Vanitec discusses the safety of the vanadium redox flow battery and its application in renewable energy projects.
The global renewable energy market is anticipated to grow significantly to around $1.5 billion by 20251 as most countries commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions that significantly impact the environment, this is according to Allied Market Research’s Renewable Energy Market Outlook – 2025.
Renewable energy technologies convert energy from natural resources such as the sun or wind into usable forms of electricity that can be used at any time, regardless of changes in weather patterns. This indicates the growth potential for reliable energy storage solutions.
The deployment of energy storage batteries, which are designed to store energy that can be used at a later stage, has increased over the years. Whilst there has been little conversation about the safety of these batteries, the increase in fire incidents reported at energy storage facilities, indicates that open conversations must be had about the safety of energy storage.
When a significant amount of energy is stored, adequate controls must be in place to control the energy output. In April 2019, an explosion at a 2-MW/2-MW-h solar energy-powered and grid connected battery facility located in Surprise, Arizona, seems to indicate that there is a significant lag in control and operational measures at energy storage battery facilities.
As part of Vanitec’s Energy Storage Committee (‘ESC’) strategic objectives, the ESC is committed to the development and understanding of fire-safety issues related to the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery, with emphasis on the solutions the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery can provide to the energy storage industry to mitigate fire-risk.
The Vanadium Redox Flow Battery is an energy storage flow battery invented by Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos in the 1980’s, and is suitable for large-scale energy storage, including but not limited to utility, commercial, industrial and residential applications. Some of the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery ’s key characteristics make it a leading technology in energy storage, given its broad range of factors, including having no “thermal runaway” risk when compared to other technologies. Thermal runaway, which causes a fire in a battery, is an inherent risk of solid-state batteries.