Engineering 101

Redox Flow Batteries’ Advantages for Stationary Energy Storage Market

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An increasing number of news articles about Redox Flow Batteries are present on the web. This technology, mostly adopted in on-grid and off-grid applications, has been studied for the last 50 years, and it is currently being commercialized (most of the time) in a containerized size, for medium- and large-scale applications.

One of the main characteristics of this technology is the decoupled energy and power capacity. In fact, while the energy is stored in the electroactive species present in the electrolyte, the output power of the device is a function of the number and size of the electrodes constituting the electrode stack. Therefore, electrolyte concentration and the electrode stacks, are the two components accounting respectively for energy and power.

Besides the advantage of a decoupled energy/power capacity, the redox flow batteries are characterized by a low Levelized Cost of Storage (LCOS) and a long cycle life between 20,000 and 25,000 cycles. The characteristic properties of redox flow batteries make this technology very suitable for applications in the energy storage sector.

IDTechEx performed an in-depth analysis of the main electrolyte chemistries developed. Besides the vanadium flow battery (VRFB), currently dominating the flow battery market, other technologies like zinc/bromine, hydrogen/bromine, and all-iron are populating the market. In the report ‘Redox Flow Batteries 2020-2030: Forecast, Challenges, Opportunities’ IDTechEx analyzed the main advantages and disadvantages of each type of electrolyte, after having performed primary research on the topic and company interviews.

Besides the technology evaluation, IDTechEx performed a market analysis, studying the previous and ongoing projects all over the world. Moreover, due to the high interested in this technology from some countries, like South Africa and Australia, IDTechEx performed a regional analysis highlighting how and why these countries are interested in redox flow batteries.

From the technical and market analysis performed, a market forecast for the period 2020 to 2030 was estimated. In IDTechEx’s view, two possible scenarios are possible in the next ten years, a ‘Conservative’ and ‘Extreme’ scenario. The main difference in these views is the governments’ fundamental contribution to the adoption of this technology.

As Mariana Mazzucato, one of the most influential economists in the world explained in an interview for Wired magazine: many of the most famous technologies available today, from the iPhone, to the HTTP protocol, would have never become a reality if not thanks to massive public investments.

To connect with others on this topic, register for The IDTechEx Show! USA 2020, November 18th to 19th 2020, Santa Clara, USA. Presenting the latest emerging technologies at one event, with six concurrent conferences and a single exhibition covering 3D Printing and 3D Electronics, Electric Vehicles, Energy Storage, Graphene & 2D Materials, Healthcare, Internet of Things, Printed Electronics, Sensors and Wearable Technology.

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