MSU awarded $2 million for long-duration power grid storage

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University, along with its partners Arizona State University, Dresser-Rand, and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, will receive $2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop new designs for long-duration storage on the United States power grid.

MSU’s research is part of the Duration Addition of electricitY Storage (DAYS) program. Ten teams will develop energy storage systems that provide power to the electric grid for durations for up to 100 hours, enhancing grid resilience and performance. Only two universities – MSU and the University of Tennessee — are among the 10 teams awarded DAYS grants.

MSU mechanical engineering professors James Klausner and Joerg Petrasch, and ASU chemical engineering professor Christopher Muhich, are the primary co-investigators on the project, called Scalable Thermochemical Option for Renewable Energy Storage (STORES).

“MSU’s team will develop a modular thermal storage system that uses electricity from sources like wind and solar power to heat up a bed of magnesium manganese oxide particles to high temperatures,” Petrasch said. “Once heated, the bed will release oxygen and store the heat energy in the form of chemical energy. When additional power is needed, the system will pass air over the particle bed starting a chemical reaction that releases heat to drive a gas turbine generator. The low cost of magnesium and manganese oxide will help to keep the system cost competitive.”

Added Engineering Dean Leo Kempel: “A successful outcome from this project can significantly accelerate the penetration of renewable energy around the world and continue to position MSU as an international leader in renewable energy research.”

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