"Basically, our battery lasts forever."

#Technology

Tue, Apr 29th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

Todd Woody reports on the forever battery, an energy storage device created by "old-school technologists" which, while not as efficient as lithium-ion batteries, will not lose its charge over time and can be used indefinitely.

This magic box is called a Vanadium redox flow battery. The heart of a flow battery are two electrolyte solutions — one positive, one negative — contained in separate tanks. When the solutions are pumped through a power cell containing a membrane, a chemical reaction takes place that generates electricity. When the process is reversed, the electrolyte stores energy.

The key component is Vanadium, a naturally occurring element that can exist in positive and negative states, eliminating the contamination and degradation that occurs when two different elements are used to create a chemical reaction. Flow batteries are not as efficient as solid-state lithium-ion batteries. But unlike lithium-ion batteries that lose their capacity over time as they charge and discharge, the non-toxic electrolyte in a vanadium flow battery is endlessly reusable and never loses its efficiency.

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