It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Has The Great Flow Battery Battle Started?

page: 7
<< 4  5  6   >>

log in


posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 02:35 PM

One of Germany’s largest utilities wants to build what it says could be the biggest 'battery' in the world to date – using underground caverns filled with saltwater as a giant redox flow energy storage system.

EWE GASSPEICHER, a subsidiary of utility EWE based in Oldenburg, northern Germany, said a few days ago that it wants to construct redox flow batteries inside underground salt caverns currently used for storing natural gas.

The university team then hit upon the idea of using the underground salt caverns as containers for the electrolyte. The underground caverns are often vast, offering potential for storing large amounts of energy. Initially, the project’s battery will be constructed and contained in plastic containers at another site before being transferred into the caverns., June 30, 2017 - German utility EWE wants to build giant redox flow system in underground caverns.

The article points out it is safer than vanadium and probably cheaper. Oh, you have got love German engineering! There would be one anode cavern and one cathode cavern. Looks like they would pump out the electrolytes to a "membrane power station" for either charging or discharging. Probably both at the same time! Why limit yourself to just two caverns? Why not four? Charged cavern, flows across the membrane, then pumped to an empty cavern (both electrolytes can do this). When it is time to charge, reverse the process!

Besides the compressed air energy storage this is one wild idea! And redox flow batteries are not in heavy use!

They said the system could be operational by 2023 (same source).

posted on Aug, 22 2017 @ 06:11 PM

For some alternative energy enthusiasts, Musk's deal wasn't good enough. Instead of buying Tesla's Powerwall, they build their own DIY versions using recycled batteries for a fraction of the cost. Then, naturally, they share their creations and swap knowledge with other hobbyists across the internet. DIY powerwall enthusiasts congregate on a dedicated forum, in Facebook groups, and on YouTube.

DIY Powerwall Builders Are Using Recycled Laptop Batteries to Power Their Homes.

I was having a chuckle at what people are doing and how they are circumventing the monopoly Musk wants on power storage using his product.

Then I thought, "Hey, if they can hack a Powerwall, well, what about a redox flow battery?" A quick google later and I read this article..., Nov. 2016 - Junkyard Metal Turned Into a DIY Super Battery.

Link to PDF at ACS Energy: From the Junkyard to the Power Grid: Ambient Processing of Scrap Metals into Nanostructured Electrodes for Ultrafast Rechargeable Batteries.

The gist is they used an electrical process on spare brass to make it "open up pores" where electron can gather (they actually did this to both anode and electrode), they put them in a jar, added a barrier to keep them from instantaneously reacting, attached some wires to both hunks of metals, and created a redox battery they say is similar to the Baghdad Battery in both design and operation (no harsh chemicals or acids here).

Well, why not do both at the same time?? Make a DIY RFB that is Powerwall sized? It would be easier than opening Li-ion batteries to scavenge usable cells. No need to replace individual batteries that fail either. Two glass carboys, some stoppers, some shielded wiring, then some kind of charge monitoring system.

Anyway, one of those ideas where it is possible. I do not have the space to do this myself. Maybe in a small demo, science project like way but I rent, so no real space to do this.

I know there are a few that can. And here is an idea that bypasses the entire industry. I like the redox battery and the fact these guys published this for anybody to access!

posted on Sep, 25 2017 @ 05:02 PM

Chattanooga's municipal power utility [EPB] on Friday energized a 100 kilowatt vanadium redox flow battery that researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed and which Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers will study.

"Because Chattanooga's power distribution infrastructure combines a communitywide fiber optics network with more than 1,200 automated power management devices to form one of the most advanced smart grids in the country, we are well-positioned to serve as a living laboratory for testing new technologies and developing best practices that will help other utilities modernize their infrastructure," EPB Chairman Joe Ferguson said., Sept. 25, 2017 - New Battery Holds Promise for Substation Supplementation, Substitution.

Another muni put storage into the mix! This is a bit more sophisticated grid which I hope will make it more of a "no brainer" for utilities to open up to the idea of VRFBs on the grid.

Funny, must be something in the air. This is the fourth time today I've mentioned RFBs. It might have something to do with all the hurricanes. People get twitchy about something we all take for granted: electricity.

