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StorEn Technology's Vanadium Flow Battery Prototype Outpacing Expectations


“The Future of Energy is Here” Panel Highlights Vanadium Flow Batteries

StorEn battery’s increased power density enables StorEn to reduce the size of the battery stack. With smaller plates able to deliver performance at parity with larger sizes, less material (like membrane material) is required, lowering material costs by as much as 50%.

By StorEnTech
This article was sponsored by StorEnTech.

The 2018 Advanced Energy Conference, titled “The Future of Energy is Here,” wrapped up its three-day event in New York City on March 29th.

The robust agenda of North America’s most comprehensive and influential energy event explored topics headlining energy news today — energy storage and efficiency, smart buildings, microgrids, alternative fuel vehicles, modern utility grids, and, of course, wind, solar, and geothermal power.

The event was sponsored by NYSERDA, National Grid, NY Power Authority, Stony Brook University, PSEG Long Island, NextERA Energy Resources LLC, Statoil, and the NY State Smart Grid Consortium.

Leaders from industry, academia, and energy provision joined to discuss the latest advancements in energy, the environmental concerns driving change, and the challenges new technology business models face going forward.

As part of one of the roundtable panel discussions, “Technology to Market,” StorEn’s Chief Technical Officer, Angelo D’Anzi, shared information about StorEn’s vanadium flow battery and addressed the following topics:

Technological and Performance Advantages of StorEn’s Patent-Pending Batteries

Although history shows redox fuel cell concepts emerged around 1955, NASA brought the idea to life in the ’70s during the energy crisis of that time. Solutions for saving large amounts of energy reliably and safely existed with stationary electrical energy storage systems, but early efforts required a large mass of chemicals and proved too cost prohibitive for broad distribution. NASA continued development but struggled to find a solution that would deliver efficiency in fluctuating temperatures. In addition, the use of multiple chemicals — iron/chromium or iron/titanium increased the risk of cross-contamination in the electrolyte solution.

Lithium-ion batteries were developed in the ‘80s to meet the needs for more compact, higher capacity energy storage and are the most popular device today. While lithium provides a desirable lifespan and capacity, these batteries struggle to meet large-scale demands across seasons. Cycling capacity lessens and probability of overheating and risk of combustion increases with commercial use of current lithium-ion batteries. Further, electricity cannot be stored for very long periods of time (months).

StorEn Technology's Vanadium Flow Battery Prototype Outpacing ExpectationsStorEn created a vanadium flow battery as a safe, long-lasting alternative to current storage solutions. The StorEn team developed a battery that delivers several advantages through patented technologies:

  • Higher power density than other vanadium flow batteries (about double that of competitors) to facilitate quicker recharge.
  • An electrolyte rebalancing method and a leak elimination system to reduce the need for maintenance.
  • An extended temperature range for operation to improve battery versatility.

How Ongoing Research & Development Efforts Affect StorEn’s Battery Price

Initial validation efforts at Environment Park, a leading cleantech scientific and technology accelerator in Turin, Italy, show the StorEn battery’s increased power density enables StorEn to reduce the size of the battery stack. With smaller plates able to deliver performance at parity with larger sizes, less material (such as membrane material) is required, lowering material cost by as much as 50%. The battery also has a better fluid dynamic, facilitating effective operation at lower pressure, which increases round-trip efficiency.

The result is an initial battery price of $400 per kWh of energy storage capacity, but that doesn’t capture the full story. The relatively long 25-year battery lifespan, combined with full rechargeability and reusability, results in a cost of $0.02/cycle, which is competitive with the best lithium-based batteries. [Editor’s note: This paragraph has been updated for accuracy and clarity.]

StorEn’s Manufacturing & 2019 Launch Plan

D’Anzi also outlined on the panel discussion StorEn’s recent partnership with Multicom Resources Pty Ltd, which establishes a vertically integrated supply chain for low-cost manufacturing, sale, and distribution of the batteries. Multicom and subsidiary Freedom Energy are sourcing vanadium pentoxide in North Queensland and have plans to build an assembly and distribution factory for sales in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. StorEn anticipates first units will ship in 2019.

Technologies discussed at AEC 2018 are shaping tomorrow’s energy landscape. The future is bright and StorEn is helping to light the way with a solution that meets increased demand for clean, safe energy.

If you’re interested in learning more about StorEn or want to support its growth plan, you can currently invest in the company.

This post is supported by StorEn Tech

Editor’s note: This post is sponsored by StorEn Technologies. Clearly, this is a promotional pitch. We do not have enough proprietary information to fully judge the merits of one energy storage company versus another, but we would not run a sponsored post from an energy storage company we thought did not have notable competitive advantages that might lead to the company significantly helping society as a whole. That said, we also are not prophets regarding this fast-moving, nascent, rapid-growth industry. We understand that we have solar and storage professionals among our readership who have varying opinions of the merits of different technologies, so we do encourage that more detailed debate if you feel compelled to get into it. Also, while we at CleanTechnica do like to promote companies and technologies we think are helping the world and have a bright future, we do not provide investment advice — use your own judgement or consult an investment professional if you are thinking about putting investment into a company or project.

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