Summary 47 InnovationNetwork report No. 08.2.173; K.J. Braber et al; Photon Farmer – Topping up with farmyard electricity in 2025. Utrecht, the Netherlands, February 2008 Will the way we drive have changed drastically by the year 2025? Transport with zero CO2 emissions, less noise nuisance, and with no particulate emissions? This essay explores the potential of Redox Flow Batteries and the part that agriculture could play. Such “Photon Farmers” would store sustainable energy in the form of a liquid electrolyte. Drivers would call in at a network of farms throughout the country, to fill up with electrolyte. Farmers would generate sustainable electricity from wind, the sun, and biomass. This electricity would be converted in a Redox Flow Battery and stored in electrolyte. Consumers would then visit farms to fill up with this electrolyte, which their vehicles would use as fuel. To this end, electric cars would be fitted with a smaller version of a Redox Flow Battery. As the vehicle travels, the electrolyte becomes discharged. When the consumer next visits a farmer for a top-up, discharged electrolyte is pumped out of their tank as charged electrolyte is pumped in. The Photon Farmer would then recharge the electrolyte using sustainable energy. This would mainly occur at times when the farm has an excess of sustainable energy. This technology has the dual benefit that it would enable vehicles to use sustainable energy while allowing them to rapidly recharge their depleted batteries. The length of time Pagina 54

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