A consortium of companies from the technology and academic backgrounds is researching how flow batteries can be used in data centres.
The project will research how the technology could usurp lead-acid, lithium-ion or diesel generators as back-up energy sources in data centres.
American technology company Microsoft and Houston-based energy firm NRG Energy have both put $1 million capital investment into the project.
Research will be carried out through a partnership between the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and research and development firm Southwest Research Institute.
Australia-based flow battery firm RedFlow Energy Storage Solutions and Gildemeister (a subsidiary of German manufacturer DMG Mori Aktiengesellschaft) energy solutions have been involved in the project.
Primus Power — a venture capital-backed business that builds liquid batteries for the electric grid based in California — is also involved.
Beyond that, there are potential applications for these batteries — which have fluid inside rather than lithium or lead acid — to be used on the power grid to store energy from renewable sources, like solar or wind.