“Solar Flow Battery” Soaks up Sunlight and Stores It as Energy for On-Demand Use

by | Dec 7, 2018 | Headline News | 49 comments

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    This article was originally published by Edsel Cook at Natural News

    A joint effort between American and Saudi Arabian researchers produced a gadget that combines the functions of a battery and a solar cell. They reported that their “solar flow battery” can absorb sunlight, convert it into chemical energy, and hold the energy until there is need for it.

    The Science Daily article explained that the dual-purpose battery can one day provide a steady and reliable source of electrical power to isolated areas. Not only will it provide a clean source of electricity, it can also provide power when there is no sunlight.

    Solar energy is a renewable source of clean energy. The latest technological advancements have made it an affordable, efficient, and popular choice for powering increasingly large locations.

    However, solar power has one big disadvantage: It needs a steady source of strong light to turn into electricity. That means sunlight, for the most part.

    A day only lasts for so long. Daylight hours can also get longer or shorter depending on the area. And depending on the weather and atmospheric conditions, the sunlight could also be less intense. (Related: Next-gen solar cells use bacteria that convert light into energy.)

    No more need for a separate solar cell and battery

    Many researchers have been working on overcoming this drawback of solar energy. Their solution is to combine a solar power generator with an energy storage system.

    The high-capacity storage system will gather excess electricity produced during times of low demand. It will release its stored energy during the times when there is no sunlight available.

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    Most combinations use separate solar cells and batteries. A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) successfully integrated their solar energy converter and electrochemical energy storage device into a single system.

    UWM researcher Song Jin stated that a dual-purpose device can be built smaller and more cheaply than two separate systems. It would also be easier to mass produce or scale up. Finally, it would be more efficient and cost-effective.

    Jin believed that his team’s solar flow battery could increase the availability of electricity in rural areas. It would also provide an alternate source of power if the electrical grid goes down. The net result is to free people from traditional sources of energy.

    One day, the solar flow battery will free people from the electric grid

    The integrated solar flow battery developed by UWM-KAUST can operate in three different ways. Its first mode is similar to a solar cell. It turns incoming sunlight into electricity that can immediately be used.

    The second mode combines power generation with energy storage. The battery can convert solar power into chemical energy for easy storage. When the sun sinks beneath the horizon or disappears behind cloud cover, the device releases the stored energy.

    In its third mode of operation, the solar flow battery can be plugged into a non-solar power source. This allows it to be charged like an ordinary battery.

    Jin stated that the latest model of his team’s integrated device is currently the most efficient one in the world with plenty of room for improvement. It is very expensive, but the production cost could be reduced by simplifying the design, using more commonly-available materials, and leveraging newer solar power technologies.

    A future commercial version could be deployed to rural areas. A solar flow battery could either work solo or hook up to a network of similar devices. Both set-ups would provide electricity that is not reliant on existing power grids.

    Learn more about the latest innovations in solar power technology at SolarPanels.news.

    Sources include:




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      1. I’m in the process of building my 10.6 kW solar system. The most expensive and least reliable part is the batteries.
        The author REALLY understates the cost of the Vanadium redox flow batteries for the system he describes. These batteries aren’t even produced at industrial levels yet.
        I’m looking at FLA or LiFePo4 batteries and the costs are substantial($8,000 or more)every 8-10 years.
        If they think the world is going to go solar, someone had better come up with a better and cheaper battery.

        • Edison cells need to make a comeback. Lose maybe 1% capacity per year. You have to charge them at 1.85 times their actual output value (if i recall) which would require a unique charger setup.

          A PHD is looking into a near pure iron water battery for DIY as open source project…

          good luck to you.

          • boyo, are you refering to the edison nickel/iron batteries? I looked into those for a friend who was thinking about them and damn man, high cost, 3 times the footprint of regular batteries, not maintenence free, true you can discharge them deeper but for the amp hour vs. cost vs. space you could buy several sets of lead acid batteries. If I was going to do unconventional batteries I would get lithium.

            • Gen,
              I looked at the Edison nickel/iron batteries.
              Shipping is a biggie with me.
              It pisses me off but that is driving my purchase decision.
              I need a battery bank that can deliver 9.6 kW @ 24VDC 20 hour rate.

              I can get 3 ea Simpliphi LiFePo for a total of 10.2 kW locally for $1 per Watt. 10 year warranty. No maintenance.

              I can get 16 ea FLA L16 Rolls/Surrette for a total of 9.6kW @ .25 discharge for $0.64 per watt before shipping. 7 year warranty.
              Requires maintenance

              I can get 20 ea NiFe batteries totaling 9.6 kW for $1.04 per Watt before shipping. 10 year warranty. Requires maintenance.

