All-Iron Flow Battery



Program:
OPEN 2012
Award:
$3,527,909
Location:
Cleveland,
Ohio
Status:
ALUMNI
Project Term:
01/09/2013 - 02/11/2019

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:

Case Western Reserve University is developing a water-based, all-iron flow battery for grid-scale energy storage at low cost. Flow batteries store chemical energy in external tanks instead of within the battery container. Using iron provides a low-cost, safe solution for energy storage because iron is both abundant and non-toxic. This design could drastically improve the energy storage capacity of stationary batteries at 10-20% of today’s cost. Ultimately, this technology could help reduce the cost of stationary energy storage enough to facilitate the adoption and deployment of renewable energy technology.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Case Western’s all-iron flow battery would enable storage from renewable energy sources at a substantially reduced cost and with improved performance compared to today’s designs.

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.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik
Project Contact:
Dr. Robert Savinell
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
rfs2@case.edu

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Release Date:
11/28/2012