You can seed plenty wind turbines with the $143 billion the U.S. invested in the past decade. Anybody crossing the Great Plains or the Midwest can attest to them spouting like corn on prairie, steppe and grassland. They do things big out there. Now an ambitious inventor called Trung Van Nguyen want to complement them with a semi-truck-size battery.
How a Semi-Truck-Size Battery Will Clinch Things
Speaking to news channel Green Energy Solutions, Nguyen explains “We get a lot of wind at night, more than at daytime, but demand for electricity is lower at night, so, they’re dumping it or they lock up turbines … we’re wasting electricity.
“If we could store this excess at night and sell or deliver it during daytime at peak demand, this would allow wind farm owners to make more money and leverage their investment.
At the same time, you deploy more wind energy and reduce demand for fossil fuels,” so everybody wins.
How Trung Van Nguyen Plans to Radicalize Battery Storage
Nguyen is professor of petroleum & chemical engineering at the University of Kansas, so he should know a thing or two about local conditions. He has been tinkering with the idea of advanced hydrogen-bromine flow batteries the size of semi-trucks since 2010.
Nguyen’s team came up with the ‘simple but novel idea’ of growing carbon nanotubes directly on top of carbon fibers within electrodes. These tiny hairs boost the surface area up to seventy times, creating a remarkable potential density not seen before.
Once the team has cracked the challenge of a suitable catalyst for the hydrogen side of things, they could be good to go with a semi-truck-size battery with one-megawatt capacity. However, there will be a remaining catch. The technology is corrosive with bromine being as harmful to humans as chlorine gas.
They can seal and bury their semi-truck-size battery with confidence in remote rural areas, but nowhere near human habitation. But that’s quite okay with us, because rural is where the large wind farms are sprouting like corn.
Preview Image: Kansas Wind Farm