A new kind of redox flow battery has been invented by researchers at the University of Cincinnati that could revolutionize energy storage. As a large-scale battery solution, its primary use cases are found in wind and solar farming constructs, though later batteries could be used as backup power for data centers and other server hubs. Here are what these batteries are and how they could benefit us in the future.
How Redox Flow Works
Redox flow batteries have been around since the 1980s, though they were made with other materials such as iron, polysulfide-bromide, and vanadium. This new innovation is a lithium-based redox flow battery that is more efficient for large-scale energy storage and then releasing it, balancing power generation and consumption.
Future improved redox flow batteries could make server rooms more efficient. At present, data centers are prominent in iGaming where large websites host hundreds of slot games. They need secure, reliable servers to house user data and financial information, with Paddy Power online casino gambling being facilitated through their own private data centers. The same is true for many other websites and online services in the gaming industry. Those centers could become more cost-efficient by leveraging redox flow technology further down the line.
Redox flow can be independently scaled, last longer, and create less waste product in the meantime, making them more efficient than lithium-ion batteries.
Redox Flow Innovation
This is where the University of Cincinnati comes in, where researchers have developed a lithium-based redox flow battery that enhances much of the technology’s beneficial properties. Their primary focus was redox flow application to wind and solar, which are liable to overproduce and underproduce according to the weather. Overproduction results in the duck curve, explained by the Office of Energy Efficiency, impacting the efficiency and viability of natural power.
The lithium-based device became workable with a simple and very thrifty alteration. By removing the costly barrier membrane that keeps the positive and negative hemispheres of the battery apart, its energy density and voltage output increased to make it economically viable.
Researcher Soumalya Sinha said: “This design significantly decreases material costs” while project lead Dr. Jimmy Jiang hopes for a revolution in battery design that will shape the coming decades. Jiang and the team have submitted patent applications to make this development official.
Data centers are used to host every website and online service in tech industries. However, their role in gaming has expanded in recent years due to cloud computing. Services like GeForce Now or the now-defunct Google Stadia used cloud computing to stream games from data centers to consumer devices. They allowed gamers to play games they didn’t physically own and also acted as a form of backward compatibility by offering older titles.
However, more gaming innovations are coming thanks to cloud-native technology, which Amazon Web Services explains in more detail. The most prominent developer here is Ubisoft, whose Scalar project aims to use data centers to support world and asset simulation in games, even single-player ones. Put simply, your device does what it can but a hefty amount of processing power is also done by these centers, then pieced together on your system – data centers will become part of your console.
This would allow developers to leapfrog over hardware limitations since assets can be hosted and processed by nearby data centers instead. That means rendering detail or map sizes that are much bigger than current hardware can handle, opening up an exciting prospect of vast, detailed world simulation. Of course, this necessitates a stable connection to those servers to even access the game.
If used for data centers, primarily as backup power sources, they can help balance the power supply to server rooms and avoid outages. Large lithium-ion batteries are already used as backups in many server rooms. Swapping them for redox flow batteries would not only makes expansion easier (due to those externally located power wells), but it’d also save gaming companies money that’d be spent on costly upgrades and rearrangements.