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Has The Great Flow Battery Battle Started?

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posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 01:48 PM
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For those that do not know, there are various types of batteries out there in the world. You’ve got your lead-acid battery like the one in most automobiles (big, heavy, explosive, used by bad guys to torture Jack Bauer), you’ve got lithium ion batteries (cell phones, laptops, also explosive or at least flammable, sold by some bunny beating a drum) and it’s variants (nickel cadmium, other lithium variants) , rechargeable batteries (lead-acid, NiCad, Li-ion, etc) which have long charge times with short life times (do not use in an electric camera) and can only be re-charged at whatever limit your patience can stand.

While not a complete list it covers most of the known day-to-day uses most people are already familiar with.

Another type of energy storage device is a flow battery (see link for diagrams and pictures).

A flow battery is a rechargeable fuel cell in which an electrolyte containing one or more dissolved electroactive elements flow through an electrochemical cell that reversibly converts chemical energy directly to electricity. Additional electrolyte is stored externally, generally, and… the spent material… [is recovered for re-use]

Source: Wikipedia entry - Flow battery

For the redox type, there is a membrane that separates the positive and electric electrolytes where electrons flow across when drawn towards the positive side. The electrons are siphoned off as electricity. There are also various and competing type of chemistries that flow batteries currently use.


Flow batteries come in a variety of types, championed by different industry players [in the industry].
UniEnergy, Imergy and CellCube are in the vanadium space;
iron chromium is the chemistry favored by EnerVault;
and Primus Power, ZBB and Redflow specialize in zinc-bromine technology.

Source: GreenTechMedia.com - New Iron Flow Battery Company Makes Big Claims About Cost. Will It Prove Itself?

Although the “new iron” chemistry for that type of flow battery is what makes the announcement hit the news it is not new (and, therefore, not ‘news,’ just more of a business declaration IMO). What GTM left out was what Harvard has discovered using organic (i.e., not chemically treated metal oxide electrolytes – not the non-GMO food stuff!). There is a whole thread on that discovery over here on ATS: ATS link – Organic Mega Flow Battery Promises Breakthrough For Renewable Energy (Prototype) for your perusal.

(Continued [for those on phones]…)




posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 01:50 PM
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Which brings us to the battle! Grab your swords and once more to the breach!!

Redflow announced

The 10kWh ZCell will sell for between $17,500 and $19,500, pricey by comparison with its competitors. But Redflow says its ability to discharge 100 per cent of its power, and its longer life, and its greater size, means that its delivered cost of energy will match its rivals

Source: OneStepOffTheGrid.com – Australia - Redflow launches 10kWh “ZCell” into Australian home battery storage market

While Tesla quietly did this March 18, 2016:

Tesla has quietly removed all references to its 10-kilowatt-hour residential battery from the Powerwall website, as well as the company’s press kit. The company's smaller battery designed for daily cycling is all that remains.

Source: GreenTechMedia.com - Tesla Discontinues 10-Kilowatt-Hour Powerwall Home Battery

So what is happening? Is Tesla afraid of the advancement in flow batteries (the Harvard announcement and no fires! No explosions!)? Are they afraid of the advancement of flow batteries in general versus Li-ion? Is graphene about to stretch its legs and make the use of what Tesla used in their home battery useless when it becomes integrated into Li-ion batteries? Or is the answer a more mundane, “business forecasts and RIR”?

I think it is the first shot across the bow of the distributed grid concept. Homes have a backup, the electrical grid has flow batteries for load balancing and more efficient power distribution, and the entire “brown out” strain will be relieved.

Did I strike out on my first thread? I am ready now for the tar and feathers!

What do you think about this technology and these announcements?



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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Grade A conspiracy stuff right here.

I don't have much to add other than encouragement.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Awesome! Thanks for the encouragement! The whole "fusion is coming" has kept my ear to the tracks, so to speak, and if a reactor comes online there will be a need to store all the excess electricity since it would take more power to shut one down and start it up again. So once one comes online they will be on, 24x7, and some kind of logical management of electricity (and storage) will be necessary.

The Tesla announcement is shocking to say the least! They spent a week or so, last year?, building up expectations so to let it just quietly go away... hum?


edit on 5-4-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarity



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF




So what is happening? Is Tesla afraid of the advancement in flow batteries (the Harvard announcement and no fires! No explosions!)? Are they afraid of the advancement of flow batteries in general versus Li-ion? Is graphene about to stretch its legs and make the use of what Tesla used in their home battery useless when it becomes integrated into Li-ion batteries? Or is the answer a more mundane, “business forecasts and RIR”?


