While the majority of current vanadium demand underwritten by the steel industry as an additive to strengthen various grades of steel, a small, yet increasing amount of vanadium demand is being taken up by the global renewable energy market for its use in energy storage batteries.
CENELEST, a joint research venture between the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology and the University of New South Wales, examines the potential of vanadium redox flow batteries in the future energy system.
Transmission and distribution network operator Hokkaido Electric Power has contracted Sumitomo Electric Industries to supply a grid-scale flow battery energy storage system for a wind farm in northern Japan.
Global flow battery company Invinity Energy Systems, has partnered with integrated vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals, to offer an electrolyte rental option for Invinity’s Vanadium Flow Batteries (VFBs).
The California Energy Commission (CEC) selected UK-based Invinity Energy Systems for funding as part of an initiative for long-duration, non-lithium energy storage with the use of its vanadium flow batteries (VFBs) technology.
Energy storage systems based around vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) are being developed for residential use in Australia by partners Australian Vanadium (AVL) and Gui Zhou Collect Energy Century Science and Technology.
Flow batteries can operate with different types of electrolytes. The most common (including those that are installed in China and are being introduced in other countries) utilize vanadium electrolytes.
Flow batteries have been around since the 1980s and use liquid electrolyte in external tanks. What makes flow batteries unique is that their power and energy are entirely decoupled. To increase energy size, the system simply requires a larger tank and more electrolyte.