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New NaS Battery Could Store Wind Power for the Grid

Biggest drawback is cost at $2,500USD per kilowatt, about 10% above cost of coal fired plant.

Published: 07-Jul-2007

Batteries have long been vital to laptops and cellphones. They are increasingly supplying electricity to an unlikely recipient: the power grid itself.

Until recently, large amounts of electricity could not be efficiently stored. Thus, when you turn on the living-room light, power is instantly drawn from a generator.

A new type of a room-size battery, however, may be poised to store energy for the nation's vast electric grid almost as easily as a reservoir stockpiles water, transforming the way power is delivered to homes and businesses. Compared with other utility-scale batteries plagued by limited life spans or unwieldy bulk, the sodium-sulfur battery is compact, long-lasting and efficient.

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