Lithium-based vs. Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries

Flow Batteries

Energy storage is transforming the electricity industry. The energy storage has grown, bringing power to billions of users by tapping into microgrids. Lithium and vanadium have been offered up as a basis for the storage economy. Here are a few differences between the two which will help you make better decisions when choosing the right batteries.

Cell design

Lithium batteries can easily store the energy in cells and are cylindrical and relatively small and self-contained. There are often seen in phones, and with the grid-scale storage system, they can be found in hundreds. They can easily be used to help with industrial-scale cold storage, which has a bunch of portable refrigerators. Vanadium flow batteries are stored in their energy tanks, including the fluids transfer charges inside the battery. It flows from the tone tank through the system and back into the same tank. The tanks are bigger and are above the ground and much easier to adapt to the flow of the batteries. They are especially functional with the help of industrial-scale applications without adding a lot of costs.

Cell design


The average cost of the Lithium-ion based storage system is $1,750 kilowatt per hour. The cost includes the cells, electronics, installations, balance of system expenses. There are many projects on the work which will allow people to use the storage battery for much cheaper. With vanadium batteries, we can already see the complete energy storage system for $300 per kilowatt in less than a year. The projects are in full swing, which can allow the energy storage system to be $15o kilowatt per hour. There is still a lot of debate about the commercial availability.


The grid batteries have lasted for decades, and the average of the substation transformer is 42 years. Lithium-ion batteries have a very small life. With time, the performance can easily degrade over time and has impacted the heat, operating conditions, and the way they discharge. With a vanadium-based battery, the storage system can easily operate forever. The active ingredients are low cost, rechargeable, and never wears out due to the chemical reaction—the electronics and software to manage the system, which can easily be upgraded like any computer.

grid batteries

Applicable markets

Lithium is small but expensive but is excellent for the storage system for running in demand to the response programs or the backup systems, which can provide four to six hours of power. It gets worse, and the lithium batteries are subjected to thermal runaway reactions that can blow up. Vanadium based systems are made for industrial-size applications. They can work for a long time and can take a few kilowatts to several megawatts without the danger of any thermal reactions.

Lithium-based vs. Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries

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