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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 7 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon


YouTube Video

This Iron Flow Battery Could Power a More Renewable Grid

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  • In this video, the host describes a new type of battery that could help solve the energy storage problem for renewables like solar and wind, and outlines the history of how this technology was developed.
  • The video also describes some basics about how batteries work and compares lithium batteries to iron flow batteries using a peanut butter and jelly sandwich example.
Teaching Tips


  • This video uses visuals and examples to clearly explain the concept of flow batteries.
  • The video connects the evolution of this energy storage technology to historical events and outlines its relevance to the future of clean energy technologies. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may be helpful to discuss the problem of energy storage for renewable energy technologies before watching this video with students. 
  • Students would benefit from a lesson about atoms, ions, electrons, and how batteries work before viewing the video. 
  • There may be ads before the video.


  • Students in social studies or history classes could use this resource to investigate how energy technologies have changed over time, based on historical events. 
  • Students in science classes can watch this video to learn more about energy storage and batteries and connect it to lessons about atoms, ions, energy, and properties of materials. 
  • Math students could investigate the potential of this technology to address emissions of greenhouse gases using this interactive table of solutions and this resource about global emissions by sector.
  • Related resources include this PBS video about energy storage and this podcast that discusses wind and solar power and energy storage.
Scientist Notes
This video highlights how batteries were reimagined to store surplus energy for consumption. Evolving around 1861, then setting a big stage in the 1980's to the current time, scientists have made improvements on batteries to store a large amount of energy from renewable sources. This iron flow battery is built to provide energy for a long period of time and it is more efficient than lithium batteries. Students would find this video interesting and insightful, thus, this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • HS-PS1-5. Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
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