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Has The Great Flow Battery Battle Started?

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posted on Dec, 13 2016 @ 06:24 PM
a reply to: dfnj2015

This type of battery can offer almost unlimited energy capacity simply by using larger electrolyte storage tanks. It can be left completely discharged for long periods with no ill effects, making maintenance simpler than other batteries. Because of these unique properties, the new V-flow batteries reduce the cost of storage to about 5¢/kWh.

These batteries are rather large and best suited to industrial and utility scale applications. They could never fit in an electric car, so the Tesla battery is safe for now. But the V-flow battery outcompetes Li-ion, and any other solid battery, for utility-scale applications. They’re just safer, more scalable, longer-lasting and cheaper - less than half the cost per kWh. [Info graphic below this paragraph at the article]
UniEnergy Technologies (UET) of Seattle produces the largest MW-scale vanadium flow batteries yet, using a molecule developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL’s breakthrough was to introduce hydrochloric acid into the electrolyte solution, almost doubling the storage capacity and making the system work over a far greater range of temperatures, from -40°C to 50°C (-40°F to 122°F), removing a large previous cost of maintaining temperature control., Dec. 13, 2016 - Vanadium-Flow Batteries: The Energy Storage Breakthrough We've Needed.

This is grid-level storage we're talking about. Having Li ion for grid-level storage is a stop gap measure at best. I doubt even Lockheed will stick long with their own Li ion battery storage solution. They are already focusing on their own flow battery technology. Lithium-iron-phosphate still have the problem of overheating and exploding. And the degradation of lithium over time requiring maintenance. A flow battery starts to not charge to capacity, swap out the electrolyte! So, a bunch of heavy batteries being swapped out or a tank? I have seen our small UPS have maintenance done and the guy took all day to get to the last few batteries.


The other part of the article quoted above is about what the PPNL's breakthrough that put the Snohomish county at ease which led to the installation noted previously. The whole article explains, again, what flow batteries are and how they work. It is worth the read if you need a refresher or need pictures and diagrams to help you visualize how this works. The author is kind of "golly! gee whiz!" like this is brand new technology which is kind of annoying.

Followers of this thread already know about redox flow batteries! I hope they are as tickled as I am to see them starting to be deployed in real world situations.

edit on 13-12-2016 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarity

posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 11:22 AM

Carnegie Wave Energy’s 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, is set to develop and demonstrate a commercial-scale solar and battery storage plant in Australia…

Carnegie said on Tuesday that EMC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries and ASX-listed TNG Limited to assess the potential applications of VRF batteries in Australia through an initial joint demonstration project., Dec. 13, 2016 - Carnegie teams with Sumitomo for grid-scale vanadium flow battery storage.

More flow batteries on the grid. This sounds like it will be used to convince people about renewables… at first. The other benefits will be “discovered” and then it is game on as other electric companies start to believe that they too can reap some rewards (lower production costs, higher availability, real load shifting). One by one this will happen not because it is magic but because it makes sense (and money).

Way to go Australia!

posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 01:58 PM
A nice write up on Vionix

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you can see it by the truckload parked behind an Army Reserve building at Fort Devens [Massachusetts]. Inside, two 53-foot-long shipping containers are huge tanks filled with vanadium — the element named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty.

"The vanadium, the beautiful part about it is the liquid changes color," says Vionx Energy CEO David Vieau. "It's like a rainbow goes through as you charge it. It changes. We can actually tell charge state by the color of the liquid."
"Flow batteries is one of the most interesting directions for storage," Moniz says, "because, roughly speaking, the energy is stored outside the battery rather than inside."

If you need to store more energy just add more big tanks filled with the electrolyte.

"Energy storage is a game changer if we get the cost down," Moniz says. "One principal reason is to be able to manage the variability of wind and solar."
The Vionx storage system puts the search for the renewable energy holy grail within sight, except for one thing: the cost.

"It's about $400 per kilowatt-hour for a DC [direct current] system. And that's going to go down by a third over the next few years," Vieau says.