100 kW per 4 hour charge is too small of a step, IMO. In the end it is better than not having any at all!

ETA (same source):

The battery system for the EPB project is provided by UniEnergy Technologies, a Seattle-based manufacturer that already has installed five other designs of the new battery type at other sites around the globe. The new flow batteries have an efficiency of more than 70 percent, meaning there is less than a 30 percent loss of the power put into the battery compared with the amount that comes out and is delivered when it is needed.

edit on 25-9-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: should have read the whole article! D'oh!

posted on Nov, 14 2017 @ 06:20 PM
Welcome UK to the wonderful world of energy storage!

The UK's largest flow battery system has been connected up to the power grid.

The vanadium redox flow technology will initially be used to store excess power from solar generation at the Olde House farm and holiday retreat in Cornwall until it is needed on site.

The containerised system has a storage capacity of 1MWh, a maximum output of 90kW and a lifespan of at least 25 years.

The supplier, RedT, says it will enable the site owner to cut imports from the power grid by up to 50 per cent during peak hours. It will also participate in the capacity market and be used to provide frequency response, short term operating reserve and demand turn-up services., Nov. 14, 2017 - UK's largest flow battery system connected to grid.

1 MWh is not a huge amount of storage but it is how it is being used that is important. The whole VRFB sits in a shipping container and not even a full size one at that but one of the 1/3rd size ones. There are connections for solar power and regular power in and electricity out. The important part is that it is controlled release of power. Need more? It will put more out from the battery first. Making more solar than you are using? It will turn around and store it for you. Power goes out, it comes on to provide power.

50% cut during peak electrical production is a great selling point. They did get a government subsidy as part of research project but when the results come back I suspect it will be better than what they originally projected.

It is great to see a redox flow battery out in the real world and under real world conditions!

posted on Nov, 14 2017 @ 06:49 PM

The factory sprawls over an area larger than 20 soccer fields [!!!]. Inside, it’s brightly lit and filled with humming machinery, a mammoth futuristic manufactory. Robot arms grab components from bins and place each part with precision, while conveyor belts move the assembled pieces smoothly down production lines. Finished products enter testing stations for quality checks before being packed for shipping.

It has been called a gigafactory, and it does indeed produce vast quantities of advanced batteries. But this gigafactory is in China, not Nevada. It doesn’t make batteries for cars, and it’s not part of the Elon Musk empire.

Opened in early 2017, in the northern Chinese port city of Dalian, this plant is owned by Rongke Power and is turning out battery systems for some of the world’s largest energy storage installations. It’s on target to produce 300 megawatts’ worth of batteries by the end of this year, eventually ramping up to 3 gigawatts per year.

The scale of this “other” gigafactory may be impressive, but the core technology it makes is even more compelling. The Dalian factory produces vanadium redox-flow batteries, a specialized type whose time has finally come. The VRFB was invented decades ago but has emerged only recently as one of the leading contenders for large-scale energy storage., Oct. 26, 2017 - It’s Big and Long-Lived, and It Won’t Catch Fire: The Vanadium Redox-⁠Flow Battery.

The author of this particular article worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and helped develop the vanadium pentoxide electrolyte in the current wave of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB). He is cofounder of UET (UniEnergy Technologies), the guys that installed the farm at PUD in Snohomish, WA.

In other words, he knows what the h3ll he is talking about!

We’ve [UET] also brought down the batteries’ cost: A few years ago, the cost of a 4-⁠hour VRFB system was about $800 per kilowatt-hour. These days, it’s about half that, comparable to the cost of a stationary lithium-ion system. But that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. As mentioned earlier, like that of other solid-state batteries, lithium ion’s capacity degrades over time, and its life span is shorter. We’ve tested individual VRFBs through more than 14,000 cycles, fully charging and discharging each cycle, and they still perform at 100 percent capacity. This should translate into a life span of 20 years or more. To date, our company has installed several megawatt-scale systems around the world, with an additional 200 MWh either awarded or in contract.

(same source)

The article is a good historical review of how progress on VRFB has been made over the years. There is also a very detailed explanation on charging and discharging a flow battery, why it works, how they made it better, what areas came along that helped them out in formulating their new electrolyte, etc. There is also the peek at the future where you can see some excitement in his retelling of events and the tacit acknowledgement of what lies ahead.

