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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

    Jun 29, 2013
    Link to TED talk on the technology: Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy | Talk Video |

    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 Model 3 >> Focus Electric

    Dec 3, 2010
    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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