Vanadium redox (redox flow) batteries (“VRB”) are large scale storage batteries that are ideal for intermittent power sources such as wind and solar. They can be scaled to very large sizes, they have long lives with little maintenance and they can provide power very quickly. The technology is well established and commercial units are available for home and industrial use.
A vanadium redox battery consists of an assembly of power cells in which the two vanadium based electrolytes are separated by a proton exchange membrane. The two half-cells are additionally connected to storage tanks and pumps so that very large volumes of the electrolytes can be circulated through the cell to generate power. Similar to the PEM fuel cell, the bi polar plates in a vanadium redox battery are made out of graphite. It is estimated that 300 tonnes of graphite are required for every mW/hr of VRB capacity.
There are an increasing number of manufacturers and examples of vanadium redox battery installations. Use of these batteries is price sensitive and will increase as costs come down with higher volumes.
Flow Battery Contracts for Energy Storage in Europe and Asia
Flow Batteries for Critical Energy Storage in Botswana September, 2017
Venture Capital Funding grows for Flow batteries Jan, 2016
Flow batteries gaining traction in energy storage market May, 2016
Six firms join up to fund ‘groundbreaking’ grid-scale redox flow battery September, 2015
One of world’s largest’ vanadium redox flow batteries installed in China September, 2015
Flow Batteries Help Power Off-Grid Villages and Remote Telecom September, 2015
Imergy’s Vanadium Flow Battery Aims to Compete With Lithium and Lead-Acid at Grid Scale April, 2015
SunEdison buys 1000 flow batteries for Indian microgrids March, 2015
Imergy launches low-cost flow battery October, 2014
A Vanadium Flow Battery Brings Energy Storage to New York City’s MTA April 23, 2014
Vanadium Flow Batteries Could Become a Cost Effective Solution for Balancing Texas’ Power Grid October 21, 2013
Installation of Japan’s gargantuan 60 MWh flow battery system could begin this autumn September 25, 2013
HOKKAIDO Electric to Invest in 60mW/h VRB for grid storage July 7, 2013
Vandium Redox Gaining Ground in Energy Storage March 10, 2013
Upgrading Vanadium Redox batteries March 17, 2011