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Aqueous Saltwater Battery

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
7,227
27,701
Philadelphia, PA
This looks intriguing and market-ready. Pretty darn big footprint, but I think my basement could handle it.

Low-cost saltwater battery wins $500,000 award

A relatively cheap and environmentally friendly battery that uses saltwater and other commonly available materials to solve one of the biggest technical challenges facing renewable energy technologies was awarded a prize whose past recipients have gone on to have significant impact on technology and society at large.

An Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery roughly the size of a dishwasher or small refrigerator potentially stores enough solar or wind energy to power a single-family home completely off the grid in a region where sunlight is relatively plentiful, according to Dr. Jay Whitacre, a professor of materials science at Carnegie Mellon who invented the battery.

Whitacre said that the company should be able to sell Aquion batteries capable of powering a typical single family home for between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the size, once the company is working at full production in the next year or two. Those batteries will last for about 3,000 cycles, or 3,000 days and nights. So, if the battery were hooked up to solar panels, one day would represent a full charge and one night might represent a full discharge. Taken together, one charge and one discharge makes one complete cycle.


102997588-m100_module.530x298.jpg
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,947
SF Bay Area
Website says that pallet sized battery is 25kWh. Each stack seems to be 2kWh. Not very energy dense, but I guess if the cost is right, and you have the space it would be a good choice. I like the focus on sustainable/environmentally friendly materials. Designed for 4-20hr discharge, so 1/4-1/20 C discharge rate. The few utility studies I've seen seem to want discharge a little higher, 1/4 or 1/2C, but I think it would still work for all but the most demanding applications. Cool technology.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,277
10,926
United States
Cautiously optimistic... little concerning that they don't go into much detail about the chemistry.... it's a 'saltwater' 'hybrid-ion' battery. The only clue as to what the 'salt' is that it's 'non-toxic'... NaCl? KCl? MgCl????? What's the round trip efficiency? If it's as good as they claim it'll be great... we'll see...
 

nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
916
2,239
viena va United States
Cautiously optimistic... little concerning that they don't go into much detail about the chemistry.... it's a 'saltwater' 'hybrid-ion' battery. The only clue as to what the 'salt' is that it's 'non-toxic'... NaCl? KCl? MgCl????? What's the round trip efficiency? If it's as good as they claim it'll be great... we'll see...

Quite a bit of discussions on some PV forums and a 2 people contributing who are owners. Issues are : low charge rates, they are best charged slowly; weight-shipping cost will be high; it can be taken down to 0 but most inverters can't take access. Hmm, there was more but I can't remember. Still, the current owners are happy and the battery chemistry would be very appealing if they had a different price point. Good is chemistry, huge number of cycles, tolerant of abuse, temperature insensitive- they don't mind sitting at 110 in a desert all year.

I'd be considering them at a different price.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,479
6,230
Los Altos, CA
If the price is right, the rest of the issues are no problem. For example, you could power a large off-grid property with a 25kW inverter, 200kWh of these batteries and 15kW of solar. This is at most 1/8C charge/discharge. It would be very compelling at $100/kWh.
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,292
29,169
Cautiously optimistic... little concerning that they don't go into much detail about the chemistry.... it's a 'saltwater' 'hybrid-ion' battery. The only clue as to what the 'salt' is that it's 'non-toxic'... NaCl? KCl? MgCl????? What's the round trip efficiency? If it's as good as they claim it'll be great... we'll see...
I drilled down far enough into Aquion's website to see in a blow-up that they call their electrolyte sodium sulfate. That would be Na2SO4 and its associated disassociates. ;) Try this for a link: Energy Storage Technology | Energy Storage Technologies | Aquion

I went through the process (rhs of that web page) of requesting more info, plus providing my creds, some time ago....never received any response.
 

nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
916
2,239
viena va United States
If the price is right, the rest of the issues are no problem. For example, you could power a large off-grid property with a 25kW inverter, 200kWh of these batteries and 15kW of solar. This is at most 1/8C charge/discharge. It would be very compelling at $100/kWh.

