Efficient electricity storage with a battolyser, an integrated Ni–Fe battery and electrolyser
Grid scale electricity storage on daily and seasonal time scales is required to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable electricity from wind and solar power. We have developed for the first time an integrated battery-electrolyser (‘battolyser’) that efficiently stores electricity as a nickel–iron battery and can split water into hydrogen and oxygen as an alkaline electrolyser. During charge insertion the Ni(OH)2 and Fe(OH)2 electrodes form nanostructured NiOOH and reduced Fe, which act as efficient oxygen and hydrogen evolution catalysts respectively. The charged electrodes use all excess electricity for efficient electrolysis, while they can be discharged at any time to provide electricity when needed. Our results demonstrate a remarkable constant and a high overall energy efficiency (80–90%), enhanced electrode storage density, fast current switching capabilities, and a general stable performance. The battolyser may enable efficient and robust short-term electricity storage and long-term electricity storage through production of hydrogen as a fuel and feedstock within a single, scalable, abundant element based device.