Renewable energies will only unlock their full potential where storage technologies and extended power grids are available. A new type of battery might be the key, and the vital electronics are now being developed at TRUMPF Huettinger (Freiburg, Germany)
A new type of energy storage, known as redox flow batteries, is just being introduced to the market. These batteries use liquid electrolytes as storage media, are absolutely harmless to the environment, can be built for large scale storage capacities, and have a virtually infinite life-cycle. The downside: they take up a considerable amount of space.
Readily available inverters are not entirely suitable for redox flow batteries.
Power inverters act as an interface between power generation, storage and withdrawal of electrical energy. Every photovoltaic (PV) system is equipped with a power inverter; however, readily available types are not entirely suitable for redox flow batteries, TRUMPF Huettinger notes.
Being one of the pioneers in the field, TRUMPF Huettinger has teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE to develop specially designed bi-directional power inverters that are now at the prototype stage.
“We already see considerable interest, although the market is in its infancy,” says Stephan Mayer, managing director at TRUMPF Huettinger. The projected market launch is early 2017.