In the USA a battery has been invented by engineers, which is made from three molten metals and could help the roll out of green energy production. Battery designs before this new development cost too much to be created in a way that could store excess renewable energy and then release it to the grid.
The difference with this new battery is that it is liquid based, made of lead and antimony, which are both cheap and readily available.
It is likely that this attempt at effective energy storage will be commercially viable.
The problem has previously been that when the wind is blowing and wind turbines are producing green electricity, the need for that energy may not be there at that specific time; the same problem occurs with solar panels, when the sun does not shine, you don’t get energy. Which is a problem if you want to charge your smartphone at night.
The challenge with renewable energy
This dependence of renewable energy on current weather conditions has, until now, meant that energy can only be collected when it is sunny or windy and could not be stored. The challenge has been finding a way of storing the energy created for use at times when the weather conditions are not favourable.
However, it has now been demonstrated that the battery made of molten metal may be the solution to effectively storing renewable energy. The company behind this innovation, Ambri, is continuing to improve its liquid metal technology to make it more commercially viable and researchers say the introduction of lead in place of the magnesium as used in the original batteries is producing better results.
The trick behind the battery is to have three layers of very hot liquids which can react in such a way as to store electrical energy and then release it when needed.
The first test sites will be a Cape Cod and in Hawaii.