A Promising Future of Smart Grid

By Energy CIO Insights

Many new products hit the market each year that take benefit of recent advances in battery technology. However, this development has paved the way to a big concern—the world's supply of lithium, the metal which is the core of many of the new rechargeable batteries, may eventually be depleted.

The varied applications for batteries have meant several combinations of the electrochemical cell over the years. Different metals have been used for electrodes, various substances have been used for electrolytes, and there have been different ways of putting it all together. Therefore, scientists are now trying to develop rechargeable batteries based on potassium, which is a potential substitute to lithium that is reasonable and more abundant. Additionally, less expensive batteries can be built using potassium by replacing copper with aluminum as a current collector for anodes whereas Lithium-ion batteries require copper for the purpose.

Also, the transmission mode and distribution of electricity that is currently in use has proven to be unreliable and inefficient. This is because the grid technology currently in use has not changed since it was developed. Thus, technologists are now experimenting with smart grid technologies to overcome the limitations of the traditional grid. As a result, potassium shows promise for large-scale electricity storage on the power grid because of its higher abundance and lower cost.

With battery modeling techniques making constant advancements, more renewable energy deployments are going to occur. However, Sodium and Potassium-based Batteries continue to gain traction worldwide for being highly efficient and economical.

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