Research on Low-Cost and Safe Battery Chemistry for LDES Applications

G. Li
Pacific Northwest National Lab,
United States

Keywords: long duration, low cost, battery, renewables


Historically, carbon-based resources have been used to generate electricity due to their availability, economic flexibility, and good energy density. To shift energy production away from carbon, alternatives such as nuclear, hydroelectric or geothermal with stable and manageable outputs are good options. More recently, rapidly growing wind and solar capacity has brought it to the forefront of renewable resources, with ever-decreasing costs of materials and deployment at scale. However, most of renewables must overcome both short-term intermittent mismatches and long-term seasonal differences to create more controlled outputs. Therefore, large-scale storage systems using battery technologies are essential to fully utilize these renewable resources in an increasingly complex energy landscape. As a battery technology driven mostly by the rapid development of personal electronics and owning to its high energy density, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have come to dominate the market for compact and portable power sources. Despite of its high energy density and maturity of commercial scale production, there are couple of drawbacks that raise concerns about its use in large-scale storage applications. 1) The low abundance of key materials for LIBs causes supply chain issues and high cost. 2) LIB-based battery storage systems generally have discharge durations of ~ 4 hour, which is useful for providing short-term grid services rather than a long duration energy storage (LDES) technology for full utilization of intermittent energy resources with daily/weekly cycles. 3) Additionally, inherent fire hazards of LIBs have raised concerns about its stationary battery energy storage applications. Therefore, developing a variety of different battery technologies using safe and reliable redox chemistries, resource-abundant and environmentally friendly materials, and enabling LDES applications requires innovations in materials, battery design and manufacturing. In this presentation, we will highlight the latest developments in PNNL's various battery technologies, especially for LDES applications.