Still, that's nearly three times the cost the Energy Department has set as the renewable energy storage holy grail. But, according to Vieau, if you spread out the upfront costs over decades and attach the system to a solar farm, the redox flow battery will be able to store and generate electricity at half the price of burning diesel.

WBUR (Boston NPR), Jan. 9, 2017 - A Novel Liquid Battery Could Hold Potential For Unlimited Energy Storage.

The Massachusetts connection has been noted earlier (the state and federal government are setting up grid-level RFBs under a DOE grant). This is yet another military application but the impacts will be seen and studied by utility companies in the area. The projected benefits will first be noticed but all the side benefits will then be recognized which will be the big selling points. I think the fact they are in normal storage containers is another--just place them on a pad, hook them up, and let the software in the control room handle the baby-sitting.

Nice read, nice overview of grid-level storage, and it is real nice to see that redox flow batteries are being installed around the USA.

[ETA: I did not know vanadium changed colors as it charge and discharges! That is pretty cool you can tell the charge by looking at it and seeing what color it mostly is! That is pretty neat!]
edit on 9-1-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: science is cool

edit on 9-1-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: bad parallel sentance structure was corrected

posted on Jan, 10 2017 @ 03:54 PM
I smell a rat!!

This is specifically concerning the organic (quinones) flow battery announcement made by Harvard in 2012 (?) or at the very most, 2014. This announcement has been made several time now... under various guises. First was "rhubarb," then "organic," then "B2." There was an announcement in 2015 that Harvard teamed up with a European company... well, just check out this timeline!

Harvard University, and it is based on a common little molecule that is almost exactly the same as one found in rhubarb. The rhubarbesque molecule is part of a group called quinones, which are used to store energy in any number of green plants...
Quinones are cheap and abundant in nature — so abundant, in fact, that the research team ran 10,000 different quinone molecules through a computer model searching for the best candidates to adapt to flow batteries. - (offshoot of Ars Technica) - Hook Up Your Solar Panels To A Giant Rhubarb Battery (Jan. 2014)

After the findings were published in Nature, the project immediately attracted interest. As soon as Emilio Sassone Corsi at the Italian consulting firm Management Innovation read about the breakthrough, he jumped on a plane from Rome to Boston for a meeting with Dr. Aziz, the battery project's director, to discuss the opportunities for commercialization.

In March of this year [2015], a deal was struck. Green Energy Storage was founded and secured exclusive licensing rights for the technology and the products it yields in the 28 European Union nations, Norway, and Switzerland, effectively reaching all of Europe. - Harvard’s Organic Flow Battery Under Development in Europe (June 2015)

[In] previous work in which the team developed a high-capacity flow battery that stored energy in organic molecules called quinones and a food additive called ferrocyanide.
“Now, after considering about a million different quinones, we have developed a new class of battery electrolyte material that expands the possibilities of what we can do,” said Kaixiang Lin, a Ph.D. student at Harvard and first author of the paper.
The key difference between vitamin B2 and quinones is that nitrogen atoms, instead of oxygen atoms, are involved in picking up and giving off electrons.

“With only a couple of tweaks to the original B2 molecule, this new group of molecules becomes a good candidate for alkaline flow batteries,” said [Dr.] Aziz.

Knowridge Science Report ( - A battery inspired by vitamin B2 (Dec. 2016)

"I think we have a fighting chance of delivering on that 'holy grail' within a decade," says [Dr.] Michael Aziz, a Harvard professor of materials and energy technologies who has tested tens of thousands of compounds for his new battery.
"So we found ways to make them soluble in water, and to change the energies at which they pick up and give off electrons. [We] put it in a battery, and it worked. And we've been developing that idea ever since."

The professors' rhubarb days were a few years ago. Since then, they've evaluated hundreds of thousands of organic compounds to see which ones could store and discharge energy.
The researchers used mathematical models of chemical structures to determine which were promising. They tried aloe vera and vitamin K. Then the quest for quinones expanded to other kinds of organic molecules to include compounds containing nitrogen, like vitamin B2. Tweak it a bit, and it makes a pretty decent battery.
But right now, the lab storage cells are the size of postage stamps [!!!], and the electrolyte solutions fit into small beakers. The best experimental battery isn't very powerful. (Boston NPR) - This Battery Ingredient Is More Often Used In A Pie Than As A Power Source (Jan 2017)

Related link:
Grenn Energy Storage (.eu) - News.

How many computer simulations did you run? Did you do 10,000 in 2014 and only "hundreds of thousands" in 2017? Why then a claim of "over a million" in 2016? How can you state "million" and a month later say, "hundred thousand"? Are you the same Dr. Aziz from the original story??? Why does it sound like you just started researching this with the "in a decade" quote this year?!!

What happened to your European company? They just announced that have a battery they are developing AT THE END OF LAST YEAR!! How does jive with the statement from this year "maybe a decade"??

How can you sell your organic flow battery if is "just a postage stamp" after it has already been demonstrated?!!!

I smell a rat.

posted on Jan, 10 2017 @ 04:07 PM

Hey TEOT check this out!

In just one year, our first-class team of Italian and international researchers and engineers has managed to create not only a product, but an entire range of batteries with a capacity from 3kW to 10kW and more.”

The start-up includes several high-profile professionals and counts on strong partnerships with professors Michael J. Aziz and Roy G. Gordon from Harvard University, professor Silvia Licoccia from Rome’s Università di Tor Vergata and with the Bruno Kessler Foundation.
...“The fundings will allow us to fulfil our ambitious corporate growth, aimed to develop a $200 per kilowatt-hour organic flow battery within the next four years”.

Green Energy Storage, News, Dec. 2016 (same source)

I didn't know a postage stamps could do that [/sarcasm].

But it is still a decade away according to Dr. Aziz. But it is only four years according to last year's press release. Which timeline am I on again???

posted on Jan, 19 2017 @ 11:22 AM

Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) has produced its first batch of vanadium electrolyte from the successfully installed and commissioned pilot plant at the University of Western Australia.

This represents another important milestone for AVL’s energy storage strategy as the product is suitable for the use in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs).
Plans for a larger commercial plant will begin to be evaluated shortly by the company as part of a concept study.

The company’s strategy is to deliver vanadium products such as batteries to end users and supply and process raw materials sourced from [its] Gabanintha vanadium project in Western Australia. (.au), Jan 19, 2017 - Australian Vanadium successfully produces from pilot plant.

That is great news! The pilot plant is set up and ready to make various batches to see which combination works best for VRFBs. If they can produce the electrolyte at quantities, then their deal with GLIDEMEISTER will become very lucrative! They can ship the batteries from Austria with no electrolyte to Australia, go install them, then add the electrolyte saving shipping costs. The PR goes on to say that there are interested parties in Europe as well.

A commercial plant would be huge step forward!

posted on Jan, 23 2017 @ 01:03 PM
Update: Massachusetts set a directive in 2016 about energy storage. Now they have to set a target number. And a direction (basically short term energy storage, Li-ion basically, or long term, redox flow batteries).

Based on current market design and state rules, 600 megawatts is a reasonable target, said State of Charge coauthor Jacqueline DeRosa, vice president of emerging technologies at Customized Energy Solutions.

For others, like Ted Ko, director of policy at commercial storage company Stem, 600 megawatts is the minimum for attracting a bustling industry.

"The state can and should go higher -- the industry has shown time and again that it is ready to respond quickly, at scale, when given a big enough market signal"…

The category of energy storage includes systems that operate on a matter of minutes, or for half an hour, or a couple hours, or very many hours. Different jobs require different durations.

"My biggest wish is that the storage be discussed in terms of its application, and therefore the type of technology that is best suited to meet that application," said Jonathan Milley, director of business development at Massachusetts-based battery maker Vionx. "If you need a hammer, don’t get a screwdriver."

Vionx is scaling its flow battery technology, and has one system operating in Massachusetts, one being commissioned and one under construction. Those three will add up to more than 1 megawatt of capacity at 6 hours duration. – Jan. 20, 2017 - Massachusetts Decided to Set an Energy Storage Target. What Should It Be?

