September 29, 2011
Sodium Manganese Battery To Cut Grid Storage Costs

If this works as well as claimed the cost of grid storage will go down.

A new battery developed by Aquion Energy in Pittsburgh uses simple chemistry—a water-based electrolyte and abundant materials such as sodium and manganese—and is expected to cost $300 for a kilowatt-hour of storage capacity, less than a third of what it would cost to use lithium-ion batteries. Third-party tests have shown that Aquion's battery can last for over 5,000 charge-discharge cycles and has an efficiency of over 85 percent

Click thru to read the details.

Electric power storage is most needed for intermittent sources such as solar and wind. But it can also help in areas which do not have enough long range power lines to provide power during peak demand periods. During off-peak electric power can be brought in to store in local batteries for use during peak.

The article mentions this type of battery chemistry is heavy. That is fine for stationary storage sites. But the weight probably rules them out for electric cars.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 September 29 06:27 AM  Energy Batteries

Phillep Harding said at September 29, 2011 10:08 AM:

Sounds great. As someone who has lived away from the power grid, this sort of battery would be perfect.

Side note: Most of the apparent hostility to alternative energy is actually a conflict between people with experience and people who insist their dreams are reality. Not at all a rejection of PRACTICAL alternative energy.

Fat Man said at September 29, 2011 1:34 PM:

Philip Harding: Your side note is excellent.

The linked articles do not contain enough to make any real judgment about the technology. Beyond battery cost and efficiency we also need to know what it costs to build and run at scale. Sodium-sulfur batteries have low material costs as well, but they need to operate at high temperature. They wind up costing $1000/KW.

John Moore said at September 29, 2011 3:50 PM:

Lead acid is half the cost:

I don't think comparing grid storage to lithium batteries is appropriate.

Ronald Brak said at September 29, 2011 7:55 PM:

Lead acid batteries are the cheapest but they gradually degrade (had to replace my car battery a month ago) and so aren't used for the large scale applications flow batteries are designed for.

Randall Parker said at September 30, 2011 6:29 AM:

John Moore, Agree with Ronald Brak. The advantage of this new battery is number of cycles it can do.

f1b0nacc1 said at September 30, 2011 8:33 AM:


Your side note is perhaps the best comment on much of this debate that I have seen. The number of lab experiments, engineering mockups, etc. portrayed as working solutions in the alt-energy field is incredible, and tends to discredit the field as a whole. I don't know of anyone who would reject a working solution, but being told that one's dreams are realities ("and those other feaures you require don't really matter!") always seems to happen when one looks too closely...

Paul said at September 30, 2011 9:10 AM:

$300/kWh is too high for diurnal grid-connected storage.

PaulR said at September 30, 2011 5:58 PM:

I want to see a story on "coffee cuts depression in women". Should work on men too. Its probably the caffeine.

David Starr said at October 1, 2011 10:47 AM:

An ordinary car battery (say Sears Diehard) holds 1 kilowatt hour and costs $50 at retail. And it lasts 4 New Hampshire winters. That sodium manganese battery doesn't sound all that economical.

toadold said at October 1, 2011 10:56 AM:

How abundant is Manganese actually or should I say what is it's cost in large quantities compared to lead. Used to the lead in depleted batteries was re-cycled locally. You could get low cost re-built car batteries for example. Environmental regulations concerning lead pollution ended that.
One problem that we've seen with Texas wind power is that when you get really high triple digit temperatures it comes with very low wind. Thus just when you need the power you don't have it. I've read that farther North say in England for example that during below zero weather they have a lot of low wind conditions and a lack of wind power.
So it looks like for wind power to be cost efficient it is going to need a lot more LONG TERM storage capacity than it has now. A supplemental gravitational system might be worth investigating, for example pumping water into high tank for potential energy storage??

chemman said at October 1, 2011 10:57 AM:

Agree with your note. I have lived off grid now for 4 years (solar and wind). It works well for my application. Even factoring in battery replacement it would have cost be 2-3 times as much to bring grid power to my site and then monthly bills on top. The new battery sounds interesting just based on its nearly 14 year life span. Cost is a little high though.

willis said at October 1, 2011 11:20 AM:

"Most of the apparent hostility to alternative energy is actually a conflict between people with experience and people who insist their dreams are reality. Not at all a rejection of PRACTICAL alternative energy."

A little bit of the hostility stems from a Marxist government trying to cram it down our throats, driving up the cost of oil and coal, while doling out payoffs to political donors in the guise of green job generation. It would seem the alternative part of the equation is alternative to freedom and democracy.

Calculator said at October 1, 2011 11:25 AM:

$300/kWh, 5,000 cycles lifetime, 85% cycle efficiency adds about 7 cents/kWh to the cost of power. Put this on top of the high cost of wind or solar and you get quite expensive electricity.

M. Simon said at October 1, 2011 11:43 AM:

Do we need to add in the cost of power conversion eqpt or is that free?

Calculator said at October 1, 2011 11:54 AM:

M. Simon, I would expect that the cost of inverters and associated power factor control is not included in the $300, but I could not find out for sure. The 7 cents/kWh is quite high already.

don said at October 1, 2011 1:43 PM:

."I'll be the head greenskeeper hopefully within six years. That's my schedule. But I am studying this stuff, so I know it you know, like chinch bugs. You know manganese. A lot of people don't even know what that is."

Carl Spackler

JimK said at October 1, 2011 1:53 PM:

If this technology is so good why do they need a government grant to get it going?

Nick G said at October 1, 2011 2:22 PM:

"If the New World is such a good idea, why is this Columbus person asking for our help?"

Queen Isabella, 1491

Boyd said at October 1, 2011 2:37 PM:

"people with experience and people who insist their dreams are reality." It's unfortunate this has to be such a revelation. The idea that this is, "Not at all a rejection of PRACTICAL alternative energy." is really just a restatement of the classic business truth that you must sell something people want. People want personal solar for various reasons (I have a 6KW system myself) that has nothing to do with green dreams of a unicorn poop powered vision of the future. I'm a survivalist who wants to be prepared for TEOTWAWKI. I find that practical. Laugh all you want but the company that sold me $15,000 worth of solar panels is quite happy and so am I. Applying these very expensive systems to most of the population or trying to scale them up before their time is just a dream. A very expensive dream.

Post a comment
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
Remember info?

Go Read More Posts On FuturePundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright ©