Enabling a 100 per cent renewable grid

Jan 4, 2022

US company Form Energy is on a mission to create a better world with its latest unveiling – the iron-air battery – which is set to revolutionise the way energy is stored.

The company – consisting of scientists, strategist, developers and engineers – had been flying under the radar for more than a year with this project, but recently announced it had been working on the re-invention and optimisation of the iron-air battery which can store renewables-sourced electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants.

Online outlet Renew Economy dissected the project, explaining: “The battery is made from iron – one of the safest, cheapest, and most abundant materials on Earth, meaning that it can be made more cheaply than lithium-ion batteries, which require a number of expensive rare-earth minerals”.

It continues: “According to Form Energy, when the battery discharges it “breathes” in oxygen from the air and coverts iron metal to rust, and then when charging, the application of an electric current converts the rust back to iron and the battery breathes out oxygen”.

CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy Mateo Jaramillo said in a story by PV Magazine: “With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages.”

He claims it is extremely low-cost, safe and durable. All winners there!

While that’s happening across the ocean, what is Australia’s part in this? Apart from the claims attracting US investors, Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie Capital has also thrown its finances behind it. Given this is new, we’ll keep our eyes on any updates.

The team at 2XE is also on a mission to create a better world, just like Form Energy. We were especially intrigued by this project and look forward to learning more about it and if it can eventually be executed in our country.

Read the Renew Economy and PV Magazine articles here:

  • https://reneweconomy.com.au/iron-air-battery-backed-by-bezos-and-gates-hails-storage-at-fraction-of-cost/
  • https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/08/05/multi-day-iron-air-batteries-reach-commercialization/