New research shows another step forward in the goal of developing energy storage systems robust enough to store such intermittent sources as wind and solar on a large-scale.
Their work explores the opportunities in solid oxide cells (SOCs), which the group believes to be one of the best prospects in energy storage due to their high efficiency and wide range of scales.
ECS member John Irvine and his team from the University of St. Andrews have set out to overcome traditional barriers in this technology, developing a new method of electrochemical switching to simplify the manufacturing of the electrodes needed to deliver high, long-lasting energy activity.
This from the University of St. Andrews:
The results demonstrate a new way to produce highly active and stable nanostructures – by growing electrode nanoarchitectures under operational conditions. This opens exciting new possibilities for activating or reinvigorating fuel cells during operation.
“Fuel cell and electrolysis technologies offer great opportunities to deliver clean energy and impact on global warming in the immediate future,” Irvine says. “The technologies are already available; however advances in performance and durability are needed to allow rapid implementation. This study affords great enhancements in performance and provides means to reinvigorate during operation, greatly extending useful lifetime through intricate manipulation of nanostructural features.”
Aside from this development’s potential in energy conversion devices, the researchers believe it could also touch areas of hydrocarbon gas, photocatalysis for hydrogen production, and more.