The article goes on about regulations, laws, and mandates. They also compare what California did with its mandated storage (explained as “top down” approach) and how Massachusetts has involved all parties since last year’s announcement (described as a more “bottom up” approach).

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. They have six months to set the number and decide how to approach deployment (industry/commercial favored? How much for residential? Grid-level? Etc).

And to give you some idea of the amount of storage, the 2 MW of storage at Snohomish, WA, said their flow batteries can serve 1,500 homes. So MA's 600 MW goal is pretty lofty!

This year is going to show a “new” technology take its first steps and provide a road guide for other states to implement the same. YAY! For energy storage!

posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 11:49 AM

Testing of the Zhangbei National Wind and Solar Energy Storage and Transmission Demonstration Project’s 8 megawatt-hour vanadium flow battery system was successfully completed last weekend.

According to Sparton Resources Inc., the battery was continuously operated at full design capacity for ten days and exceeded specifications by 10%. Smoothing tests using State Grid North China Company Limited’s software were also satisfactorily completed.

“Both State Grid and the Company technicians have indicated they are extremely pleased with the program and will prepare comprehensive reports on the test procedures and results,” says Sparton Resources. ” These will be submitted shortly to State Grid for acceptance.”, Jan. 28, 2017 - 8 Megawatt-Hour Vanadium Flow Battery Commissioned.

This is the big project in China, Zhangbei battery storage project, for the massive solar and wind farm. How I missed this, I'll never know except this did not appear on a basic google search of "vanadium redox flow batteries" and I just chanced across a blurb in a report on vanadium mining causing me to search by the project name!

So cool! They ran the thing for 10 days and it exceeded their expectations! Ah, soon the world is going to have vanadium fever!! I think the value added service will be software and the ability to switch loads seamlessly.

8 megawatts, not bad! And a world's first!

posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 03:55 PM

Well, well, well... I think the "decade" comment is wrong. Even the "four years" is off the mark...

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production.

The research, published in ACS Energy Letters, was led by Michael Aziz [that guy! Again!]...

By modifying the structures of molecules used in the positive and negative electrolyte solutions, and making them water soluble, the Harvard team was able to engineer a battery that loses only one percent of its capacity per 1000 cycles.
By first identifying how the molecule viologen in the negative electrolyte was decomposing, Beh was able to modify its molecular structure to make it more resilient.

Next, the team turned to ferrocene, a molecule well known for its electrochemical properties, for the positive electrolyte.

"Ferrocene is great for storing charge but is completely insoluble in water"...

But by functionalizing ferrocene molecules in the same way as with the viologen, the team was able to turn an insoluble molecule into a highly soluble one that could also be cycled stably.
Harvard [ Office of Technology Development] has filed a portfolio of pending patents on innovations in flow battery technology., Feb. 9, 2017 - New, long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep.

Finely some details! So the time between has been spent functionalizing the organic molecules, both the positive and negative electrolytes. Then creating enough for a couple demo models, running cycle tests, then patenting them. Is it really that difficult to actually put that in a press release??!! I guess so because there are multiple articles "ingredient in pie" or "vitamin B used to make organic battery" stories out there WITH NO DETAILS!

Anyway, the article states that neutral pH water should cut down the cost (they say up to a third of the cost of chemical flow batteries is due to the corrosive nature of the electrolyte -same source).

They also quote the DOE's goal of building RFBs at the $100 per kw-hr which a plastic container constructed RFB would do nicely. Heck, they can probably press these things out like gas cans!

Now the only thing needed is a b1tching graphene membrane!

posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 04:28 PM

…one European automaker by the name of nanoFlowcell will tell you, there’s a third way that combines the best of liquid refueling and battery packs in something called a redox flow battery — or as it prefers to call them, a nanoflowcell battery. And while the company itself is just four years old, the company has just announced that it will be demonstrating the latest in a line of prototype electric vehicles at this year’s Geneva Motor Show that it hopes will revolutionize the way we think about electric cars.

[nanoFlowcell says it] has solved both of those problems with its latest nanoflowcell technology, producing a flow cell stack made up of six flow cells in parallel that can produce the low voltage and high current required of them to power the QUANT 48VOLT’s quartet of 120 kilowatt electric motors. With variable power output, the company says the system is lighter and less complex than previous generation systems too, lowering overall cost., Feb. 6, 2017 - In Geneva, nanoFlowcell Set To Debut 186 Mph, 48-Volt Flowcelll Prototype EV Called The QUANT 48VOLT.
(w/photos of nanoFlowcell’s previous concept cars)

So you know what a redox flow battery is by now. You have two electrolytic solutions, one positive and one negative, that are circulated by each other separated by a membrane. The difference in charge creates an electric difference (i.e., electricity). Basically what I have been going about for 6 pages now.

This car actually has an electrolyte reservoir that you fill like a gas tank! The spent electrolyte is pumped to an empty holding tank to be recycled at the fill up station! The RFBs are used to turn electric motors used to power the car and turn the axle.

Check out the specs!

with a claimed 186 mph top speed and a 2.4-second 0-62 mph time, along with a claimed range in excess of 600 miles on the standard NEDC test cycle

Sounds good to me! Watch your back Muskie Boy! They are based on a superior battery tech IMHO. These things are sexy too!

The company is based in Liechtenstein so you probably won’t see one on the vast expanse of America’s highways. But a TEOT can dream!

posted on Mar, 16 2017 @ 04:55 PM

Today, SDG&E [San Diego Gas and Electric] is unveiling a new vanadium redox flow (VRF) battery storage pilot project in coordination with Sumitomo Electric (SEI), which stemmed from a partnership between Japan's New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO) and the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). During the four-year demonstration project, SDG&E will be researching if flow battery technology can economically enhance the delivery of reliable energy to customers, integrate growing amounts of renewable energy and increase the flexibility in the way the company manages the power grid.

The vanadium redox flow battery storage facility will provide 2 megawatts (MW) of energy, enough to power the energy equivalent of about 1,000 homes for up to four hours. Like other battery storage systems, the battery will act like a sponge to soak up renewable energy harnessed from the sun and release it when resources are in high demand., March 16, 2017 - SDG&E Spurs Energy Storage Innovation With Flow Battery Technology.

Nice to see VRFB being put to use in So. Cal.!! A lot of information will be gathered over the scheduled 4 year program. I bet they will wonder how they ran things so long without a redox flow battery. CA also has some storage but they installed Li-ion from Tesla (maybe it was a sister company). Lithium ion is great for short term use but the VRFBs are for long duration. One battery does not a true study make! If they put out more (my money is they will do exactly that before their project ends) the overall distributed network becomes stable.

The states with RFBs are Washington State, Oregon, and Massachusetts. And now California. As more utilities see the benefit of load shifting, load balancing, and the ability to store energy they too will add storage.

edit on 16-3-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: tori spelling

posted on Mar, 16 2017 @ 05:42 PM

Researchers at ETH Zurich and IBM Research Zurich have built a thin redox flow battery that could be built into computer chip stacks.

Using flow batteries as layers in a 3D stack would provide both power and cooling at the same time. In a flow battery, an electrochemical reaction is used to produce electricity out of two liquid electrolytes, which are pumped to the battery cell from outside via a closed electrolyte loop.

"The chips are effectively operated with a liquid fuel and produce their own electricity," said Dimos Poulikakos, Professor of Thermodynamics at ETH Zurich.

The battery is just 1.5 mm thick and the idea is to assemble chip stacks layer by layer with the batteries in between. The output of the new micro-battery also reaches a record high of 1.4 W/cm2., March 16, 2017 - Thin flow batteries could power and cool 3D stack of chips .

How crazy is that?!! To cool a computer chip, turn it into a flow battery! The assembly was 3D printed. It keeps the chip cool and makes a little electricity in return. They have to prototype to prove it!

The article continues on to state cooling items where energy is being used or created, like a solar panel, would be an ideal application of this tech. Keep the solar panel cool, store up energy in the meantime, the sun goes down, still get energy from the battery.

Now that is thinking like a nose breathing relativist! Good job in making an idea into reality!

posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 05:40 PM
Into the Li-ion vs. flow battery arena comes a new comer.