This is one of those take a half-hour and read deeply about this technology! Has pictures of the Chinese gigafactory too!

edit on 14-11-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: friggin autocorrect

posted on Jan, 24 2018 @ 05:55 PM

Projects are beginning to roll into the pipeline in Massachusetts, but there are concerns. “The policies are not developed to the extent they need to be in order for storage to take off,” Zachary Gerson, an attorney with Foley Hoag, told Utility Dive.

One of the outstanding questions is the eligibility of energy storage systems to net meter under Massachusetts rules. That issue was raised last year in a filing with the Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities.

The issue has been simmering since at least 2015 and is still not resolved. Late last year, the DPU created a separate docket to handle the matter. In short, developers are seeking clarity on whether or not a storage system paired with a solar power installation is eligible for net metering. Some parties, such as utilities, are concerned that net metering of storage could lead to double dipping of benefits. The DPU issued a narrow ruling on a case involving Tesla, but left the wider issue to be hammered out in the new docket., news, Jan. 23, 2018 - 6 months after target adoption, Massachusetts sees energy storage growth, challenges.

Mass. had set goals on storage capacity. So the capacity was met. Here come redox flow batteries, right?

Nope. The state has not specified how stored energy will be charged when put on the grid! Net metering is when solar cells generate electricity that can be put back on the grid. So lets say you have a PV rooftop that creates more energy than your household uses. You can "sell back" the energy your roof created in the form of a credit to your account.

Now, if you store your own solar energy in a flow battery (or even li-ion, or some other method), it is not clear if you can be credited back using the net meter system! There are no specific designations within Mass. state law on how to deal with energy storage!

Want to adopt a solar-storage solution for your household in Massachusetts? You have to get over the FUD and either jump in hoping some of your cost can be credited back, or be left holding your own liability bag. The same thing is being said about RFBs in general! Electric companies don't want to lay out the cost and want insurance (like car insurance!!) on their investment!

Grid storage is a great idea! Fear of not making money is holding it all back! I wonder if the fear of actually losing money will overcome that should, say, a massive power outage happens and people with the means cut the power cord? What kind of mess would that make?

posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 02:58 PM

The cluster was first developed in the lab of German chemist Johann Spandl, and studied for its magnetic properties. Tests conducted by VanGelder showed that the compound could store charge in a redox flow battery, “but was not as stable as we had hoped.”

However, by making what Matson describes as “a simple molecular modification”— replacing the compound’s methanol-derived methoxide groups with ethanol-based ethoxide ligands—the team was able to expand the potential window during which the cluster was stable, doubling the amount of electrical energy that could be stored in the battery.

Says Matson: “What’s really cool about this work is the way we can generate the ethoxide and methoxide clusters by using methanol and ethanol. Both of these reagents are inexpensive, readily available and safe to use. The metal and oxygen atoms that compose the remainder of the cluster are earth-abundant elements. The straightforward, efficient synthesis of this system is a totally new direction in charge-carrier development that, we believe, will set a new standard in the field.”, Jan 31, 2018 - Compound could transform energy storage for large grids.

A great discovery that could drive the price of grid-level energy storage down real fast! The vanadium pentoxide is expensive to mine, clean, then fabricate. Ethanol and methanal, not so much!

Leave it to a couple of chemists to look at somebody else's research and say, "We can make it better. And cheaper!"

I hope this one goes somewhere (yeah Harvard, I'm looking at you!) out here in the real world.

posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 03:09 PM
Seem redox flow batteries are now being recognized "a thing" now...


Redflow batteries now made in Thailand.

These are the guys using zinc-bromine as their electrolyte solution. They are targeting the home owner market in Australia. They are making 10 kWh sized version that should match well with PV cells.


Daily Planet (.org) - New battery mimics an electric eel’s shock.

This says it was published two weeks ago but this is the first time I've seen it! This is another version of the salt battery. And it is still in the lab. But it is the "idea" that matters! For people who has not heard of a "redox flow battery" and whose eyes roll when they hear "electrolyte" then you say, "like an electric eel"!


