Energy storage is critical to the development and implementation of renewable energy technologies for providing base load generation. Conn Center investigates various technologies including batteries and solar fuels for storage at various energy and power scales. The energy storage research and development efforts are currently focused on the following areas:
Advanced battery technology for distributed, grid scale, and solar/wind farms
Conn Center is developing roll-to-roll manufacturing methodologies for cost-effective production of large-scale energy storage for solar/wind farms with 10 MW or higher capacities. This is a non-traditional route for manufacturing various advanced lithium ion-based technologies, such as lithium ion rechargeable, lithium-sulfur, and lithium-air batteries. We are also developing electrode materials, suitable solid-state electrolytes, and roll-to-roll production methods and facilities.
Electrochemical and photoelectrochemical generation of fuels
In this technological route, we are developing methods to convert electricity directly into large quantities of suitable chemicals that can be stored for use as needed either as electricity or heat. Our goal is to make either hydrogen or hydrocarbon-based fuels using water and carbon dioxide as feedstocks. Such technologies can be implemented widely if suitable electrocatalysts can be produced that are durable, require low energy for kinetics, are cost-effective, and involve abundant earth materials.