The Adelaide firm that claims its pioneering silicon storage device can displace lithium ion batteries is brushing off the Tesla, Snowy Hydro publicity blitz and accelerating plans for a $10 million mid-year IPO and commercial rollout later this year.
The technology store electrical energy - from wind turbines or other sources - by using it to heat a block of pure silicon to melting point – 1414 degrees Celsius. It discharges through a turbine, which converts heat back to electrical energy, and recycles waste heat to lift efficiency. , March 17, 2017 - Silicon battery firm 1414 Degrees ignores Tesla, Snowy Hydro blitz for IPO.

Tesla was making claims "it could solve South Australia power problems in 100 days" and these guys [1414 Degrees] are flat out ignoring any claims Musk is making.

This is not a flow battery. This a conversion of energy. Any source of electricity can be used. Then that energy is "stored" as heat by melting silicon. The heat is used to turn a turbine (not sure exactly since there are no details) to create electricity. The excess heat can also be used. He said as the system scales up the cost come down.

He is claiming he can deliver a 1000 MWh system at the same price that Tesla is claiming only 100 MWh system. A 10 MWh system comes online this year and 200 MWh next year.

Other Australia companies are mentioned in the article including the graphene supercapacitor and Redflow's zinc bromide flow battery.

If this tech is realized it might be a strong contender to knock out the fledgling flow batteries. At the very least it makes Tesla's ambitions with Li-ion seem sad.

posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 06:05 PM

And this why we can't have decent things!!

Former CSIRO scientist Patrick Glynn has developed thermal batteries, or “thermal energy devices”, which use abundant silicon rather than the rare-earth metals lithium and ion, and are heralded as far more efficient and cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, the next best thing.

Dr Glynn developed the first technology while with the CSIRO as lead scientist in the area and lodged his first patent in 2000.

He later registered four more patents, each concerning new versions of the technology.


Now CCT has taken out an ­injunction against Dr Glynn — to be heard in South Australia’s ­Supreme Court today — seeking to prevent his working in the field. [!!!]

Dr Glynn’s lawyer, Alex Moriarty of Brisbane firm AJ & Co, said yesterday that Climate Change Technologies (CCT) was suing on a “one-page agreement” with no intel­lectual property, restraint of trade, confidentiality or remuneration provisions.


The fourth patent filed by Dr Glynn in August 2010 was sold soon after to 1414 Degrees. In ­November, 1414 Degrees lodged an objection with the patent ­office, disputing the originality of CCT’s thermal battery patent. (.au), March 23, 2017 - Breakth rough battery stuck in legal limbo.

Frickin' lawyers! Are you kidding me! The guy invents something while not being employed with his former company and only after he might stand to make money from his own invention they want to keep him from working in the field he created??!!!

Now the 1414 Degrees guys are drug in because his fourth patent went to them? They have both filed an objection against CCT.

For South Australia's sake I hope the court tosses CCT's claim out. They did not even compensate him in the first place!
edit on 23-3-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarity

posted on Mar, 29 2017 @ 03:36 PM

All this [energy storage] raises the question: Who will lead the industry and make all those batteries?

If they all needed to be made today, the obvious answer would be China, Japan and South Korea. Asia is where 88 percent of all lithium-ion batteries are made now, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

When it comes to stationary storage, the United States is by far the world's largest market. While it may not make the batteries, it leads the world in deploying energy storage in buildings and on the grid, and it integrates the package with the most sophisticated energy-management software and services, said Ravi Manghani, an analyst with GTM [Green Tech Media] Research.

Another reason the United States may compete is that it leads in research on alternatives to lithium ion and in making lithium ion better. Some approaches have little to do with chemistry, such as filling caverns with compressed air, spinning flywheels extremely fast or storing energy in a train car filled with concrete.

But more attention is on improving chemistry, including formulations that could replace lithium ion. The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), based at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, is operating with $120 million from the Department of Energy. With 20 participating institutions, it is creating four new prototypes of batteries, each with the goal of achieving five times the density and one-fifth the cost of today's lithium-ion batteries. They're due near the end of this year [2017].

