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Ambri liquid metal storage for Solarcity and supercharging stations

Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by daniel Ox9EFD, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. daniel Ox9EFD

    daniel Ox9EFD Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Israel
    Link to TED talk on the technology: Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy | Talk Video | TED.com

    from looking around the web and their website, they are only a year away from deployment, and expect a price point of below 500$/kWh, several times cheaper than any li-ion system. It was mentioned that a home system would be around a size of a fridge - could easily fit in a basement.

    It might be too early, but should Tesla / Solarcity look at cooperation?
     
  2. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Short news article (written in November 2013) that embeds the above TED talk (which was given in March 2012):
    MIT Battery Startup Ambri Finds Early Customer and Christens Factory : Greentech Media

    This guy and his TED talk was mentioned a couple years ago on the forum -- TMC: The Smart Grid

    The company is still active, raised a $35MM Series C funding round in April 2014: Ambri - News

    The battery fits into a more general category of Molten salt battery (Wikipedia), except in this case the metals are kept in the liquid state as well.

    Basic concept: pick your two dissimilar metals to be common/cheap and have different densities when molten (in this case, magnesium and antimony), so that one floats to the top and the other stays at the bottom. Then use a molten salt electrolyte with density between those of the metals to separate the layers. The energy lost to heat as the battery is charging/discharging is secondarily useful, as it works to keep its components in the liquid state.

    No new/big news in the last couple of years.

    It's not very applicable to distributed or home storage though -- the economies of scale needed to make it cheap would be lost at small sizes, not withstanding the safety issues of maintaining a vat of molten metal in your basement/garage.
     

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