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Low Cost, Non-toxic Battery for Off Grid Use

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a battery for off-grid power applications with the overarching objectives of minimizing up-front cost, maximizing discharge energy and producing a non-toxic product. The technology provides an average power density of 20 mW/cm2 and a maximum energy density of 11.5 Wh/L. 

Description

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a battery for off-grid power applications with the overarching objectives of minimizing up-front cost, maximizing discharge energy and producing a non-toxic product. The technology provides an average power density of 20 mW/cm2 and a maximum energy density of 11.5 Wh/L. The system is optimized for LED lighting and mobile phone charging, although other applications are suitable. This invention will be especially useful in the developing world where solar home systems are considered too expensive, although it can be used in any off grid application as well as for disaster relief and emergency preparedness activities.

 

The Berkeley Lab all-iron redox flow battery system is activated simply by adding water and is charged by replacing the iron foil and iron solution. The technology is made up of an electrical and mechanical housing that allows a constant flow of electrolyte solution, a porous carbon felt electrode, an iron sulfate electrolyte solution, paper separator and iron foil. Iron was selected for its low cost, low health risk and vast availability. The all-iron system is particularly practical due to its cell size, the amount of consumables required for operation, its low cost and its ease of assembly. 

Benefits
  • Low cost electricity source ($0.034 per mobile phone charge)
  • Environmentally-friendly, disposable components
  • Long shelf life
  • 20 mW/cm2 average power density
  • 11.5 Wh/L maximum energy density
  • User assembles cell for low-cost, on-demand power
Applications and Industries
  • Redox flow battery
  • Off-grid rechargeable power source
  • Emergency preparedness / disaster relief
  • Optimized for LED lighting and mobile phone charging
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
2015-051ProposedAvailable02/04/201702/04/2017

Contact LBL About This Technology

To: Suzanne Storar<ipo@lbl.gov>