Planet Earth Weekly

Climate Change and Renewable Energy: Saving Our Planet for Future Generations

The Organic Megaflow Battery

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The megaflow battery would store twice as much energy as a conventional battery.

Working Toward Renewable Energy

“It would store a day’s worth of sunshine from the solar panels on the roof of your house, potentially providing enough to power your household from late afternoon, through the night, into the next morning, without burning any fossil fuels.” Michael Marshak

By Linn Smith

September 3, 2014—What’s new in renewables? It’s not on the market yet, but it’s a metal-free flow battery that stores energy in chemical fluids outside of the battery instead of inside the battery. It can be stored in tanks. This battery, developed by Harvard scientists, can store electricity from solar or wind turbines at a very low cost and the amount of energy stored is only limited by the size of the tanks. To store the energy, the battery uses inexpensive, small organic, naturally occurring, molecules called quinones, which are abundant in green plants. The quinones used by the Harvard team are almost identical to the quinones in rhubarb.

Twice as Much Storage as a Conventional Battery

A team led by Michael Aziz, a physicist at Harvard, administered more than 10,000 charge carrying quinone molecules of a rhubarb like compound and incorporated them into the megaflow battery. Each carbon based molecule holds 2 units of electrical charge, compared to 1 unit in conventional batteries, storing twice as much energy as other batteries. The team showed that the battery works, generates a considerable amount of power and is inexpensive compared to other batteries.

Working towards sustainable future

Quinones are naturally occurring molecules that can store energy.

Using Solar and Wind Energy Night or Day

In a wind turbine field, the tanks could be located underground or above ground or as one of the developers, Michael Marshak of the Harvard team, said, “Imagine a device the size of your furnace sitting in your basement. It would store a day’s worth of sunshine from the solar panels on the roof of your house, potentially providing enough to power your household from late afternoon, through the night, into the next morning, without burning any fossil fuels.”

I like that idea! An idea that furthers our efforts towards saving our planet for future generations!

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Author: Planet Earth Weekly

My goal, as a responsible adult, is to leave a planet that people, plants, and animals can continue to occupy comfortably. I am an educator by profession. While educating myself on Climate Change and Renewable Resources, I hope to share my knowledge and images with those that share my concern. Dr. John J. Hidore is a retired professor from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and I am proud to call him my Uncle. His work has taken him to regions across the globe—including the Middle East, where he conducted research for a year in the Sudan. He has written many books, such as Climatology: An Atmospheric Science and Global Environmental Change.----Linn Smith

One thought on “The Organic Megaflow Battery

  1. I knew Rhubarb had to be good for something. Nice blog. I love hearing about all the possibilities. Thanks Lin for all your research and hard work writing these weekly blogs.

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