Could be that Tesla is about to make a buyout bid for Redflow.

Buy the company, get the tech, update the website with the new cells...maybe.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 03:13 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

The Tesla announcement is shocking to say the least! They spent a week or so, last year?, building up expectations so to let it just quietly go away... hum?



They said why the other day, and IIRC they weren't selling the larger unit in any volume. It also had some sort of cycle limitation that the smaller one didn't. I think the 10kW unit only had 500 cycles vs 5000 for the smaller one. I wouldn't have bought one.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: MysterX
a reply to: Bedlam

Both options sound like business as usual! Option 1: Buy the competition and use their tech; Option 2: The RIR and deployment costs are not viable in the changing market.

The great thing about flow batteries is they like the 100% discharge. You can just swap out the electrolyte barrels and you are off again, or, put them in recharge mode and slowly bring them back to capacity. That doesn't work too well with Li-ion batteries.

I was hoping for something more salacious!



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan




Grade A conspiracy stuff right here. I don't have much to add other than encouragement


repeat! being from Aust I'm off researching...good work.

Its not just about inventions, its to who gets the lions share of ongoing customer revenue
theconversation.com...


Smart grid on trial The Order 745 case has already proven to be a major disruption in the US electricity market. It has thrown uncertainty into business models, market prices, and in some cases even the planning of the power grid to ensure reliability in the coming years. The case, however, ultimately goes far beyond demand response. The issue at hand is all about the ability of the federal government to set market rules for local power systems – that is, the portion of the grid that reaches individual homes and businesses – versus the regional grid that transports power over long distances across the US. It therefore has implications for the value of rooftop solar systems, backup generators, and even Tesla’s Powerwall battery – basically anything that would allow individual customers to supply energy to the power grid or reduce demands on an already strained infrastructure. In fact, Order 745 could very well be the biggest energy-related Supreme Court case in decades.




This case, ultimately, is far more significant than getting paid for not using electricity. It’s about who gets to set the rules of the road for emerging technology in the electricity sector – the states or the federal government – and whether the US will be able to modernize its energy policy the same way that it would like to modernize its power grid. (Full disclosure: My university employer, Penn State, has been involved in a demonstration project that uses battery energy storage to balance fluctuations on the power grid in Pennsylvania and I am an advisor to the Microgrid Systems Laboratory in New Mexico.) Before launching Tesla’s wall-mounted batteries, perhaps Mr Musk should have sat on his hands for a bit longer.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 03:37 PM
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a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

www.bloomberg.com...


Warren Buffett controls Nevada’s legacy utility. Elon Musk is behind the solar company that’s upending the market. Let the fun begin. By Noah Buhayar | January 28, 2016 From Bloomberg Businessweek Outside the Public Utilities Commission office, which is on the second floor of a modern, three-story building about 7 miles from the Strip in Las Vegas, a chorus of women are shouting to the tune of a Beastie Boys classic: “We’re gonna fight ... for our right ... to go soooolar!”



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 03:42 PM
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Thanks. I learned a lot. Yes, your first thread is very successful!



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

Forgot about the "fat cats" looking out for their own interests! I am a little myopic on the tech side of things so thanks for the reminder.

They will probably try to tax you (us) on purchasing this tech for use, tax you for using it, and tax you for replacing it! All those taxes will place it out of reach for the people that need the most relief. And that is really sad.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 04:38 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Thats pretty cool.


S&F



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

What about Graphene batteries , it seems they going to rule out flow batteries like a madman?



The Spanish company Graphenano has introduced a graphene polymer battery that could allow electric vehicles to have a maximum range of a staggering 800 kilometers (497 miles). The battery can also be charged in just a few minutes.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: 0bserver1

Graphene is integral to flow batteries! They are going to 3D print graphene aerogel as that would maximize the surface area of the membrane. The bigger the surface area, the more exchange of charge between the electrolytes. This type of battery is for home or electric grid level dispersion.

Graphene batteries should make headway in the consumer market. Not only as a charging material within the battery but as an electrode connector. Graphene capacitors for charging will also grow soon (they fast charge for "take and go" and you charge your regular Li-ion batteries like normal but plug into that). In the future they will be combos of the two!

(Pssst- check out the Graphene MEGA Thread where I have rebooted it and am trying to keep it going. There are also "announcements" where companies are trying to make and sell consumer graphene batteries)

ETA: Thanks for asking a question I knew the answer to! lol


edit on 5-4-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: kudos given



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 05:36 PM
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originally posted by: 0bserver1
a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

What about Graphene batteries , it seems they going to rule out flow batteries like a madman?



