The startup Form Energy has developed an iron-air battery for the electricity grid, ten times cheaper than a lithium-ion battery and capable of providing energy for around a hundred hours.
The system is based on ain and a water-based electrolyte. During discharge, the battery uses the oxygen present in the to oxidize the iron and thus create . During the recharge cycle, the operation is reversed. The rust is transformed back into iron and the battery releases oxygen. As a rule, iron-air coils operate with a who consumes the produced during the to generate electricity. The firm, miserly in detail, does not indicate whether this is the method adopted here.
A discharge cycle of around one hundred hours
Eachis the size of a , and they are then assembled to achieve sufficient capacities for the . The firm says it can achieve a density of one to three megawatts per acre (4,046 square meters). These batteries are intended to be used in addition to lithium-ion batteries, and can provide their full power for around a hundred hours.
This technology has the advantage of using inexpensive materials that are easy to. The firm gives few technical details on its batteries, but is currently working on a pilot installation in Minnesota scheduled for 2023. It will be able to provide a megawatt for 150 hours, and this will certainly be an opportunity to learn more about the battery. density and recharge cycle of its batteries. One thing is certain, we must not hope for these batteries to supply , not even electric cars.