Will the liquid metal battery technology overcome one of the greatest problems with solar energy and wind power, the availability of long term solar battery storage.
A few things prevent a complete independence from the electricity grid and the ever increasing costs of traditional electricity supply.
- The availability of batteries capable of storing enough charge to supply electricity during the time where there is no sun.
- The cost of such batteries.
There has been lately great strides in the development of these types of batteries that may overcome these two main problems. First watch the video below of a speech and presentation given by Donald Sadoway of MIT on the liquid metal battery.
Now the liquid metal battery mentioned in this video seemed to be pointed at supplementing the grid. Why is this so? We would prefer to get rid of the grid those terrible looking pylons, cables etc making a mess of the countryside. This is apart from continuing the main provision of energy still coming from highly polluting electricity generators. Surely these liquid metal batteries could be set in a group of houses being fed from solar panels from all the roofs of homes. It was mentioned that one container-sized liquid metal battery would create enough power for 200 homes. Why couldn’t these homes solar panels be fed to it and then overnight power reversed and fed back for overnight use.
I am pretty sure as well that a home sized liquid metal battery could be produced at a reasonable cost for individual homes and charged by their solar panels on the roof. It is said that a standard 5kw solar system would be able to provide enough power for a standard home plus charge a liquid metal battery for overnight use.
Another point with this type of configuration is that the load is spread across all homes. Some homes using more some using less. The amount used could be assessed as a “maintenance” charge. This would be great if the whole system was a community asset reducing the overall cost of of the supply.
It would also be interesting if there is any development a liquid metal battery for cars.