Feb 9, 2012Science and Technology
New battery could lead to cheaper, more efficient energy storage

A joint research project between the University of Southampton and lithium battery technology company REAPsystems has found that a new type of battery has the potential to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar power. The research project looked specifically into the use of lithium batteries as an energy storage device in photovoltaic systems. Data was collected by connecting a lithium iron phosphate battery to a photovoltaic system attached to one of the University’s buildings, using a specifically designed battery management system supplied by REAPsystems. Dr. Dennis Doerffel, founder of REAPsystems and former researcher at the University of Southampton, says; "For all kinds of energy source (renewable or non-renewable), the energy storage device - such as a battery -- plays an important role in determining the energy utilisation. Compared with traditional lead acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are more efficient, have a longer lifetime, are lighter and cost less per unit. We can see the potential of this battery being used widely in photovoltaic application, and other renewable energy systems.”

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