A CDE Definition
liquid metal battery
A technology invented by MIT Professor Donald Sadoway that is designed to provide battery storage to compensate for temporary imbalances in the U.S. electrical grid as more renewable energy is added. Massive electrical storage must be created to compensate for the periods in which there is no wind or sunshine.
Sadoway's inspiration came from his earlier work with aluminum smelting, which uses high temperatures to melt the metal. The technology from Ambri Inc., Cambridge, MA (www.ambri.com) uses molten magnesium and animony for electrodes that are encased in cylindrical modules. The finished product is expected to house these modules in 40-foot long containers, and there would be far fewer modules than conventional battery technologies would allow and at less cost. See batteries.
Liquid Metal Battery Elements
Following is a summary of the characteristics of popular battery technologies. For more details, see lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, lithium polymer, liquid metal battery, zinc air, CMOS battery and memory effect.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
Energy Cycles Fast charge
Density To 80% Charge Per
Type (Wh/Kg)* Capacity (hrs) Month
Cadmium 45-80 1500 1 20%
Hydride 60-120 300-500 2-4 30%
Ion 110-160 300-500 2-4 10%
Polymer 100-130 300-500 2-4 10%
Lead Acid 30-50 200-300 8-16 5%
Alkaline 80 50 2-3 0.3%
Data courtesy of
Cadex Electronics Inc. (www.cadex.com).
* Wh/Kg = watt hours per kilogram
A Lot of Batteries
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