ARPA-E Funds Berkeley Lab's Advanced Battery and Building Technology Research
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for advanced battery and building technology research.
A team of scientists at Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), along with their private-sector partners (DuPont, Bosch, 3M, and Proton Energy), have been awarded more than $1.5 million from ARPA-E to research a novel flow battery system for storing energy on the electric grid. The Berkeley Lab researchers are Venkat Srinivasan, Vince Battaglia, and Adam Weber of EETD.
Flow batteries pump reactive chemicals through the battery cell when electricity is needed. This project's battery will use hydrogen and bromine as its active materials. Although this type of flow battery has existed for decades, it has been plagued by high costs, short lifetimes, and safety concerns.
Developing cost-effective, long-lived stationary batteries connected to the electric grid is a major goal of clean technology research. Large-capacity storage technologies for the grid can store energy generated by intermittent clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar, and tidal sources, and deliver it back to the grid when needed.
The Berkeley Lab team will deliver a proof-of-concept cell that will demonstrate the potential of this chemistry in grid-scale energy storage applications.
In the area of building technology research, Berkeley Lab's EETD is also a subawardee in a project titled "Innovative Building-Integrated Ventilation Enthalpy Recovery." The EETD's Philip Haves will participate, along with prime contractor, Architectural Applications. The project's goal is to develop a new technology that will recycle building-exhausted air to partially cool and dehumidify incoming fresh air. This design promises a performance increase of 25% to 40%, compared to conventional air conditioning systems.
The mission of ARPA-E is to fund projects that will develop transformational technologies that reduce America's dependence on foreign energy imports; reduce U.S. energy-related emissions (including greenhouse gases); improve energy efficiency across all sectors of the U.S. economy; and ensure that the U.S. maintains its leadership in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.