US invests $37m in energy storage projects

The US is to invest $37 million (£27.7m) in new energy storage projects. A total of 16 projects will receive a share of the fund from the Energy Department’s Advanced […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The US is to invest $37 million (£27.7m) in new energy storage projects.

A total of 16 projects will receive a share of the fund from the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

By creating high performance parts built with solid ion conductors, the programme will focus on new ways to process and integrate these into devices to accelerate their commercial deployment.

It aims to improve energy storage and conversion technologies in transportation batteries, grid-level storage and fuel cells.

According to the Department of Energy, fuel cells make possible to store electricity from intermittent, carbon free resources like wind and solar power as well as generate electricity from the energy stored in fuels like natural gas or hydrogen.

Researchers will use new materials and processes to achieve advancements such as increasing battery energy capacity while preventing short circuits and battery degradation.

ARPA-E Director Ellen Williams said: “While battery technologies have improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years, there remain some imposing physical and chemical barriers that have stifled further innovation. Solid ion conductors made of affordable, easily produced materials could replace today’s mostly liquid electrolytes and expensive fuel cell parts, helping create a next generation of batteries and fuel cells that are low-cost, durable and more efficient.”