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This blog post is about batteries, how to store solar power and the Nobel Prize in 2019.
We reported some time ago – using California as an example – that it definitely makes sense to switch to solar energy in order to be independent of the electricity network, but that in the event of a blackout of the electricity network, a separate storage facility is also relevant. Please read: SOLAR ELECTRIC KEEPS THE LIGHTS ON WITH CALIFORNIA’S BLACKOUTS.
If you want to save electricity costs and energy, a photovoltaic system is worth an investment. It is important to know that you can store the solar power you do not consume immediately. So it is available for you if the sun itself does not provide enough energy.
The solar cells of a photovoltaic system absorb the light energy of the sun’s rays and convert it into electrical energy, i.e. electricity. Your solar power is stored in a rechargeable battery. The battery converts the electrical energy into chemical energy. If some of the electricity is needed, it converts the chemical energy back into electrical energy and passes it on to the device that needs it.
Lately, lithium-ion technology has been gaining ground when it comes to storing solar power. Although it is more expensive than lead-acid technology, it offers various advantages. For example, you can use the stored solar energy almost completely thanks to an efficiency of 93 to 98 percent. In addition, the lithium-ion battery can withstand a discharge depth of 70 to 100 percent. So if the storage tank is occasionally completely emptied, this does not have such a negative effect on its service life. How long a lithium-ion battery can be used – there are currently only estimates based on laboratory tests. With optimum energy management, the service life can therefore be up to 20 years.
Energy storage thus works thanks to batteries. Accordingly, we now offer you a brief insight into the history of lithium-ion batteries, also in view of the fact that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded this year for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
In order to have electricity available independently of network providers, many homeowners not only rely on photovoltaic systems, but also on the storage of the solar energy generated in this way. Batteries are used to store electricity.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are used in battery storage systems for households with photovoltaic systems as well as in the field of electromobility, ensure that these products become increasingly profitable and competitive due to their technological and price development. In this way, they contribute to the energy revolution and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.
The demand for lithium-ion batteries is rising. Looking back to the 90s, camcorders were the devices for which the majority of lithium-ion batteries were used. A decade later, these were replaced by laptops and then smartphones. Until 2010 – when electric vehicles came into play.
However, the change is not only reflected in the replacement of electronic consumer goods by electric vehicles as the biggest source of demand, but also in the cost of batteries: since 2010, these have fallen by more than 80 percent. In addition, the capacity of battery production has increased by a factor of 200 – in just 15 years.
But the lithium-ion battery has not only been around since the 1990s. Instead, we have to go back another 20 years. At the Technical University in Munich, the lithium-ion battery was researched in the 1970s, creating the basis for the development of the lithium battery. This was followed by a change of location and a leap in time: John B. Goodenough and his team at the University of Oxford developed the first fully functional lithium cobalt dioxide battery in the 1980s.
That Goodenough would win a Nobel Prize with his work was probably not clear to him at the time. Today, his technology is regarded as pioneering and revolutionary for society. In 2019, together with Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Yoshino and his colleagues at A&T Battery in Japan achieved industrial implementation in 1985. Global demand for batteries has grown steadily since then. Forecasts show that this will continue to be the case. In the next five years, electric mobility is expected to have made the transition from niche to mass market. A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI predicts a battery demand of 3 to 6 TWh in 2030.
Even though electric mobility today uses the majority of lithium-ion batteries, the battery will continue to be used in other areas. It is still used in numerous mobile devices or in portable power storage devices, like powerbanks. If you think of electricity storage as larger, for example with a view to photovoltaic systems, the lithium battery is also used there to compensate for fluctuations in electricity production.
The possibilities of use are already manifold, the potential of the battery is great. The application in the field of electromobility is one, besides the option to store solar power with batteries. The increase in performance and progress in terms of recycling are among the things that must be in the focus in the future, because nowadays it is impossible to imagine today’s everyday life without this invention.