VRFB Technology

The VRFB is the simplest and most developed flow battery in mass commercial operations

  • The flow battery was first developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1970s and unlike conventional batteries, the liquid electrolytes are stored in separated storage tanks, not in the power cell of the battery
  • During operation these electrolytes are pumped through a stack of power cells, or membrane, where a reversable oxidation (“redox”) electrochemical reaction takes place, charging or discharging the battery
  • Vanadium can exist in four different states, allowing for a single element to be used to store energy. Vanadium was first used in flow batteries in the mid-1980’s
  • In addition to vanadium, the electrolyte consists primarily of water and chemical additive acids such as sulphuric acid or hydrochloric acid

VRFB technology offers significant advantages

  • Long lifespan cycles: Ability to repeatedly charge / discharge over 35,000 times for a lifespan of over 20 years
  • 100% depth of discharge: Without performance degradation is unique to VRFBs
  • Lowest cost per kWh when fully used at least once daily makes VRFBs today cheaper than Li-ion batteries
  • Safe, with no fire risk from thermal runaway
  • 100% of vanadium is re-usable upon decommissioning of the system
  • Scalable capacity to store large quantities of energy
  • Flexibility: Allows capture of the multi-stacked value of energy storage in grid applications
  • Very fast response time of less than 70ms
  • No cross-contamination: Only one battery element, unique among flow batteries
  • Sustainability, with 100% of vanadium is re-usable upon decommissioning of the system

How a VRFB works