Grid level battery electricity storage coming soon


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Premium Member
May 27, 2012
Bellmere, QLD
If Professor Donald Sadoway has his way, it seems possibly within 12 months we might be seeing the first liquid metal batteries being commercially available for grid electricity storage, which could change the world as we know it!

Imagine a household being able to easily and cheaply store their own solar generated power without needing to do deals or rely on big greedy energy companies - it sounds like bliss to me ;)

Professor Donald Sadoway has developed and tested a liquid metal battery intended for grid power storage at the home level with the potential to last up to 305 years before requiring replacement. His prototypes have shown in testing they can be fully discharged every day for 10 years and still remain at 90% capacity!

The battery works by using liquid metal to store and release the power when needed with a low density liquid metal in the top (negative) and a high density liquid metal in the bottom (positive) and the middle consisting of a salt mix/brine (electrolyte).

Because of the common metals and materials needed to make the battery, Professor Sadoway intends to reduce the manufacturing footprint by opening manufacturing hubs around the world including Australia.

Amazingly, he's battery project is not yet fully funded although this hasn't retarded research and development it would obviously be much easier and faster into the general market if someone or a corporation would pick up the slack to finish testing and start manufacturing.

This new battery development is something to watch very carefully especially for those of us fed up with high electricity prices and other benefits reliable, cheap, large storage capacity batteries could bring.

Donald Sadoway's webite
I like it.
What is wrong with this world where projects like this are not fully supported by governments?
Damn greed. Humans (in general) dont give a hoot what happens to this earth, they'd rather make huge amounts of money than improve/protect the environment and better humanity. Just a little rant but I'm done now.

I have read extensive accounts of battery companies going to extreme lengths to protect their market share, including buying out entrepenuers like this .
Reminds me of a bloke from Meningie years ago who made a steam engine that could power his HR Holden at 80kph up hill and down dale. Apparently it was a sealed water system and only required 3 small Mallee stumps to go to Adelaide(about 160km). Mobil oil bought the patent for $6m and have it stored away in a secure basement. Afterward this bloke was never seen again-Iwonder if he got to spend the money?
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Energy companies won't go down without a fight. But if I were going to invest in something it wouldn't be an electricity company unless you wanted to see your money slowly shrink :)

Ironically, it will be greed that saves the environment in the end because electricity is already too expensive and as soon as people get the opportunity to switch to renewable energy at a cheaper cost and reliable source they will!

Jobs in the coal powered energy sector will collapse as electricity companies cut costs to sustain profits but a new maintenance industry in off grid solar will grow in the form of smaller companies to pick up the slack. Electricity will be cheaper which will save on manufacturing and general retail costs leading to more innovation and a better economy overall.

That's my prediction :D
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I have read extensive accounts of battery companies going to extreme lengths to protect their market share, including buying out entrepenuers like this .
I heard this guy speak on tv the other day and he's anti coal pro environment so I doubt he'll sell out. I don't think he's short of a quid either.
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Good find Stevo but what an annoying website with pop-ups and the page reloading every few seconds making the story hard to read OMG.

So it seems to be marketed as a backup power generator for now by the looks of it... and mounted in a standard garage on the wall can power a fridge, lights, etc if the grid goes down but they don't say for how long? Whatever, it's a great step in the right direction and soon they'll refine and improve the technology until it's the norm in most homes and then I can give origin the two fingered salute :p
Beat me to it, been watching this one for a few months:

$3500 USD for a 10kwh unit, how much would an average house need? if I only owned a roof. :)
Here's another one, I skipped over the article and went straight to the users comments. There's some debate about the figures.

Joshuas comments sound ok:
"I think that's 5A @ 350 or 450V DC.
The power output is 2.0 kW continuous for one unit. 3.3 kW peak.
Which I imagine is enough power-output for just about any average home... you just wouldn't want to run all of your appliances and a hair-dryer at once."

So if you're offgrid you can just get two units, and/or reduce the amount of power you use at night.

PS> but, before buying this i'd look at what current systems cost just to compare. You could check battery prices and see what the equivalent is etc.

in the video he said you could order one now on their website, but I couldn't see where, maybe I was at the wrong place. It will be interesting to see how people take this up, and if we more about it in mainstream media.
This is fantastic isn't it!

So I take it's a lithium-ion battery? I didn't hear anything about battery life etc in the video - I guess they'd have to last pretty well...

Tip of the iceberg I should think because now that battery storage capacity is starting to break through there's no holding it back. Not only that, but the power in terms of torque these batteries are starting to deliver is amazing - just think of how far cordless power tools have come in the past few years!

Household appliances and electricals are less hungry than they used to be and power consumption savings is still improving dramatically. Combine this with products like Telsa's Powerwall (which will improve lots more yet) and the future of power is changing super fast. Very exciting times :twothumbsup:
$3500 USD for a 10kwh unit, how much would an average house need? if I only owned a roof. :)[/QUOTE]
This is amazing!!. In answer to your question about how much power is needed to run a home: -We have a 16kw standalone system and it runs 3 dwellings quite well. In the last rain we had (3/4 days of cloud), our back up gennie fired up once for about 1.5hrs (4.3 litres of diesel). However, our batteries alone cost $14,000.00 and will need replacing in 12-15 years. Our management system was $8000.00 and our inverter, $3000.00. So if this is real, we could have bought two of these and had 20kw and saved $18000.00. I'll bet energex and the like are starting to lose control of their bodily functions. They'll probably be lobbying the gummint to up the minimum charge by a big margin and even have a charge if you are not connected to the grid.

To explain a little further, it seems like this is what is referred to as a 'AC' connected system, which means that you use the power straight form you panels when the sun shines and from your batteries when the sun is not shining. If you have this connected to the grid, you would use the grid in the same way I currently use my back-up gennie; -only when there no sun and your batteries are flat. So, in my semi-educated opinion, this 10kw system is more than enough for most houses, unless you were running a pool, plus aircon, plus electric stove at night or on rainy days.
I have been interested in this also an in flicking through a local newspaper my eyes veered quickly towards an ad for a solar power provider who installs both grid-fed panels as well as battery-fed panels (with excess fed back to the grid for more savings if already connected to the grid). He's from the Gold Coast:

I am a little far off from getting on board with this hybrid solar set up but I'm certainly leaning towards what guys like these are offering.
Solar music to my ears and eyeballs :D

I think I'll go for the high energy use package - still have plenty of space on our shed roof for more solar panels and a ton of space under for storage :cheers:

They don't show any rough prices on that site @Ash - not that I can see...
Yeah Mark, that's because those 'packages' are a little on the expensive side and may scare off customers (so they promote the 'financed' payments instead).
I made a direct enquiry to the guy and he quoted $12,000 for the 6kW backup package. Need to save up for a while to get it, but I think in the long run it probably would be.
I made a direct enquiry to the guy and he quoted $12,000 for the 6kW backup package.
That's not too bad really for a 6kw PV system with the battery storage included.

Our 5kw system without storage cost $8500 (a few years ago) and we just used the payment plan to pay it off and hardly noticed the difference, in fact, the savings on grid power was offsetting the payments and that = awesome! :)
Yep. We currently have a 1.5kW system along with a solar hot water unit and even then they have almost covered our electricity costs in autumn and spring (but we use the A/C for heating for winter).
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