Pioneering redox flow battery to operate salt caverns as electricity storage facilities

German utility EWE recently announced its “brine4power” project to convert an old salt mine into an energy storage system. With the caves’ volume of 3.5 million cubic feet, the battery will have a capacity of up to 700MWh at an output of 120MW, which today would make it the largest battery on Earth. However, by the end of 2023 when the cavern battery is anticipated to be fully operational, EWE’s project likely to compete with other companies for this title.

The project is a collaboration between EWE and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and will employ the redox flow technology to store energy as liquid electrolytes. Unlike the environmentally polluting salts of heavy metals used before as electrolytes, this project’s battery will use “electrolytes based on recyclable polymers dissolved in salt water” developed by the University in Jena.

Peter Schmidt, managing director of EWE subsidiary EWE GASSPEICHER, which will lead the project, said in a statement that if the project is successful, it could “fundamentally change the storage market.”

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Image credit: EWE Group 

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