Molten Salt Battery

Molten Salt batteries are used for electric vehicles and potentially also for grid energy storage, to balance out intermittent renewable power sources such as solar panels and wind turbines.These batteries are used almost exclusively for military applications, notably for guided missiles.

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Detailed Description for Molten Salt Battery


            Molten salt batteries, especially liquid metal batteries, are increasingly gaining interest from the energy community as a grid energy storage solution for renewable energy sources. Combining high energy and power densities, long life times, and low cost materials, they have the potential to meet the unique demands of grid scale energy storage. A molten salt battery is a class of battery that uses a molten salts electrolyte. The components of molten salt batteries are solid at room temperature, allowing them to be stored inactive for long periods time. During activation, the cathode, anode and electrolyte layers separate due to their relative densities and immiscibility. The molten salt layer in the middle serves as an electrolyte with a high ionic conductivity, and is the medium through which the ionic species travel as the battery charges and discharges.




Advantages of Molten Salt Batteries:

                Molten Salt Batteries carry several inherent advantages over their solid state contemporaries. Since some (or all in the case of liquid metal batteries) of the components are liquid, the batteries possess a higher current density, longer cycle life, and simplified manufacturing scheme in large scale applications. Since no membranes or separator systems are involved, cycle life is higher and energy efficiency can be retained over a longer period of time. The grid scale energy storage company Ambri has previously shown that a lead-antimony and lithium liquid metal battery should retain 85 percent of its initial efficiency over a decade of daily charge/discharge cycles.  Since the battery is essentially a container containing 3 liquid phases, construction is as simple as pouring the heavier metal into the bottom, the electrolyte in the middle, and the lighter electrode on top.The major drawback of this design is the high operating temperature required to keep the components in the liquid state. However in a grid scale application these elevated temperatures can easily be maintained using the heat generated during the charge and discharge cycles.


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