These chemistries, including lithium-sulfur and an organic "flow" battery, would entail new manufacturing processes that would essentially start the industry over and erase Asia's lead.

"When it emerges, we'll all be in the same place,"
said George Crabtree, the director of JCESR.

E&, March 20, 2017 - Energy storage is America's industry to lose.
- and -, 3/29/2017 – The battery of the future could be compressed air.
- and -, Jan. 2017 – Current Flywheels moving to Superconducting flywheels using crabon fiber or carbon nanotubes.

Energy storage ours to lose, hum. The Harvard organic flow battery is doing whatever it has been doing. The real news was Massachusetts creating legislation and working with the DOE to set up flow batteries. Tech is all fine and stuff but until there is government/utility buy in, like SDG&E did, there will be no movement.

The li-ion lead Asia enjoys goes away if li-ion is replaced (the graphene battery) or a demonstrated flow battery system with all the controls, auto-switching, and extra electrolyte tanks becomes a reality.

It truly is a battle for energy storage. The US leads the way in integration of the grid. But we cannot stay on top without a proven approach and a reliable system. This is the future of the electric grid. The article even makes a plea about government spending being a win-win-win for all involved.

Anyway, cool reads. Sorry could not find anything on trains filled with concrete as energy storage!
edit on 29-3-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarity and grammar

posted on Mar, 30 2017 @ 02:40 PM

Update RE: Snohomish PUD, Washington State VRFB

Officials are celebrating the installation of the world's largest containerized vanadium flow battery storage system by capacity, which uses electrolyte chemistry developed at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, PNNL's Jud Virden and others are gathering today at the headquarters of UniEnergy Technologies, also known as UET, whose advanced vanadium flow battery was recently installed at a Snohomish PUD substation near Everett, Wash., March 30, 2017 - News Brief: Flow battery based on PNNL chemistry commissioned.

The announcement has a picture showing the shipping container batteries being lowered onto their pad at the PUD. These are 2 MW vanadium redox flow batteries. From the announcement to being commissioned, 3 months (almost 4), not bad!

The cool thing is they are self contained shipping containers. Which means they can be shipped anywhere with no special equipment needed (there is probably concerns over vats of vanadium electrolyte!).

Welcome to the grid of the future... today! Now to see how they perform in the real world.

posted on Apr, 10 2017 @ 12:18 PM

Although this [Washington's] flow battery is currently among the largest installed on a grid in the world, that distinction man not last for long. UET’s sister company is Chinese flow battery manufacturer Rongke Power (both companies hare a major investor, and UET buys its electrical stacks from Rongke, according to Gastineau). Last year, the China National Energy Administration approved a massive 200MW/800MWh installation proposed by Rongke for the Liaodong Peninsula in northeast China, a strip of land that’s home to Dalian, a city of nearly 7 million people. The Chinese government has recently pushed to improve energy resiliency on the typhoon-wracked peninsula by adding more renewable power and energy storage.

Rongke’s flow battery will be connected directly to a wind farm, Gastineau added., April 6, 2017 - Washington state’s new 8 megawatt-hour flow battery is the largest of its kind.

Nice write up in Ars Technica about the Snohomish PUD installation. There are a few more tidbits and facts in there. Like each shipping container will weigh 88,000 lbs. when filled with electrolytes! I think the title is a bit misleading because it is the largest "self contained" RFB in the world. That installation in China of 200 MW is scheduled to go online next year, 2018. And that is truly huge! It is also nice to know a little behind the scenes info too (they are sister companies).

posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 01:26 PM

John Cushman, Purdue University distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary science and a professor of mathematics, presented the research findings “Redox reactions in immiscible-fluids in porous media – membraneless battery applications” at the recent International Society for Porous Media 9th International Conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Cushman co-founded Ifbattery LLC (IF-battery) to further develop and commercialize the technology.

“Electric and hybrid vehicle sales are growing worldwide and the popularity of companies like Tesla is incredible, but there continues to be strong challenges for industry and consumers of electric or hybrid cars,” said Cushman, who led the research team that developed the technology. - Membraneless flow battery could allow electric car refueling by replacing electrolyzer (sic).

