Image credit – Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab

Due to the fact that renewable energy sources aren’t always consistent or available (like the sun or the wind), it means that in order to make full use of them, we need to capture the energy they generate and store it in batteries. These batteries are known as flow batteries where the energy capture is stored in a tank of liquid electrolyte.

However, even then, these batteries aren’t necessarily the most efficient at storing energy and they can also be expensive to produce en masse, but thanks to the work of researchers at Berkeley, they have managed to create a battery membrane used in flow batteries that could potentially help make them more cost effective.

These flow batteries already feature the use of a membrane that helps separate the cathode and anode from each other. However, these membranes are usually pretty expensive which prohibits them from being produced on a larger scale, but the work of the researchers could help to change that.

By making these flow batteries cheaper, it could encourage homes to start adopting more sustainable forms of energy and could also ease concerns about natural sources of energy not being reliable. When exactly we will see such more affordable batteries remains to be seen.

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