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Final report RSE 17001217

Project ACCUMULO: Energy storage materials and technologies for the electric system. Synthesis Report of 2016

The report describes activities and results of the research covering the development of electro-chemical small and medium size storage systems and large storage systems able to provide flexibility services to power network.

The report describes activities and results of the research covering the development of electro-chemical small and medium size storage systems and large storage systems able to provide flexibility services to power network.

The activities on electro-chemical storage systems aims to improve materials of electrodes and electrolyte and to define new technology designs.

One activity concerns the realization of a new mono-cell configuration for a sodium/nichel chloride high temperature (about 300°C) battery with planar geometry and the study and development of a new solid electrolyte with ionic conduction properties (β” alumina). In particular, the planar mono-cell has been operated with charge and discharge cycles to test seal solutions, after implementing a procedure for the first charge of electrode materials at solid state in a single compartment. It was also improved the sintering of the β” alumina with a new method, the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS).

A second activity concerns the development of a Sodium ion battery (NIB) with anode based on materials, called MXeni, with a 2D crystalline structure similar to Graphene, made by the chemical exfoliation of ternary carbides and nitrides of metals (eg, Al, Ti, etc) belonging to the family of MAXphases. In particular, the activities have been focused on improving sintering processes with SPS to produce MAX-phases and grinding and exfoliation to obtain MXene, tested as anode in coin cells with metal sodium as cathode, to measure their capability of intercalation of Na+, on an extended range of charge-recharge rates.

The third activity concerns the liquid-metal batteries for stationary use. International studies on this topic has been investigated. Some critical aspects have been highlighted, such as thermal and magnetohydrodynamics instability that can affect the scale-up of this technology. Moreover costs and resources have been evaluated to realize and operate a research laboratory able to test liquid-metals.

The last activity on electro-chemical storage systems concerns testing procedures and tests on modules and cells of commercial batteries, in order to estimate lifetime and ageing trend of batteries. A test procedure was developed, intended to be adaptable to different systems in sizes and characteristics. The experimental activity behind the procedure, started in 2014 and has been carried out till this year on three lithium-ion NMC cells, 3.7 V – 40 Ah each one, cycled in different working conditions. Test results confirmed the temperature influence on cell aging rate and allowed to detect a relationship between the SOH trend of the cells and temperature.

The activity on large storage systems is also aiming at their technological development. In particular it has been investigated, by means of numerical simulations, the process of extraction and storage of natural gas in deep geological reservoirs, in order to measure the capability of operating with over pressure (compared with the reservoir discovery pressure) to increase storage volume. More precisely, a simulation model has been developed, based on the Geo-Modelling Analysis Integrated System (GeoSIAM) and used to simulate 1 and 12 thermal seasons of a real reservoir located in Lombardia region. A 3D fluid dynamic model has been developed to simulate scenarios of a typical production and storage cycle of natural gas at a full scale, to investigate the safety problems connected with pressure variation inducted by the operating processes.

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