Energy Storage

Building upon 80 years as a top electrochemistry university, Case Western Reserve University and its faculty are applying their expertise to energy storage. The Journal of the Electrochemical Society identified Case Western Reserve as one of its top organizations, with several faculty ranking among its most cited experts. In 2016, Ohio’s Federal Research Network (OFRN) awarded CWRU $1.65 million to lead research in energy storage for defense and aerospace technological needs, establishing the university as a campus-based Center of Excellence. Today, 18 faculty members spanning 11 departments, including six Electrochemical Society fellows, are researching batteries, capacitors, electrochemical devices, electrodeposition, fuel cells, materials, and sensors—all in pursuit of cost-efficient, high-capacity, geographically independent solutions to energy storage.

Learn more about energy storage

 

Why Storage

Wind and solar energy can’t be produced on demand. Storage helps balance intermittent energy generation.

  • Energy demand, likely to double by 2030, is stressing the current grid. Storage provides a buffer to help stabilize the grid while efforts to modernize it continue.
  • Microgrids are being developed to support growing demand for electricity. Storage will make microgrids more robust and cost effective.
  • Currently, only 2.5 percent of electric power delivered in the United States passes through energy storage. The market potential is large and expected to grow exponentially.

Strengths in Storage

We effectively combine fundamental electrochemical engineering expertise with advanced materials research in an environment that includes the world-renowned Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences.

  • Fundamental research on lithium electrolytes and lithium deposition processes related to safety
  • Innovative research on all iron and non-aqueous flow battery concepts
  • New approaches to advanced capacitors
  • Fundamental research on non-precious metal electrocatalysts for fuel cells
  • State-of-the-art test beds and fabrication facilities for capacitors and batteries
  • Next-generation reliability applied to storage through lifetime and degradation science
  • Microgrid with fully owned distribution system, wind turbines, solar farms and upcoming integration of storage devices and fuel cells
  • Millions in funding awarded by the DOD, DOE, NSF, industry and the State of Ohio

Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage (BEES)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Case Western Reserve University $10.75 million over four years to establish a research center to explore Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage (BEES), with the intent of identifying new battery chemistries with the potential to provide large, long-lasting energy storage solutions for buildings or the power grid. 

Learn more about the BEES research center

Energy Storage Research is being led by:

 

Batteries and Capacitors

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    Bob Savinell

    George S. Dively Professor in Engineering
    Distinguished University Professor
    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Develops high-performance electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies through fundamental and applied studies of interfacial and transport processes

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    Jesse Wainright

    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Develops novel electrochemical systems for grid-level energy conversion and storage

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    Daniel Scherson

    Analytical Chemistry, Materials, Physical Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Photochemistry

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    Lei Zhu

    Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

    Develops high-energy and high-performance polymers based on close relationships among structure, property and processing

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    Eric Baer

    Distinguished University Professor
    Herbert Henry Dow Professor of Science and Engineering
    Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering
    Director, NSF Center for Layered Polymeric Systems

    Develops processing-structure-property relationships in polymeric systems; creates micro- and nano-layered films; and produces biomimetic hierarchical structures of soft materials

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    Kenneth Loparo

    Arthur L. Parker Professor
    Professor, Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering
    Co-Director, Internet of Things Collaborative (IOTC)

    Develop real-time data analytics and control algorithms for industrial, energy and physiological systems

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    Rohan Akolkar

    Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation at the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation
    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Develops new electrochemical processes for applications including nano-material fabrication, energy storage, electrometallurgy and sensors

Storage Materials and Fundamentals

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    Rohan Akolkar

    Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation at the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation
    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Develops new electrochemical processes for applications including nano-material fabrication, energy storage, electrometallurgy and sensors

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    David Schiraldi

    Peter A. Asseff, PhD, Professor of Organic Chemistry, Emeritus
    Professor Emeritus, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

    Develops bio-based, flame-retarded plastics, polymer aerogels and packaging materials; and studies properties of polyesters

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    Daniel Scherson

    Analytical Chemistry, Materials, Physical Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Photochemistry

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    Uzi Landau

    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Designs advanced electrochemical systems and processes

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    Burcu Gurkan

    Nord Distinguished Assistant Professor
    Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Designs, develops and investigates ionic liquid based electrochemical systems for energy, environmental sciences and sensors

Fuel Cell Conversion

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    Jesse Wainright

    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Develops novel electrochemical systems for grid-level energy conversion and storage

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    Mark De Guire

    Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

    Analyzes performance of ceramics in energy applications, including fuel cells and oxygen transport membranes

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    Bob Savinell

    George S. Dively Professor in Engineering
    Distinguished University Professor
    Professor, Chemical Engineering

    Develops high-performance electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies through fundamental and applied studies of interfacial and transport processes

  • Anon Photo

    Daniel Scherson

    Analytical Chemistry, Materials, Physical Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Photochemistry

  • Profile Photo

    David Schiraldi

    Peter A. Asseff, PhD, Professor of Organic Chemistry, Emeritus
    Professor Emeritus, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

    Develops bio-based, flame-retarded plastics, polymer aerogels and packaging materials; and studies properties of polyesters