07 August 2012
ITN Energy Systems has been awarded US $1.725 million in funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop an advanced redox flow battery, in collaboration with the University of Kentucky.
This battery technology is intended to lower costs for grid-scale power systems, and provide affordable energy storage options for small commercial and residential customers.
According to ITN, the flow battery model works well with solar and wind power plants because the battery capacity can be increased by adding additional electrolyte. Such batteries can store excess energy generated when the sun shines or the wind blows, and then return electricity to the grid for use at night or whenever no power is being generated.
ITN’s technology integrates a low-cost membrane with new flow battery electrolyte chemistry that the company says increases efficiency and affordability.
The ITN/University of Kentucky team’s project is part of ARPA-E’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The program focuses on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid, and provide energy security benefits to the US’ armed forces.
ITN was one of seven small businesses selected for ARPA-E funding from the nationwide competition.