Do zinc batteries hold the key to hydrogen storage and production?

A German research consortium led by Fraunhofer IZM has set itself the ambitious goal to tackle the green energy storage conundrum through cheap zinc batteries that not only store electrical power but also produce hydrogen.

First tests of its Zn-H2 project promise 50% efficiency when storing power and 80% when producing hydrogen – with an estimated life expectancy of 10 years.

The renewable energy revolution is creating massive challenges for Germany and other countries around the world. One such challenge: The right means to store green power. Renewable sources like wind and solar are becoming more and more affordable and have the potential to one day supply enough power for long periods of time.

But their unpredictable nature means that wind and solar power would always suffer from dunkelflauten, a German term used around the world for those times when the sun does not shine and wind does not blow. These dunkelflauten currently need to be covered by conventional power plants, forcing countries to maintain a complex dual power infrastructure, burn fossil fuels, and hold back the transition to renewables.

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