Vanadium Redox Flow Battery: How It Works
Lots of different batteries are on the market. But when it comes to widely-used rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion has been the go-to option for years.
However, the vanadium redox flow battery is changing things - especially as it pertains to the need for larger-scale batteries.
To understand the power, capability, and impact that this battery can have in our world, it helps to know how it works.
An Overview of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries
A vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) requires two different tanks - one that holds a positive solution and one that holds a negative solution. The greater the size of the tanks, the more energy can be stored. And, when used on a large-scale, such as for industrial use, the bigger the tank, the longer the run time.
Between each of these tanks, you will find cell stacks that keep the battery’s process moving.
The solution that is in the tank on the positive side is pumped out and into the cell stack. At the same time, the electrolyte solution on the negative side is also pumped into the opposite side of the cell stack, as well. These two solutions do not mix together.
So, how are both tanks pumped into the cell stack without combining with one another? There is a thin membrane in the center that works to keep them apart. The material used to create this membrane can vary.
As the vanadium redox flow battery begins discharging to store energy, charged ions in the negative electrolyte begin releasing electrons that travel from the cell stack, to the load in the form of electrical current and back into the cell stack where they attach to the uncharged ions.
The result? The electrical current is used as available energy to do work.
When the battery is charged, the electrons are forced back into the system from energy supplied outside of the system and one tank of electrolyte becomes more negatively charged than the other side. The longevity of the vanadium redox flow battery’s charge and discharge cycle seems almost endless.
What is Vanadium?
There are many different materials that could be considered for the electrolytes for a flow battery. So, why vanadium?
Vanadium is an element that is quite common and abundant. Vanadium is used in many industries such as making steel. Plus, because it is able to function within a solution in different oxidation states, the battery can create a charge from only one electrolyte instead of requiring two that are different.
Vanadium has long been used in applications that require steel alloys, including automobiles, jet engines, and even dental implants. This silver-gray metal is now being used to transform the way we generate energy.
A Sustainable Energy Choice
Many companies are looking towards sustainable options when it comes to their operations. Not only are these batteries better for the environment as a whole, but they save money, too. It is safe to say that vanadium redox flow batteries bring the cost-effective energy storage they are looking for.
Because of the way they are designed to renew energy - as well as their longevity - these batteries are continuing to prove themselves as the superior performer in the market for both cost and energy efficiency.
Learn More About VRFB at StorEn Technologies
Vanadium redox flow batteries run more efficiently - and effectively - than other options so there is no doubt that they are the future of energy. And StorEn Technologies is helping to make this form of sustainable energy more accessible.