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Empowering the smart grid: Can redox batteries be matched to renewable energy systems for energy storage?

Halls, Jonathan E.; Hawthornthwaite, Amanda; Hepworth, Russell J.; Roberts, Noel A.; Wright, Kevin J.; Zhou, Yan; Haswell, Stephen J.; Haywood, Stephanie K.; Kelly, Stephen M.; Lawrence, Nathan S.; Wadhawan, Jay D.


Jonathan E. Halls

Amanda Hawthornthwaite

Russell J. Hepworth

Noel A. Roberts

Kevin J. Wright

Yan Zhou

Stephen J. Haswell

Stephanie K. Haywood

Stephen M. Kelly

Nathan S. Lawrence


The charging of an undivided cerium-zinc redox battery by various current waveforms some of which mimic the output of renewable energy (solar, wind, tidal, biofuel burning) to electricity transducers is considered in this work, where the battery operates through diffusion-only conditions, and is discharged galvanostatically. Under reasonable assumption, the mathematical model developed enables the observation that the performance characteristic of the cells charged with a constant power input differentiates between the various current-charge waveforms, with cell geometry and electrode kinetics playing subtle, but significant, roles; in particular, high efficiency is observed for sunlight-charged batteries which are thin and suffer no corrosion of the sacrificial electrode, and which have already experienced a charge-discharge cycle. The performance characteristics of the systems are interpreted in the light of consequences for smart grid realisation, and indicate that, for a constant power input, the most matched renewable is biofuel burning with a current output that linearly increases with time.


Halls, J. E., Hawthornthwaite, A., Hepworth, R. J., Roberts, N. A., Wright, K. J., Zhou, Y., …Wadhawan, J. D. (2013). Empowering the smart grid: Can redox batteries be matched to renewable energy systems for energy storage?. Energy & environmental science, 6(3), 1026-1041.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2013
Publication Date Mar 1, 2013
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Energy & Environmental Science
Print ISSN 1754-5692
Electronic ISSN 1754-5706
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 1026-1041
Keywords Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Nuclear Energy and Engineering; Pollution; Environmental Chemistry
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract