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Aqueous Sulfur Systems for Long-Duration Grid Storage

Form Energy

Aqueous Sulfur Systems for Long-duration Grid Storage

Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$3,765,461
Location: 
Somerville, MA
Project Term: 
07/31/2019 to 01/30/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Critical Need: 

Stationary electrical energy storage plays several important roles in the U.S. electricity system, and these are expected to grow as the grid continues to evolve. Long-duration energy storage systems address grid needs beyond those covered by daily cycling. Such systems could provide backup power for several days, improving grid resiliency, or allow for the integration of even larger amounts of intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar. In the near term, such systems could help shape the output from individual wind and solar installations, improving the reliability of these resources and thus greatly increasing their value to the grid.

Project Innovation + Advantages: 

Form Energy will develop a long-duration energy storage system that takes advantage of the low cost and high abundance of sulfur in a water-based solution. Previous MIT research demonstrated that aqueous sulfur flow batteries represent the lowest chemical cost among rechargeable batteries. However, these systems have relatively low efficiency. Conversely, numerous rechargeable battery chemistries with higher efficiency have high chemical costs. The solution requires low chemical cost, high efficiency, and streamlined architecture. The team will pursue several competing strategies and ultimately select a single approach to develop a prototype system. Focus areas include developing anode and cathode formulations, membranes, and physical system designs.

Potential Impact: 

If successful, DAYS projects will provide new forms of long-duration stationary electricity storage systems that enhance grid resiliency, provide low-cost energy capacity, support grid infrastructure, and enable a greater share of intermittent renewable resources in the generation mix.

Security: 

Long-duration storage can help prevent blackouts and smooth overall grid operation, improving resilience and enhancing grid security.

Environment: 

New, extended storage options could enable greater integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, greatly reducing emissions from the power sector.

Economy: 

Energy storage technologies could help improve grid efficiency and promote the growth of domestic renewable energy sources.

Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Scott Litzelman
Project Contact: 
Dr. William Woodford
Release Date: 
9/18/2018