SGL Group – The Carbon Company – and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N) in Singapore (NTU) signed an agreement to develop new carbon and graphite materials for more efficient use in stationary redox flow batteries. The batteries will be optimized for use in sub-tropical climates and have high cycle stability. In this cooperative alliance, the carbon fiber-based electrode materials and graphite-based bipolar plates will be further developed and tested in the system. The application behavior of the components will be further optimized with the aid of modeling.
Dr Gerd Wingefeld, Chief Technology Officer of SGL Group, said: “With this new cooperation in developing the next generation of redox flow batteries, we are continuing the internationalization of our R&D activities in Asia. In this, we are relying on the scientific excellence of our partner, the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.”
NTU Chief of Staff, Professor Lam Khin Yong, said the research synergy which NTU has with SGL Group will result in the creation of better and longer-lasting batteries, which will help to drive down costs of energy storage and contribute to the effective utilisation of renewable energy.
“NTU has a long history of working with industry partners to come up with innovative solutions for real world problems,” said Prof Lam. “Our strengths in nanomaterials, green chemistry, and in-depth research into grid scale energy storage will support the development of next generation redox flow batteries which are essential to address the intermittency and grid stabilisation issues of renewable energy.”
Redox flow batteries are large stationary electrical storage devices with very good cyclelife. This means they are suitable for storing electricity generated by solar and wind energy, so making renewable energy continuously available. They are also easily scalable and therefore excellently suited for use in autonomous systems. Drawing on its wide material portfolio, SGL Group supplies two core elements for these promising energy storage systems. Battery felts made from carbon fibers are used as an electrode material to enable efficient charging and discharging. Bipolar plates produced from expanded natural graphite are used as separator plates to ensure low internal electrical resistance and compact stacking.