Air Battery Technology the best alternative of lithium-ion Batteries for Large Capacity

Air Battery Technology

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Although we are shifting toward renewable energy sources, we still do have not got a proper solution for energy sources.The biggest problem with renewable energy is that it can't work on baseload like solar or wind energy. We produce very much electric power from renewable sources but the main problem is they can not work on baseload like thermal energy does.

Air Battery is a type of battery technology whose life is unlimited, if this battery can serve power one day after a full charge, then it would be able to do the same after a hundred years.

Now we need a type of battery which can store a large amount of electric energy for use at the night. The lithium-ion battery is a great option but at the time of a large amount of electricity (In Mega Watt) storage, it clearly fails. Because the cost of lithium-ion batteries is too high that many countries are unable to afford them, so the concept of Air Battery Technology comes into the picture.

Air battery technology has already been successfully tested in many places. The very first thing about this battery is 

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• It is environmentally friendly.

• This battery has an unlimited life.

• No need for any specified location. It can be installed anywhere.

This battery has the capacity of storing as much electricity which can power up the whole city for a night. The interesting fact about this, you hear about this battery but you haven't seen it yet. Basically, Air Battery is two types. But first, we will talk about that type which you haven't heard yet.

Do you know? The peak load of electricity consumption takes place in the time of morning or in the evening. And at the time of noon, solar power plants work on their 50% capacity, although they are producing 50% more electricity at noon that is no use of that time of noon. But when the load is high from evening 5pm to 10pm at night, solar plants do not work at that time. That's why a large electricity-containing battery needs which can store an extra 50% of the energy that is produced at peak time. For this purpose, Air Battery is a perfect solution.

How does Air Battery Technology work?

In this system, many number of large size tanks are used. Tanks are tied together in the ground and all are connected through the pipes. These tanks are made with a special polymer and make it as strong as which can resist the internal water pressure so as not to explode. These tanks will work as a battery. There is another storage of water tanks where water is stored normally.

How Air Battery get charged?

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When extra electricity is produced in the daytime through solar or wind power, then the water pumped into the large tanks through the pipes. When the water comes into the tank it gets compressed, and an isothermal process takes place there. Iso thermal process is a process where the temperature always remains constant. 

It has two benefits, first, due to this process water acts as a cooling, and second when water gets started to store, then water is stored slowly in the tank, due to which the water molecules will compress slowly and the heat generation will be less so the energy loss will also be less. Now the compressed air flows through the pipe and starts to store in other tanks on the other side. This is how energy is stored in the system.

When the load is at its peak generally at the time of night, the power generation process starts. During this time the compressed air starts to flow into the filled water tanks and create pressure on it. That's why water starts flowing out from the tank at high pressure. This high-pressure water flow is used to rotate the turbine to generate power.

If compressed air is finished for that day, this same process will be done on the next day, again compressed air will be stored in those tanks and the battery will be recharged, for power generation.

This battery efficiency is 81% which is the best thing about this battery. But this can not be used anywhere like a lithium-ion battery. Air battery is best only for large-scale power generation. This whole system can be construed underground the solar power plant or under anywhere like at the farming area, wind power plant, etc. Not need any extra place to install the system. If we need to generate more power then we just need to increase the number of tanks to store the compressed air.

Dam hydropower plant


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The second type of this battery you may not have seen but definitely, you read before. Which is the dam hydropower plant.

In the system of a dam or hydropower plant water is controlled through channels, when channels are open water releaser through it with a high head and hit the turbine section. Due to the high head of water turbine starts to rotate and electricity produced. And then the water goes further to the lands or to the river.

Pump storage power plant


Another type of power plant is the Pump storage power plant. which is works on the same mechanism as the hydroelectric power plant. But one thing which is different in this process is that when water comes down through the turbine and instead of going to rivers this water gets stored in a large reservoir at the lower side of the plant. 

At night time generators of thermal powerplant have less load, but the generators can't be stopped only for this reason, because it takes more than 7 to 8 hours to re-start those thermal generators. So what can be done with that extra electricity? Coals are wasting. 

Those companies who run the pump storage power plant, they buy the electricity at low cost from the thermal power plant at night time. And lift those stored water to the upper side of the dam using the pump. When electricity is required, they release the channels and water comes down to the turbine again and makes electricity.

So what actually happening there, this is working as a type of battery, when electricity is required then water is discharged from the upper side of the dam, and when it needs to be charged then the stored water is pumped upper side of the dam. This type of plant is not possible to install anywhere, this is location-specific, and the cost is too high.

Although the air batter which is working is similar to this pump storage plant, it can be installed anywhere, and the equivalents which are needed like pumps, generators, pipes, storage tanks, etc are easily available and very coast efficient. For now, an Air battery is best for storing large amounts of electricity instead of a lithium-ion battery. 

But yes, there is still many experiment and research that will happen on air battery technology. If you find anything informative in this article please let us know in the comment below and write your thought on it so that we can write more interesting informative articles like this.

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