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Startup Shows Off Its Cheaper Grid Battery


Startup Sun Catalytix is designing a flow battery for grid energy storage that uses custom materials derived from inexpensive commodity chemicals. It joins dozens of other companies seeking to make a device that can cheaply and reliably provide multiple hours of power to back up intermittent wind and solar power.

The MIT spinoff, which hopes to differentiate itself with a novel chemistry and inexpensive mechanical systems, is testing a small-scale five-kilowatt prototype. It projects that a full-scale system, which it expects to make in 2015 or 2016, will cost under $300 per kilowatt-hour, or less than half as much as the sodium-sulfur batteries now used for multihour grid storage.

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