Flow-Battery Energy-Storage System Expands Capabilities
ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn) recently announced that it has bolstered its proprietary flow-battery technology to enhance the capabilities, reliability, and lifetime of all next-generation flow-battery systems for multi-megawatt energy storage applications. Designated “Vanguard II,” the battery stack further expands the operating range of ViZn’s systems by enhancing the fast switching and high-power cycling capabilities required for many applications, further maximizing ROI and providing industry-leading payback periods.
The Vanguard II battery stack has demonstrated 20% greater capacity and is immune to cycle-life degradation, providing more headroom to handle spikes in power requirements for demanding and unpredictable applications on both sides of the meter. All ViZn flow batteries incorporate the new Vanguard II stack-control technology, which eliminates life-limiting issues such as dendrite growth, simplifies cell balancing, and removes thermal and electrolyte breakdown issues associated with high-frequency power switching.
This unique multi-use capability is necessary for frequency regulation and other high-power applications while adding value to longer duration storage. All of ViZn’s systems are scalable, adding value for even the largest utility requirements. By interconnecting multiple units, both power and energy capabilities can be increased to offer utilities, as well as commercial and industrial customers the optimal fit for any size project.
Energy storage materially improves the stability and predictability of renewable energy. It allows higher penetration of renewables for distributed (commercial and industrial), micro-grid, and utility-scale applications where higher electricity prices, unstable grids, and lower regulatory hurdles provide a needed storage environment. Combining batteries with renewable energy can reduce diesel consumption by 75% and the cost of electricity by 40% to 50% over diesel generation alone.
All of ViZn’s systems utilize the inherently safe, non-toxic, non-explosive zinc-iron electrolyte as shown in the simplified system in Fig. 1.The ViZn battery is a Redox type, which is a contraction of the terms “reduction” and “oxidation.” Redox flow batteries usually employ two electrolytes, acting as liquid energy carriers that are pumped simultaneously through the two half-cells of the reaction cell separated by a membrane.