              Pretty easy decision at this point. LiFePo4.
              There are downsides to all three types of batteries and some upsides. but it all breaks down to LTL shipping of a pallet
              (or two) load of HAZMAT is very pricey.
              Were I on the mainland I’d go with the NiFe.

              • relik, ya that sounds like the right choice. I keep forgetting that shipping is huge for you. 9.6kW? Damn man you must run some serious stuff! But then I know you do farm work so welders etc. Good luck, let me know how it works for you. Always want to know about offgrid tech. I figure I will need one more set of batteries in my lifetime so……

                • “I figure I will need one more set of batteries in my lifetime so……”

                  Actually,keep drinking paint thinner and you won’t!

                  I always saw the storage as the downside to solar electricity,do believe that the tech is being withheld to a degree,and before you scoff tis exactly what was happening till forced by a court in the 70’s in regard to a solar panel design,me uncle was one of the first to buy when released.I see the need for small solar,a lot more interested in building solar heat as the new england seasons and all,a lot more progress there,especially in the do it your self end.Builditsolar is a great start for folks getting interested in home made stuff/savings ect.

                  • AAAAH Tis my nemisis, the Jack Daniels Gasoline
                    /diesel mix drinker! Bout time you came out of the closet! Good to see you again! Be sure to get the mothballs out of yer pockets. By the way…. have you ever smelled mothballs?

                    What did you do, hold them by the wings?
                    ARRRR yer a good man matey! (and you will regret talking shit about me whiskey!)

                    Oh and yes! Solar tech is being waaaay suppressed by the ptb. They sure as hell don’t want ANYONE being self sufficient. In fact I’m pretty sure tesla had free energy. We will never know as all new tech for the most part, is stolen by tbtb and shelved.

                    • Genius,has been over 4 years since I have had a drink,the Jack is 4 bottles for when it all ends.In one year me dad and 8 friends died,all different causes but the results the same.I didn’t stop drinking on death #4 would have added Warchild to the list of dead,was drinking that hard so depressed and had no idea the ride was just in the early stages.Me best friend of 30 years told me I will drink again when I am happy,till then I won’t.I replied what if I am never happy again,to which she said I will find another crazy blonde woman that will make me smile!So,till then you will have to deal with me razor sharp intellect!I was planning to make it down south and meet up with Eppe for a week or so of fun,me guess from our phone conversations ect.felt I would have had fun and thus partied a bit.I will perhaps hit the road this summer,maybe hit your old tool shed with trap door,feel at that point a few cold ones would be in order(from a store of course!).

                      I would say some home made garden gnomes of a defensive nature and building em could be a interesting project1

                    • Well me lad, head west and pay a visit then. Lot’s of treasure to be found here. And I don’t make beer (good for you lol). But whats at the store is weak. Me trap door shelter caved in. Made of wood and couldn’t stand the pressure. Ah but I have other places. I have tea and juices if ya don’t want a beer. But one condition…. you must inscribe yer mark in the deck of doom! The gnomes of doom are calling! 😛

                    • Queen of Light took her bow
                      And then she turned to go,
                      The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom
                      And walked the night alone.
                      Oh, dance in the dark of night,
                      Sing to the morning light.
                      The dark Lord rides in force tonight
                      And time will tell us all.
                      Oh, throw down your plow and hoe,
                      Rest not to lock your homes.
                      Side by side we wait the might
                      Of the darkest of them all.
                      I hear the horses’ thunder
                      Down in the valley blow,
                      I’m waiting for the angels of Avalon,
                      Waiting for the eastern glow.
                      The apples of the valley hold,
                      The seas of happiness,
                      The ground is rich from tender care,
                      Repay, do not forget, no, no.
                      Oh, dance in the dark of night,
                      Sing to the morning light.
                      The apples turn to brown and black, the tyrant’s face is red.
                      Oh the war is common cry, pick up you swords and fly.
                      The sky is filled with good and bad
                      That mortals never know.
                      Oh, well, the night is long, the beads of time pass slow,
                      Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow.
                      The pain of war cannot exceed
                      The woe of aftermath,
                      The drums will shake the castle wall,
                      The ring wraiths ride in black, ride on.
                      Sing as you raise your bow,
                      Shoot straighter than before.
                      No comfort has the fire at night
                      That lights the face so cold.
                      Oh dance in the dark of night,
                      Sing to the mornin’ light.
                      The magic runes are writ in gold
                      To bring the balance back, bring it back.
                      At last the sun is shining, the clouds of blue roll by,
                      With flames from the dragon of darkness
                      The sunlight blinds his eyes.

            • Yes I was. I looked em up and yes high cost. I made one years ago as a pet project to see if I could. Damn impressed by it. Beat the daylights out of it. Absolutely maintainable.

