Integration of Flow Batteries into Electric Vehicles: Feasibility and the Future

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Driving range, safety and cost remain the biggest hurdles in the way of mass electric vehicle adoption. To compete with established combustion-engine vehicles, EVs need to have a highly flexible operating capability with minimum downtime. Flow battery systems offer unique refueling capability which overcomes the limited autonomy and high cost of advanced Li-ion batteries making EV’s cost competitive. Currently, flow battery technology achieves an electrolyte energy density around 40 Wh/L, because of this low energy density flow batteries have not been seriously considered for transportation. To resolve this issue we have developed novel electrolytes that use a nanotechnology-based electrochemical liquid fuel that offers over 10 times the energy density of traditional redox electrolytes. Nanoelectrofuel is a liquid electrolyte containing redox nanoparticles to carry its charge, resulting in increased energy density while ensuring stability and low-resistance flow. Nanoscale electrode materials stably dispersed in electrolyte effectively charge/discharge as they are pumped through custom-designed flow cell(s) and represent a high-energy-density rechargeable, renewable, and recyclable electrochemical fuel. The presentation will overview challenges in integration of flow batteries into the EVs and covers our recent experimental results demonstrating feasibility of nanoelectrofuel flow batteries as a new energy storage format for EVs.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2014: Electronics, Manufacturing, Environment, Energy & Water
Published: June 15, 2014
Pages: 435 - 438
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Energy Storage
ISBN: 978-1-4822-5830-1