Study demonstrates a better way to store renewable energy

June 22, 2017, University of Arkansas

Wind farms are a common source of renewable energy that needs to be stored. Credit: University of Arkansas
In an effort to find better ways to store renewable energy, physicists at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with a scientist at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, have shown that antiferroelectrics can provide high energy density. The findings may lead to storage devices that improve the efficiency of wind and solar power.

Because the production of renewable electricity may fluctuate from second to second, any device designed to store it must cope with constantly changing loads and still achieve high energy density relative to size. Batteries, supercapacitors and other technologies that can achieve high densities typically cannot react quickly enough to changing conditions. Traditional electrostatic capacitors can react quickly, but can't hold enough energy for large-scale use.

U of A researchers Bin Xu, a research associate in the Department of Physics, and Laurent Bellaiche, Distinguished Professor of physics, along with Jorge Íñiguez at LIST, showed that antiferroelectrics may be able to achieve both goals. They published their findings in May in the journal Nature Communications.

Antiferroelectrics are materials in which adjacent dipoles – positive and negative charge centers separated by a very small space – are ordered in opposite direction of one another. Ferroelectric materials, by contrast, have adjacent dipoles ordered in the same direction.

Antiferroelectrics become ferroelectric with the application of a high enough . By exploiting this characteristic, researchers predicted that high energy density and efficiency can be achieved in antiferroelectrics, in particular with the rare-earth substituted bismuth ferrite material used in this study. The paper explored improving the storage performance with further manipulation of the electric field. They were also able to create a model that explains the connection between density and the electric field, which points toward further research in the future.

Explore further: For storing energy from renewable sources, scientists turn to antiferroelectrics

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Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jun 22, 2017
Centralizing the energy storage does away with the requirement for ultra-fast responses, because you're averaging the output of multiple units, which means the variations get averaged out over time.

From a maintenance perspective, there's absoutely no sense in placing batteries on each individual windmill or solar panel, as they need frequent replacement.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jun 22, 2017
Batteries, supercapacitors and other technologies that can achieve high densities typically cannot react quickly enough to changing conditions.

I think this is false. While situations may change quickly they don't change *that* quickly. Wind and solar doesn't go from 100% to 0% at the drop of a hat over wide, grid-connected regions.

Just today a battery buffer system was brought on-line close to where I live. It reacts much faster than any powerplant to changes in supply/demand (and it should be noted that even without that battery system the grid has been stable to the point where I can't even remember when we had the last power outage.) The main advantage is that the batteries allow other powerplants - that would ordinarily be used to adjust supply - to run within optimal parameters over a wider range of renewables availability.

Antiferroelectrics are certainly interesting and should be pursued. The components look a bit pricey, though.
rakooi
5 / 5 (3) Jun 22, 2017
"1. Wind & Solar Are Cheaper
(Without Subsidies)
Than Dirty KILLER COAL Energy
.
The first point is the very basic fact that new wind power and/or solar power plants are typically cheaper than new coal, natural gas, or nuclear power plants
— even without any governmental support for solar or wind.
(While a $Trillion per year funnels to Fossil Fuel Billionaires)
.
Not only are they typically cheaper
— they're much cheaper in many cases.
*Solar & Wind Became Much Cheaper In The Past 7 Years (85% and 66%, Respectively)
*solar and wind power don't just mean lower prices
— they also typically mean more jobs. Much of the price of dirty energy power plants is in the fossil fuel
— the physical resource. When we buy that fuel, much of the money goes to the billionaires and multimillionaires who "own" the fuel source.

*https://cleantech...ral-gas/ "
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (2) Jun 22, 2017
antialias_physorg:
supercapacitors [...] typically cannot react quickly enough to changing conditions.

I think this is false.


Yes, it's false. These *theoretical* antiferroelectrics might possibly have higher power density than supercapacitors, but supercaps react extremely quickly. The ones actually on the market have more than enough power density for superfast cars, far more than is needed for the electric grid.

It's obviously just marketing for U Arkansas and its Luxembourg partner. Neither of which locality has a reputation for intellectual integrity, but rather for bragging.
unrealone1
not rated yet Jun 23, 2017
Is coal the highest density storage per tonne?
Interesting to know energy storage per tonne for battery's
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (1) Jun 23, 2017
unrealone1:
Is coal the highest density storage per tonne?
Interesting to know energy storage per tonne for battery's


So you wade into energy debates making absolute assertions without even knowing these basic facts about energy, fuel and batteries.

You've got Dunning Kruger disease. Thanks for lifting the mask, troll.
unrealone1
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2017
There is no "empirical" evidence of man made global warming..
unrealone1
not rated yet Jun 24, 2017
"An average value for the thermal energy of coal is approximately 6150 kilowatt-hour (kWh)/ton."
Is there a battery that can match that?
1 tonne of lithium batteries = how many KWh?
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2017
unrealone1:
There is no "empirical" evidence of man made global warming..


The troll knows there's tons of empirical evidence.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jun 24, 2017
Is coal the highest density storage per tonne?

And what would be the point of such a measure anyways? In what decision does 'energy density' figure in?

(If you really want energy density then antimatter is your thing, followed by deuterium/tritium fuel for fusion)
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2017
unrealone1:
Is there a battery that can match that?


Coal is a fuel, not just energy storage, and pumps pollution into the sky. The troll is too stupid to know they're stupid, because they have Dunning Kruger disease.
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2017
antialias_physorg:
And what would be the point of such a measure anyways?


The only point is trolling. This troll doesn't care about anything, doesn't understand anything, just wants to type as if it were arguing. Creating Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt is the troll point.

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