Microflow batteries the future for electric cars

A micro-flow battery developed by Eden Research and Development

An Edenglass nanoparticle emerging from metallic oxide glass

July 2013

Eden Research and Development, an unlisted public company, has taken residency at MCN to develop a number of energy-related inventions. The first device built at MCN is a micro-battery using self-assembling nanocapacitors derived from proprietary metallic oxide glass with potential application as an electric car battery (or other energy storage applications) due to its size, safety and low cost profile.

The Eden micro-battery is believed to be the world’s first microfluidics battery using a miniaturised electrolyte (vanadium) flow battery design. In a flow battery, the electrolytes are charged and discharged in a cycle that is repeated thousands of times. The benefit of flow batteries is that they can be discharged down to zero charge at every cycle without suffering damage.

The overall construction of the chip was made on the MCN Eden 260 3D printer using a special transparent epoxy acrylate resin. The micro-battery uses a third electrolyte stream containing nanocapacitors instead of an ion permeable membrane that is normally used in vanadium flow batteries, which results in a substantial increase in both power and energy density.

An advantage of this micro-flow battery in an electric car will be that it can be recharged from the recovered energy of the moving car, minimising the recharge time required for the vehicle. The method used to collect and store this energy comes from a vitreous catalyst constructed from nanoparticles. These particles are nano sized capacitors, which are understood to attract charged ions, store them in its surface skin and be available on demand. The flow of ions in the cycles triggers the nano capacitors to release the ions and contribute to the current.

Eden’s Technical Director, Dr. Ross Mack said “We are very grateful to MCN for their assistance to date. The tools and instruments available at MCN are excellent, the staff are highly qualified and the Victorian Government is to be congratulated for having the vision to create the centre.”

For more information, visit www.edenbdm.com

NB: The material for this case study has been provided by Eden Research and Development. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information that is provided, the MCN assumes no responsibility in relation to the interpretation or use of this information.