Two items. First is a membrane-less flow battery! That is huge news! Second is about infrastructure. An electrolyte refueling stations? I'm not sure acidic mixtures should be handled by the public. The risk of contamination increases when transferring electrolyte around. Which means more processing (i.e., money). There would also have be an education of the end-user to not mix in new electrolytes but do a whole flush when running out of charge.

Well, new type of flow battery! No membrane required! And another company to keep an eye on.

posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 05:44 PM

UniEnergy Technologies, LLC (UET), Mukilteo, Washington, in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), for an advanced vanadium redox flow battery, originally developed at the PNNL and commercialized by UET. The battery, when used by utility, commercial and industrial customers, allows cities and businesses more access to stored energy. It also lasts longer and works in a broad temperature range with one-fifth the footprint of previous flow battery technologies. The electrolyte is water-based and does not degrade, and the batteries are non-flammable and recyclable, thus helping meet the increasing demand of electrical energy storage in the electrical power market, from generation, transmission, and distribution to the end users of electricity. - EPA Honors Winners of the 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, including Cambridge, Mass. Company.

PNNL made the vanadium electrolyte in the UET batteries that were installed at the Snohomish PUD. That installation keeps on giving! About UET...

UET recently installed a 2 Megawatt/8 Megawatt-hour flow battery for Snohomish Public Utility District in Everett, Wash., that is the largest containerized flow battery system in the world. To date, the company has installed more than 14 Megawatt-hours of flow batteries to support a variety of grid services, including integrating renewable energy onto the power grid and ensuring power quality at manufacturing facilities. With over 155 Megawatt-hours of further systems ordered or awarded, UET's sales thus far have been in three countries and six U.S. states. - Battery based on PNNL tech given EPA green chemistry award.

I have seen the Shohomish announcement but did not know these guys had another 6 MW/H batteries out there in the real world. And they are expanding! The factory is 60,000 square feet so they should be able to handle the demand.

Sounds like we will see more of their vanadium redox flow batteries around and installed.

Congrats on the win!

posted on Jun, 29 2017 @ 03:43 PM

An update of sorts!

The MIT researchers found a promising method of forming liquid copper metal and sulfur gas in their cell from an electrolyte composed of barium sulfide, lanthanum sulfide, and copper sulfide, which yields greater than 99.9 percent pure copper. This purity is equivalent to the best current copper production methods.

These sulfide minerals are compounds where the metal and the sulfur elements share electrons. In their molten state, copper ions are missing one electron, giving them a positive charge, while sulfur ions are carrying two extra electrons, giving them a negative charge. The desired reaction in an electrolysis cell is to form elemental atoms, by adding electrons to metals such as copper, and taking away electrons from sulfur. This happens when extra electrons are introduced to the system by the applied voltage. The metal ions are reacting at the cathode, a negatively charged electrode, where they gain electrons in a process called reduction; meanwhile, the negatively charged sulfur ions are reacting at the anode, a positively charged electrode, where they give up electrons in a process called oxidation.

The new work doubles the efficiency for electrolytic extraction of copper reported in the first paper, which was 28 percent with an electrolyte where only barium sulfide added to the copper sulfide, to 59 percent in the second paper with both lanthanum sulfide and barium sulfide added to the copper sulfide.

“Demonstrating that we can perform faradaic reactions in a liquid metal sulfide is novel and can open the door to study many different systems,” Chmielowiec says. “It works for more than just copper. We were able to make rhenium, and we were able to make molybdenum.”

MIT News, June 28, 2017 - A new way of extracting copper.

In the other post, they added other substances between their electrolyte hoping to boost charge retention and capacity but then had the same reaction: lending electrons to compound elements that were then split back into the respective elements.

This one is a little different in that they took the idea from the accidental discovery and methodically calculated temperatures and electrolyte chemistries to split copper sulfide off into sulfur and pure copper. They would like to see if this is scalable and try to make it a continuous process. And also apply it to different metals.

An accidental discovery to a demonstrated application of electrolysis of copper all thanks to redox flow battery research!

edit on 29-6-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar

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