VRFB’s are the most efficient batteries that have the capability to charge and discharge power simultaneously. Fast charging Vanadium Redox Flow Battery are charged via either wind turbines or solar panels during low electricity demand periods and then supply electricity to large neighbourhoods and commercial districts during peak usage times.
Flow batteries have unique characteristics which make them especially attractive when compared with conventional batteries, such as their ability to decouple rated power from rated capacity, as well as their greater design flexibility and nearly unlimited life. VRFB’s are favoured over lithium ion batteries especially when it comes to large wind or solar farms. There are various problems with lithium batteries other than the parasitic load factor. Lithium-ion or lead-acid also begin degrading after a couple of years unlike VRFB’s. Lithium ion batteries life is exhausted after about 1,000 charges and become environmental hazard with little residual value. This is hardly compatible with the lifecycle of a wind or solar farm, which can last 20 to 30 years. Scalability is also an issue as batteries require a delicate maintenance circuitry and must be daisy chained to grow beyond 50 MWh. Many countries such as China have begun favouring VRFB;s over Lithium ion batteries.
“China has the largest and highest-grade vanadium resources in the world and is poised to use this miracle metal to fundamentally transform its electricity grid. With massive amounts of renewable energy and storage coming online, China will create the most modern, clean and efficient grid in the world,” said Robert Friedland in a press release from Pu Neng.In fact, the China National Development and Reform Commission released a policy document on the issue in late September called “Guidance on the Promotion of Energy Storage Technology and Industry Development.” The document calls for the launch of pilot projects such as multiple 100-MW-scale vanadium flow batteries by the end of 2020.
The goal is to have larger-scale deployment over the ensuing five years. Friedland said the policy, “will result in vanadium flow batteries revolutionizing modern electricity grids in the way that lithium-ion batteries are enabling the global transition to electric vehicles.”Xie Guangguo, chairman of Hubei Pingfan, said the company selected a vanadium flow battery “because they have superior safety, reliability and lifecycle economics compared to lithium-ion and other battery types. We selected Pu Neng because it is the leader in China with its VRB technology, and has a track record of performance with State Grid Corporation of China.”The goal is to have larger-scale deployment over the ensuing five years. Robert Friedland said the policy, “will result in vanadium flow batteries revolutionizing modern electricity grids in the way that lithium-ion batteries are enabling the global transition to electric vehicles.”