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Given the intermittent nature renewable energy, battery storage is a critical link in the renewable power system. PolyJoule, a Boston-based energy company, has developed a battery made of plastic – electroconductive polymers. This makes energy storage on the grid both cheaper and more durable.
PolyJoule claims that its batteries are a viable alternative to lithium-ion battery for intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. PolyJoule has produced over 18,000 cells.
PolyJoule claims that their polymer-made batteries are very easy to install, permit, and commission. PolyJoule’s temperature control system is not required, unlike lithium ion batteries. They don’t catch fire or overheat.
“PolyJoule’s batteries are made from conductive polymers. A conductive polymer, an organic-based compound which is not a metallic but can perform like one, is simply what it sounds like,” PolyJoule says. It adds that energy storage must be accessible today and tomorrow.
PolyJoule was created by Ian Hunter and Tim Swager, both Professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They claim that their unique battery can keep charge for a long period of time and is quick to charge. The battery’s power storage capacity is higher and the plastic makes them stronger. This eliminates the problems of swelling and contracting during charging and discharging.
PolyJoule claims its batteries can quickly discharge power up to 1MW in just 10 seconds. This extreme power protection protects against voltage interruption in mission-critical applications. The battery can also be quickly recharged after a discharge in under 5 minutes. This ensures that power and storage are available multiple times per day.
Many people believe the PolyJoule’s initial system might be expensive. They currently charge $65 per kWh storage. However, they believe the industry and power utilities may be interested in their solution as it is significantly lower than the $135/kWh Lithium-ion batteries.