Yep, I'd agree

- - - Updated - - -

altE Store has had older versions on their site for a while:

Batteries: Saltwater Technology
Blog post about them from Oct '14: altE Blog

Interesting blog post.
 

electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
2,531
60606
Gates is an investor in this company, yet he is not a proponent of batteries as a major solution to intermittent storage.. Last I looked at these batteries, both efficiency and warranty were not particularly good. Key specs, like C rate, have constantly changed on these batteries. They can't really know lifetime performance if they constantly change what they are making.

Not that batteries like these don't have potential.
 

nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
916
2,239
viena va United States
Gates is an investor in this company, yet he is not a proponent of batteries as a major solution to intermittent storage.. Last I looked at these batteries, both efficiency and warranty were not particularly good. Key specs, like C rate, have constantly changed on these batteries. They can't really know lifetime performance if they constantly change what they are making.

Not that batteries like these don't have potential.

Specs have changed but for the better. Part of that is it is just new, riskier but interesting. Hope they can keep improving.
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,292
29,169
If the price is right, the rest of the issues are no problem. For example, you could power a large off-grid property with a 25kW inverter, 200kWh of these batteries and 15kW of solar. This is at most 1/8C charge/discharge. It would be very compelling at $100/kWh.

Crikeys, you sure as shooting ought to be able to. A large property! Our little empire is at 63ºN Latitude, and is the 2nd- or 3rd-highest elevation permanent home in Alaska. We host up to 21 guests each night, with a mean population of 12. Total number of electrified buildings is ten, plus numerous outbuildings. And for that -

Our PV array totals 4,660 watts nameplate capacity
Our inverters total 16kW
Our battery bank is 110kWh

The last time I turned on our generator was April 28, and even that was just to exercise it (although in truth it's best to do it every 30 days). Now, we did have the most magnificent weather, consistently, in the past 20 summers or more, so I should say that assisted the most recent profile.

Regardless, the only feature our facility does not have that would be close to ubiquitous to all reading this is air conditioning (but we do provide extra Hudson Bay blankets all summer long at no extra charge ;) ). I am quite sure our water usage - and well-pumping - just about drown out all of yours, to partially offset that electron saving.

Other than that, our consumption profile cannot diverge much from that of a normal household. I should mention I did change out all 999,999 of our lightbulbs over the past two years to LED. Wow - $$$$ !!!!
 

nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
916
2,239
viena va United States
Crikeys, you sure as shooting ought to be able to. A large property! Our little empire is at 63ºN Latitude, and is the 2nd- or 3rd-highest elevation permanent home in Alaska. We host up to 21 guests each night, with a mean population of 12. Total number of electrified buildings is ten, plus numerous outbuildings. And for that -

Our PV array totals 4,660 watts nameplate capacity
Our inverters total 16kW
Our battery bank is 110kWh

The last time I turned on our generator was April 28, and even that was just to exercise it (although in truth it's best to do it every 30 days). Now, we did have the most magnificent weather, consistently, in the past 20 summers or more, so I should say that assisted the most recent profile.

Regardless, the only feature our facility does not have that would be close to ubiquitous to all reading this is air conditioning (but we do provide extra Hudson Bay blankets all summer long at no extra charge ;) ). I am quite sure our water usage - and well-pumping - just about drown out all of yours, to partially offset that electron saving.

Other than that, our consumption profile cannot diverge much from that of a normal household. I should mention I did change out all 999,999 of our lightbulbs over the past two years to LED. Wow - $$$$ !!!!

Ok, I call you on this. In fact, I demand proof you are the 2nd or 3rd highest home in Alaska. Acceptable forms of proof include me having dinner on the porch. When should I arrive .:biggrin:
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,292
29,169
Lee's house, seven miles north of us, is higher. There might be a permanent home at the end of the Nabesna Road, but effectively everyone who got land up there back in the early 80s moved out. If not, then we would go from #2 to #3. Truthfully though, those aren't what most people call 'homes'.
 

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