              I dont like lithium because of possible failure down to individual cells. Ive had some luck reconditioning. Some. Typical DIYers solder all their cells directly in banks (more solder heat the more possibility of failure ). I would solder once to a lead to allow for desoldering/resoldering and minimal repeated heat transfer if I DIYed them. Great energy density but a real possible headache once dentrites (internal shorting stalagmites/stalactites) form.

              If I wanted a battery bank, I’d probably build my own, edisons, and bury in a root cellar setup. more stable temp (which they don’t need, and no loss of house/shed space). I have looked into the solar cell seconds for DIY panels.

              In SHTF, there’s a sh1t ton of panels people will barter for off their houses. The reason they’ll be worthless to a homeowner is they won’t work if the grid goes down because they feed the grid, not the house directly (We’re talking Solar City and the other scams) So many people are S.O.L. if theirs a blackout and sunny day and there are undedicated panels on the their roof.

              • “there’s” – I’m getting dumber n dumber because of spell check….

        • Salt water batteries are coming. Currently in use industrially. They should drop the cost considerably and then there are various “super capacitors” on the horizon. 🙂

        • All very good points. The other thing is that if you ever went off the grid you would have to have a lot of money (or something else of value), put away to replace all this “green” technology when it wears out or breaks down. And all this “green” technology still requires oil to make it. What happens when the oil runs out? They haven’t fixed either of these two problems yet.

        • What’s with all the shitty music in the comments section?

        • US Nuclear Target Map. Do You Live in The Danger Zone?

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          Even if you live in a small town or rural area… don’t think you are safe. Not all strategic targets are in heavily populated areas.

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        • In 2013 I installed a 9KW solar array with 6 volt L16 FLA batteries in 48VDC configurations into dual phased 120 vac inverters for 12KW @ 240VAC. Hindsight says it was not the best design as losing one battery puts me below inverter input voltage needs. Do-over would use 24 x 2VDC single cells for similar capacity. Indeed, 26 each bank would be even better as it would allow losing two cells off each bank while remaining within inverter tolerances. The 2V cell design would cost about 5% more but would result in higher extended integrity. Added bonus is it costs one third as much ($1000 vs $3000) to add the auto electrolyte recycling system which reduces maintenace and improves longevity.

        • There is an alternative that by its simplicity, could and will render the actual solar production systems inefficient by comparison. And, as I said it is simple enough that anyone with a few knowledge of mechanics and electricity can maintain it and use it on demand without the need of batteries. Oh, and it can be berried in a bunker. I will soon make my first design of this concept available to everyone. As soon as I have my site ready, I will inform you guys so that you can judge by yourself if it´s up to what I am claiming.
          Greetings of a fellow prepper from a bad place to have new ideas about sustainable and distributed energy production: Portugal

      2. Hurry up
        It will be needed SOON!

      3. As a reply to Relic above…

        Check out pulsetech.com…they market a variety of products that – astonishingly – DO work to either prevent sulphation in AGM batteries. One genre is a dedicated recovery unit, another is designed to coexist with your inverter and the third is one supplied with it’s own solar panel that is intended to operate whenever there is sunshine available to maintain your $$$ batteries.
        The principle they’re employing here is unique to my knowledge: a 30 volt millisecond is sent through your battery at a rate of about 28 kHz and it appears that this acts to fracture the crystalline Lead Suphate (II) crystals which are the root cause of battery death. They have been employing this technique successfully for the military for quite a while and are now direct marketing this tech to the civilian sector as well.
        Anecdotally, I picked up their 12 tap, 12 volt Readipulse unit and hooked it up to some 12 volt ARM’s that someone else had disposed of. The upshot? The Readipulse is marketed as a good battery maintainer, yet after a few months of 24/7 operation on the dead cells – all of whom began the process at less than 7 volts – eleven of the twelve came back above 13 volts…and subsequently HELD at or near that level!
        Pulse Tech DOES market actual high speed rejuvenated BUT the limiting factor is price, ranging into the several thousands of dollars, quite out of range for most individuals obviously. However, if you have the patience to wait it out the Readipulse will do the job, albeit much, much more slowly.
        Finally, the Readipulse I’ve referred to is a power-sipper, using roughly what a couple of nightlights draw roughly.


      4. When Boeing, Caterpillar, and so on left the USA to do business in China, Mexico, India and so forth; we lost the secrets, patents, and so forth and so on.



        • Just an FYI…. Old slowhand “eric clapton” and dopehead “greg almann” have their faces used as toilet paper for David Gilmore. Wipe yer ass with those clowns Dave!


          • Genius,
            Perfect timing.
            Thanks for the Floyd.

              • Thanks, Pink Floyd is one of the most talented bands ever!

