California’s energy storage firm BioSolar and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) are to partner for the development of polymer-based supercapacitors.
The partners aim to develop supercapacitors for reducing the cost of storing energy from solar power.
“By integrating BioSuperCap as the front-end to battery banks, fewer batteries can be used, and daytime solar energy can be quickly and cost-effectively stored for night-time use at a substantially lower cost,” said David Lee, CEO of BioSolar.
According to Lee, existing battery technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries, are good for longer-term energy storage, but cannot be charged or discharged rapidly. The goal is to build an efficient solar energy storage system that can be charged and discharged very fast, day in and day out. This will time-shift daytime solar energy for nighttime use with minimal reliance on the power grid.
BioSolar stated that a laboratory prototype has demonstrated stable performance at high energy density and a potential cycle life of 500,000 to 1 billion cycles.
BioSolar co-owns the patent-application for this supercapacitor technology with the UCSB and is funding a sponsored research programme to further its development.
“This potentially game-changing technology will allow users of solar energy systems to reduce their dependence or go completely off the electric utility power grid,” added Lee.