US start-up develops polymer-based batteries for stationary storage

Developed by an MIT spin-off, the device is based on a standard, two-electrode electrochemical cell containing conductive polymers, a carbon-graphene hybrid, and a non-flammable liquid electrolyte. The battery cells were tested to perform for 12,000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge.

Boston-based PolyJoule, a spin-off of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), recently unveiled a new battery technology based on its own proprietary conductive polymers and other organic, non-metallic materials.

“Our batteries are designed to suit the needs of stationary power applications where safety, lifetime, levelized costs, and environmental footprints are key decision drivers,” the company said in a statement. “PolyJoule’s conductive polymer cells span the performance curve between traditional lead-acid batteries and modern lithium-ion cells, while enhancing service life and reducing balance of plant costs, due to their no-HVAC thermal management design.”

According to the manufacturer, the battery cells were tested to perform for 12,000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge. The device is based on a standard, two-electrode electrochemical cell containing the conductive polymers, a carbon-graphene hybrid, and a non-flammable liquid electrolyte. Alternating anodes and cathodes are interwoven and then connected in parallel to form a cell.

The battery may be used for utility and industrial applications such as power conditioning, peak shaving, frequency regulation, hybrid power energy storage, and high-power datacenter backup, the company said.

According to the MIT Technology Review, the battery packs are up to five times larger than lithium-ion systems of the same capacity and don’t require active temperature control. The product is being offered in power strings which the company said can rapidly discharge power, up to 1 MW, in less than 10 seconds and be recharged in less than five minutes.

Each power string measures 2.2 m x 0.8 m x 3.4 m and weighs 1,590 kg. Its nominal voltage is 528 V and the voltage range is 158 V to 972 V. The manufacturer ensures continuous operation at temperatures between -40 C and 50 C with minimal capacity loss. The battery contains no lithium, cobalt or lead and, according to PolyJoule, it is from abundantly available raw materials with no rare earth elements.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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