SBIR Phase II: Development of Hydrogen/Halogen Fuel Cell Technology for Renewables Based Energy Storage

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0848366
Agency Tracking Number: 0740319
Amount: $559,617.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 04-551
Small Business Information
Sustainable Innovations, LLC
114 Harvest Lane, Glastonbury, CT, 06033
DUNS: 795426746
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Trent Molter
 (860) 918-5432
Business Contact
 Trent Molter
Title: PhD
Phone: (860) 918-5432
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop the underlying technology behind a highly efficient energy storage system that can provide reliable, dispatchable power from intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. This technology is based on a novel hydrogen/chlorine chemistry embodied in a regenerative fuel cell architecture that can address MW-scale applications. This project will develop a better scientific understanding of important technological barriers to commercial implementation of this technology including developing an insight into parametric behavior through both experimentation and modeling, improving reactant mass transport at the chlorine electrode, and eliminating parasitic shunt currents in multi-cell module architectures. Sustainable Innovations, LLC, will work with Harvard University to develop an 8-cell, laboratory scale electrochemical module having a round-trip efficiency of over 80% with design features that optimize mass transport and reduce shunt currents and will evaluate the performance of this module through a series of parametric and durability tests. This research will culminate in the development and demonstration of a 100-Watt integrated system and the development of a 135 kW system concept that will serve as a critical building block for future commercialization efforts. Concern about the increasing level of greenhouse gases is intensifying the global interest in better ways to harness renewables such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. Renewable power applications have experienced significant growth as a result of this belief and also technological advancements that have reduced their cost and increased their efficiency. Utility privatization and deregulation have opened the market for innovative power technologies, and some consumers have elected to use renewables even when they are more expensive than grid power. But renewables can't always generate power on demand because they depend upon favorable natural conditions, such as the presence of sunlight or wind. The development of cost effective, efficient energy storage systems that could create dispatchable power from inherently intermittent renewables may enable the widespread use of these technologies. Various technologies, particularly batteries, have been implemented for applications requiring energy storage, but conventional batteries have significant efficiency, cycle life and life cycle cost limitations which reduce the overall cost effectiveness of renewable installations. New technologies, such as hydrogen/halogen regenerative fuel cells with improved efficiency, cycle life and cost are needed to add value and utility to intermittent renewables creating technical and economic drivers for widespread commercial deployment and global electrification.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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