POWER and RE+ Tech Supp September 2022 - 25

SEPTEMBER 2022 | WWW.POWERMAG.COM
tion, and they're moving very fast, " he
said. " The cost of [initiating] scaled
production is probably the next step. "
Zinc Air-a Breakthrough?
An international group of researchers
in January announced they had
reached a breakthrough in the development
of zinc-air batteries, an alternative
to lithium-ion that could be
cheaper to produce and involve fewer
mining challenges. The group, led by
Wei Sun, a researcher at the University
of M√ľnster in Germany, said they are
close to producing a battery that won't
catch on fire thanks to its incorporation
water, along with a hydrophobic
zinc salt.
The battery could be especially
beneficial for utility-scale energy storage,
said Chunsheng Wang, director
of the Center for Research in Extreme
Batteries at the University of Maryland
and a co-author of a paper that was
published in the journal Science. " We
think this has potential to compete
with lithium-ion batteries, " Wang said.
Zinc-air batteries typically have not
been used for grid energy storage
because of their chemical instability
and relatively short lifecycle, the group
said. But Wang said these batteries
could be safer than lithium-ion cells
because they incorporate nonflammable
water and " open cell architecture, "
rather than a closed structure. Wang
said zinc also is less environmentally
destructive to mine and produce compared
with lithium.
Roberto Denti, operations director
at Greece-based storage developer
Systems Sunlight, told POWER that
while most of the focus in energy
storage " has been on the consumer
automotive sector, there is significant
opportunity for development in the
industrial sector-more specifically,
the renewable energy sector, to create
safe, reliable, and sustainable batteries
for heavy-duty applications such
as energy storage for solar and wind
farms. The opportunity also lies in other
areas where industrial batteries are
needed such as shipping, electric buses,
and automated guided vehicles, "
or AGVs, which is Sunlight's market.
" By developing new technologies
that will usher in a clean energy future,
we will hopefully see a wide-scale
adoption of energy storage applications,
leading to a fully electrified industry, "
Denti said. n
-Darrell Proctor is senior
associate editor for POWER
(@POWERmagazine).
www.re-plus.com
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POWER and RE+ Tech Supp September 2022

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POWER and RE+ Tech Supp September 2022 - Cover3
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