Energy Storage and Energy Conversion with Liquid Metals
Elektrochemical cells with liquid metal electrodes are used to measure thermochemical properties (activities) for many years. New applications include energy storage (liquid metal batteries) and energy conversion (AMTEC). The advantages of liquid metals lie in the simple construction of such cells, fast kinetics at the interfaces as well as long lifetime and high cycle numbers of the electrodes.
Research Topics and Exeriments
Liquid Metal Batteries
Liquid metal batteries, i.e. batteries in which both electrodes as well as the electrolyte are in the liquid state, are a very promising concept for economic storage. If abundant and cheap active materials can be used in large cells, the predicted total costs per unit stored energy are low and quite competitive.
Our battery lab enables the electrochemical investigation of liquid metal electrodes and molten salt electrolytes.
For experiments, small cells are build and tested under argon atmosphere in the glove box.
Instabilities in Liquid Metal Batteries
Fluid flows in liquid metal batteries influence their efficiency, but also their safe operation crucially.
Experiments with Liquid Metal Battery Cells
In the battery laboratory, different types of cells and different chemistries are tested. Activities, efficiencies and corrosive properties are examined.
Experimental Investigation of Orbitally Excited Interfacial Waves in Two- and Three-Layer Systems
Interfacial instabilities have a leading role in the wide field of Magnetohydrodynamics. This instability is driven by a complex interaction of strong currents with external magnetic fields.
AMTEC-D – Alkali-Metal-Thermo-Electric-Converter - Type Dresden
Direct energy conversion of heat to electric power with Alkali-Metal-Thermo-Electric-Converters (AMTEC) helps to increase resource efficiency and offers various flexible applications. We develop an alternative AMTEC based on liquid metal electrodes to improve life time and performance.
Mass transfer in liquid metal batteries
Mass transfer substantially determines the cell voltage of liquid metal batteries.
Most battery development so far responded to the needs of mobile applications. Such use cases require optimisation for energy density and power capability. Stationary storage prioritises different criteria: long life time and low cost. SOLSTICE has not only the ambition, but also the potential to meet this target.