All good things comes in threes!!
edit on 2-2-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: clarification

posted on Feb, 22 2018 @ 02:24 PM

Well, the state did not know how to account for the sale of stored energy (previous post). The next logical step would be to look at how federal law deals with energy storage, right? Well, that was no help either because the laws about storage were unclear. Until this order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

(FERC) is amending the regulations under the Federal Power Act (FPA) to remove barriers to the participation of electric storage resources in the capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets operated by Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) and Independent System Operators (ISO) (RTO/ISO markets). Specifically, we require each RTO and ISO to revise its tariff to establish a participation model consisting of market rules that, recognizing the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources, facilitates their participation in the RTO/ISO markets., whats new (pdf) , Feb. 15, 2018 - Docket Nos. RM16-23-000; AD16-20-00; Order No. 841.

There are rules the RTO/ISO must follow like selling at the set market price, having to be of a certain power capacity, and excludes nuclear PPs.

FERC’s order “opens the floodgates for storage participation” in wholesale power markets, Ravi Manghani, director of energy storage at GTM Research, said.

Order 841 directs operators of wholesale markets — Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) — to come up with market rules for energy storage to participate in the wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets that recognize the physical and operational characteristics of the resource. - FERC order opens 'floodgates' for energy storage in wholesale markets.

The directive becomes effective (it must be followed) 90 days after publication. They also get 9 months of seeing how it works before they have to commit to their changes.

Here we go! The Great Flow Battery Battle has truly begun! I may have jumped the gun by a couple years but it was kind of obvious this was coming! And maybe seeing how the inclement weather impacted the NE power grid this winter, not to mention the devastation in Puerto Rico, that FERC has taken away the dis-incentive to place storage on the grid that this order has come down.

The Grid will grow resilient as redox flow batteries are added.

edit on 22-2-2018 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: formatting

posted on Apr, 10 2018 @ 01:45 PM
Previous post about the legality if selling stored power being worked out.

Now, the news is about one of the electrolytes, vanadium pentoxide, price climbing. A change in taxing, and looks like Prophecy Development is going to start a vanadium mine in California.

According to a January 2018 Bloomberg article, the vanadium pentoxide price soared more than 130% in 2017, outperforming better-known battery components such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. Vanadium pentoxide is currently trading at US $14/lb. It has been forecast that the global energy storage market will double six times between 2016 and 2030.

Envisaging how vanadium redox battery developments will play out in the near future, Prophecy Development Corp.’s business plan is to advance the leased Gibellini primary vanadium mining project in northeastern Nevada to production. There are not many primary vanadium deposits and Prophecy is fortunate to have acquired the advanced-stage, road-accessible Gibellini Project, located about 25 miles south of Eureka in the Battle Mountain region, one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world. As there is not a primary vanadium mine in the country, the U.S. Geological Survey has listed vanadium as one of 23 critical mineral resources., April 10, 2018 - Prophecy Development to build North America’s first primary vanadium mine.

They estimate there is 50 million pounds of V50 with upwards of another 100 million of other forms to be mined. They have a technology sharing partner that has an environmental friendly process that does not require heating up the ore. The mine is operational so leasing should be relatively simple. And the timing is right for grid-level VRFBs.

North America's first vanadium mine with the goal of creating energy storage batteries!

posted on Nov, 7 2018 @ 12:21 PM
a reply to: ME

Anybody remember this post?? They were trying to use a third electrolyte in a RFB
and ended up, basically, smelting the electrolyte into its constituent metal and gas. The MIT folk thought it might be a new method of creating metal without having to use a blast furnace.

In the main approach to steelmaking today, iron oxide is placed into a blast furnace with coke, a hard, porous substance derived from coal. Under high temperatures, the coke turns into carbon monoxide, which plucks oxygen off the iron, producing an intermediate metal known as “pig iron”—along with carbon dioxide that wafts into the atmosphere.
This and other steps in the process pump around 1.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, adding up to around 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to a recent paper in Science, Sept. 24, 2018 - A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke.

Well, the MIT folk spun out a company called Boston Metal and have researching on how to make this happen. They have figured out an anode that can withstand the energy requirements and not corrode under heavy usage. They now want to make a demo plant (all the same source).

They have to convince the metal industry that their process works as good (actually better than current since it does not require all the heating with CO2 as an exhaust) as current (and centuries old) method of making steel.

Something to keep an eye on!

new topics

top topics

<< 4  5  6   >>

log in