2013 R&D 100 Winner
UTRC's PureStorageCurrently, electric grids have limited ability to store excess energy, so electricity must constantly be generated to perfectly match demand. Hence, power generation, transmission and distribution must accommodate the maximum demand of conditions and must include significant standby generation capacity. This adds capital expense, and forces power plants to idle or operate at non-efficient conditions. United Technology Research Center (UTRC) has developed a flow-battery technology—called PureStorage—that provides affordable, safe, energy-efficient and readily deployable electrical energy storage. Unlike typical flow batteries, which feature cell stacks built from expensive custom components, UTRC’s high-power-density architecture reduces the size and expense of the cell stack. PureStorage provides 10 times higher power density than previous flow-battery cells (1,200 mW/cm2 of electrode area), and can be sized from commercial to grid scale (20 kW/hr to > 1 MW/hr). The power output and energy capacity can be tailored independently to match the customer’s storage requirements.

Flow battery technology

United Technologies Research Center

Development Team

United Technologies Research Center's PureStorage development team. Front row (l-r): Mike Perry, Zhongfen (Vivian) Ding, Weina Li, Craig Walker. Second row (l-r): Brian Welch, Anais Espinal, Rachid Zaffou. Third row (l-r): Steven Zhitnik, Mike Humbert, Ying She. Fourth row (l-r): Will Holden, Chris Shovlin, Wei Xie. Fifth row (l-r): Paul Balint, Rob Hebert, Sean Emerson. Sixth row (l-r): Tim Landry, Bob Thornton, Andy Smeltz. Back row (l-r): Toby Junker, Rob Darling, Jon Rheaume, Mike Fortin.


The PureStorage Development Team from United Technologies Research Center
Michael Perry, Principal Developer
Craig Walker, Principal Developer
Rob Darling
Weina Li
Andrew Smeltz
Rachid Zaffou