Research center built in Ulsan to commercialize seawater battery products

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : November 13, 2020, 09:54 | Updated : November 13, 2020, 09:54

[Courtesy of UNIST]

SEOUL -- A research center to commercialize a new type of eco-friendly and cost-efficient batteries that can store and produce electricity using seawater has been built on the compound of a prominent South Korean science school. Seawater batteries use sodium to generate electricity.

A ceremony is set for November 13 to open the center at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in the southeastern city of Ulsan. Seawater batteries can be used at large ships and nuclear power facilities as emergency power sources as they operate without auxiliary loads or an external power supply, except for water and salt.

A UNIST team has developed related technology to offer a low-cost energy storage system (ESS). UNIST researchers have described seawater cells as a safe and competitive system that could lead the next generation ESS market. A 10-kilowatt energy storage system using seawater batteries has been already put into test operation.

The center would carry out a project funded by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), a state utility company, and Korea East-West Power, which generates electricity. Researchers are developing seawater battery-based products such as fishing net buoys installed with sensors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for lighting, solar panel and GPS.
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