The Spanish company Graphenano has introduced a graphene polymer battery that could allow electric vehicles to have a maximum range of a staggering 800 kilometers (497 miles). The battery can also be charged in just a few minutes.




It'll be sweet if it's true. Let's see them build some, get them out in people's hands.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 05:49 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

You know, I just answered the general question! I did not like the Spanish company because the comments about the owner/CEO were like "snake oil salesman" and what not. I considered them "vapor ware" so never added them to the other thread.

Check these guys out from my post ATS link from The GRAPHENE mega thread - because it's technology you need to know about!

Site: Zap & Go Charger
Original Source: SpectrumIEEE.org aticle

They seem legit and have some kind of road plan. They are supposed to have products out by mid-summer.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 05:52 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
I will look in to that , interesting stuff



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 06:34 PM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: 0bserver1
a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

What about Graphene batteries , it seems they going to rule out flow batteries like a madman?



The Spanish company Graphenano has introduced a graphene polymer battery that could allow electric vehicles to have a maximum range of a staggering 800 kilometers (497 miles). The battery can also be charged in just a few minutes.




It'll be sweet if it's true. Let's see them build some, get them out in people's hands.


I don’t know, that appears to be an awful large concentration of energy to put in the average persons control.

A battery that can store that amount of energy being recharged in a few minutes? 10 KWH residential batteries? I have some serious safety concerns. If that much energy was discharged instantly/quickly at once, injury/death and major property damage is likely.

You know dam well there will be people that would stick body parts/foreign objects where they do not belong and with that much energy concentration would be quite the surprise!!


Seriously though, I would need to see some primary/secondary/tertiary safety devices of sufficient speed/dissipation to make this kind of energy concentration safe for even the most ignorant people to use.



posted on Apr, 6 2016 @ 05:05 PM
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a reply to: Dreamwatcher

That is what the Harvard announcement was all about.


In the new battery, electrons are picked up and released by compounds composed of inexpensive, Earth-abundant elements (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, iron and potassium) dissolved in water. The compounds are nontoxic, nonflammable, and widely available, making them safer and cheaper than other battery systems.

“This is chemistry I’d be happy to put in my basement,” said Michael J. Aziz, the Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the project’s principal investigator. “The nontoxicity and cheap, abundant materials placed in water solution mean that it’s safe — it can’t catch on fire — and that’s huge when you’re storing large amounts of electrical energy anywhere near people.”

Source: Harvard Gazette - Green storage for green energy grows cleaner

The Harvard team is looking at storing solar energy but the chemicals used can be swapped out one-for-one with other redox flow battery designs. Because it is cheaper than commodity based materials (especially vanadium) the over all cost drops. The Redflow guys' batteries are computer controlled and look like old Apple desktop macs and are probably sealed. Besides, how much money can you make if your battery blows up and catches people's house on fire?

But I know, never misunderestimate the stupidity of a human being!



posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 01:16 PM
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Meanwhile, in China...

Commissioning Work

The State Grid North China Company Limited's ("State Grid") "863" comprehensive testing program was completed satisfactorily on January 5, 2016. This test involved integrated full power charging and discharging of all of the energy storage units currently installed at Zhangbei including the 8 megawatt hour vanadium flow battery. These performance tests were monitored by engineers and technicians from State Grid to ensure that the battery meets design protocols. Following successful completion of the 863 testing procedures, State Grid has given permission to begin the continuous 240-hour operations test that will be the final phase of the 8 megawatt hour vanadium flow battery commissioning program.

Both State Grid and VanSpar's technicians will monitor the battery operation during this test period and will prepare comprehensive reports on the test procedures and results. These will be submitted to State Grid for acceptance.
...
Zhangbei is China's largest wind and solar energy electricity generation and storage installation.
...
It currently includes 500 megawatts of wind power and 100 megawatts of solar power, with 110 megawatts of energy storage capacity, and covers a total land area of 200 square kilometres. Expansion plans for both electricity generation from wind and solar sources, and additional energy storage capacity have been recently announced.

Source: Sparton Resources Inc, press release - Vanadium Flow Battery Entering Final Commissioning Phase

So they have an eight hour run flow battery for their combined solar-wind farm with a 100 MW capacity. And that is using rare vanadium. The Zhangbei plant is huge! If you google "Zhangbei battery" and select "images", the battery is the device on the three-rack shelves (not sure about linking other site's content without their consent, so steering clear).

This tech is do-able, today. The only other electric companies adding storage is in Canada (both BC--a hydro plant, and, Montreal) that I know of. Where is the US? Because once we start others will follow.




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