Study Demonstrates a Better way to Store Renewable Energy

Wind farms are a common source of renewable energy that needs to be stored.
Submitted

Wind farms are a common source of renewable energy that needs to be stored.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In an effort to find better ways to store renewable energy, physicists at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with a scientist at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, have shown that antiferroelectrics can provide high energy density. The findings may lead to storage devices that improve the efficiency of wind and solar power.

Because the production of renewable electricity may fluctuate from second to second, any device designed to store it must cope with constantly changing loads and still achieve high energy density relative to size. Batteries, supercapacitors and other technologies that can achieve high densities typically cannot react quickly enough to changing conditions. Traditional electrostatic capacitors can react quickly, but can’t hold enough energy for large-scale use.

U of A researchers Bin Xu, a research associate in the Department of Physics, and Laurent Bellaiche, Distinguished Professor of physics, along with Jorge Íñiguez at LIST, showed that antiferroelectrics may be able to achieve both goals. They published their findings in May in the journal Nature Communications.

Antiferroelectrics are materials in which adjacent dipoles – positive and negative charge centers separated by a very small space – are ordered in opposite direction of one another. Ferroelectric materials, by contrast, have adjacent dipoles ordered in the same direction.

Antiferroelectrics become ferroelectric with the application of a high enough electric field. By exploiting this characteristic, researchers predicted that high energy density and efficiency can be achieved in antiferroelectrics, in particular with the rare-earth substituted bismuth ferrite material used in this study. The paper explored improving the storage performance with further manipulation of the electric field. They were also able to create a model that explains the connection between energy density and the electric field, which points toward further research in the future.

Contacts

Bin Xu, research associate
Department of Physics
479-575-2506, binxu@uark.edu

Headlines

U of A to Dedicate NPHC Gardens Before Homecoming Game Oct. 16

The National Pan-Hellenic Council Gardens will soon be dedicated, providing an outdoor location for underrepresented Greek organizations and others to enjoy.

NSF Awards $256,000 to Study Effects of Climate Change on Arctic Watersheds

The study will quantify changes in Arctic sediment production, transport and deposition due to climate change, and inform First Nation (Gwich’in) community planning.

Multiple Events Scheduled Leading Up to Hogs' First Football Game With UAPB

Before Arkansas and UAPB face off on the football field for the first time Oct. 23, fans, alumni, friends and representaives from both schools will unite in central Arkansas.

Bodenhamer Alumna Brazle Wins National German Teaching Award

Megan Brazle, who majored in German, international relations and European studies, is now a German teacher at Springdale High and will be honored with the 2021 Checkpoint Charlie Foundation Award.

Honors Student Jimmy Donlon to Serve as Chancellor for the Day

Honors College Fellow Jimmy Donlon, a marketing and management major from Memphis, Tennessee, will have the opportunity to serve as chancellor for the day on Monday.

News Daily