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Energy Solutions

Schaeffler industrializes organic electricity storage

Organic flow batteries made from unlimited renewable raw materials are considered as an important contribution to the energy transition. The automotive supplier Schaeffler plans to produce them on an industrial scale starting in 2021.

19 Dec. 2018
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Schaeffler industrializes organic electricity storage (Photo: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG / CMBlu)

The organic flow batteries were designed by the storage specialist CMBlu from Alzenau in northern Bavaria in cooperation with research groups at several German universities. The large-scale energy storage systems are currently in the prototype phase after five years of development. They are intended to contribute to the energy transition and the decentralized energy supply of industry, for example as a buffer or for smoothing out load peaks. The planned large storage facilities will be industrialized in cooperation with the automotive supplier Schaeffler from Herzogenaurach.

Although the batteries operate on the same principle as conventional models with redox flow technology, they use organic molecules from lignin for storage. As this is a plant-based raw material that is available on a large scale as a by-product of pulp and paper production, it enables cost-effective production and independence from the import of rare earth metals and heavy metals.

The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) has been working on the DC Industry project since the end of 2017. It is intended to help industrial production throughout Germany increase energy flexibility and energy efficiency by introducing DC voltage grids.

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