          • Took me right back to a Floyd concert I attended back in the 90s. Went with friends and we brought our kids. My son was thoroughly wowed although he did comment about his head/ears ringing for a few days. LOL

            I need to do something fun like this again.

      5. So what is the useful lifespan before it fails and needs to be replaced?

      6. I’ve often thought about making my own batteries. Maybe 5 gallon fish tanks with lead sheets suspended. You could pull them out and brush them off . And if you scored the sheets or molded for more surface area. But then cleaning would be harder. 6 tanks for one 12 volt battery. Maybe 5 gallon plastic gas cans with the top cut wide open square. Maybe a cheap way to make a low efficiency but long lasting battery?

      7. If anyone can find information on the. Hercules Fountain , It’s a water weight induced air pressure pump. Building a large one ,you just add a water wheel.

      8. 432 hertz is the natural sound which resonates with our biological and physiological existence and that of the universe.

        In 1934 the musical instruments were changed and now they resonate at 340 hertz which is unnatural.

        Tesla said the secret of the universe is energy and frequency, and the numbers 3-6-9. The 432 hertz and 3-6-9 are related.


        In other news:

        We are under attack. The fires in California are being caused by DEW Directed Energy Weapons according to witnesses and verified by California firefighters whom say that they never saw anything like this before. According to Captain John Lord with nearly 30 years experience, he has come to the decision that the fires are being caused by lasers from the sky.

        In other places the reason for the fires has been determined to be China. Why? Food.

        Butte County exports to 60 Countries including China.
        The houses were burned but not yet the agricultural parts.
        This is a landgrab for food for China.

        Uninsured farmers are deserting there properties, being refused to return to their properties. China is positioned to step in and purchase the richest farmland in the world. The soil is the highest A1 quality.

        California is the agricultural center of the USA providing MORE than HALF of the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and a Fifth or 20% of all dairy as well as cattle for beef.

        You want to starve?

        China does not care about you. The Globalists do not either. They have picked China to be the new super power.

        First they weakened us with immigration, high taxes, and NAFTA, and decimated our manufacturing base. Now it is an actual physical war using fire and DEW Directed Energy Weapons.

        Stay tuned. And pray.


        • Oohhh Kaaayy… Time to increase the dosage it seems.

        • No:

          I don’t take meds.

          And Captain John Lord, very well respected fire captain, is on video on YouTube.

          Go watch his interview by a plain truth.

          Not my ideas.


        • Personally, I believe that the People’s Republic of Kaifornia provides much, much, more than 20% of the fruits & nuts.

          Just saying. 🙂

        • BFCA, I have read that too. I think you mean modern music is 440hz. Standard tuning on a guitar is 440. There are some vids on you tube with songs played in 432hz.

        • Last year’s fires in Northern CA, many people – myself included – saw blue flashes of light around 8:00 pm on Sunday evening, October 8. The crazy fires were raging shortly thereafter.

          I thought the blue flashes were “heat lightening” and remarked about it when I saw it.

          Recently, a local Chico reporter interviewing a woman about the Camp fire shut her down when she was commenting on the blue flashes she saw around the property where the fire was supposed to have started. Probably just another coincidence theory.

          Lasers are not at all far fetched. Could be a form of terrorism or could be part of Agenda 30 or whatever, but the fires were probably not happenstance. These fires were so hot they consumed granite and marble countertops. Go figure.

      9. How innovative. What is it? A solar cell screwed to the top of a battery and encased? Right now it seems any worthwhile solar system is for people that have a lot of money to save a little money.

        It is not feasible for most. A different approach is required. Perhaps including the devices that use the electricity.

        Now, im ok with a small system for really basic stuff for shtf that doesn’t break the bank to see a $50 decrease in next months bill.

        • Don’t think I worded that last sentence right meant I’m not outlawing 1000s to see a 50 monthly we decrease.

      10. Genius, I know for sure that you’re an old man who is struggling to remain in his prime! But you’re fighting a losing battle. No solar flare power is going to regenerate you back to your former youth… Accept your old age decline Mr Genius of the incontinence pad and get right with the light before its too late… Only The Lord Jesus Christ can save you friend. Piss in peace Genius ; )

      11. For small scale electronics, the future is likely urine based fuel cells like this one for military applications.


        There is a lot of research dollars being invested.

        You might look up experiments being done in reconditioning batteries chemically as well because some hobbyists are having luck.

      12. “This image shows a new integrated solar flow battery with a 14.1 percent efficiency.”

        Solar cells and batteries, etc, with high efficiency are reportedly blocked from the patenting process, at national level. So, rebellious inventors have crossposted schematics, where everyone can see.

        I don’t know what happens, if they apply at the globalist level, but the process appears much simpler. You would presumably spice-up the application, with language that panders to their value system.

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