The Liquid Battery Project was initiated by MIT as an attempt to develope a low cost battery with a high lifespan for grid scale energy storage. This new battery will make it easier to adapt renewable technologies into everyday life, making wind and solar power more competitive forms of energy.
These batteries comprise layers of molten material, the varying densities of which cause the layers to separate naturally, much like oil and water. One of the issues that they came across in testing was trying the reduce the operating temperature of the materials. They were able to get the operating temperature down to between 450-500 degrees Celius. Because of this, researchers say it will be easier to design and have a longer life, in addition to a lower overall cost.
In testing, they found that after 10 years of daily charging and discharging, the battery should maintain about 85 percent of its initial efficiency. The team will continue to explore the effects of other metals on the battery system and are hopeful of further reducing its cost and operating temperature and improving overall performance.