underground compressed air storage, which carry serious infrastructure requirements and are not feasible beyond specific site limitations. Therefore, there is a critical need for a scalable, adaptable battery technology to enable widespread deployment of renewable power. Sodium ion batteries have the potential to perform as well as today's best lithium-based designs at a significantly lower cost. Sharp Labs' new battery would provide long cycle life, high energy density, and safe operation if deployed throughout the electric grid.
Potential Impact: 
If successful, Sharp Labs' sodium-based battery would offer a cost-effective and robust energy storage platform alternative to lithium-based batteries for grid storage applications.
Security: 
A more efficient and reliable grid would be more resilient to potential disruptions.
Environment: 
Electricity generation accounts for over 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Enabling large-scale contributions of wind and solar power for our electricity generation would result in a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions.
Economy: 
Increases in the availability of wind and solar power would reduce fossil fuel demand, resulting in reduced fuel prices and more stable electricity rates.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik
Project Contact: 
Dr. Jong-Jan Lee
Partners
Oregon State University
University of Texas, Austin
Release Date: 
11/28/2012