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(The Register)   Cool: China flips the switch on the world's largest vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB), with a current capacity of 100MW/400MWh. Not cool: it was essentially Made In America with US taxpayer dollars   (theregister.com) divider line
    More: News, Rechargeable battery, Dalian VRFB, United States Senate, current capacity, Dutch company Vanadis Power, US taxpayers, PNNL's special acid, Vanadium  
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1289 clicks; posted to STEM » on 30 Sep 2022 at 8:04 PM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



27 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-09-30 8:16:36 PM  
Yeah, let's hate anything that has any connection to America or China. That should work out well
 
2022-09-30 8:25:09 PM  
$15 US million to help China reduce carbon emissions is a bargain
 
2022-09-30 8:28:33 PM  
We had a thread about this.  A simple Wikipedia search shows this tech is like 100 years old.


You wanna be pissed off about missing out on science stuff?

The Supercollider That Never Was - Scientific American


Anyway, blame the motherfarkers we keep voting for, not China.
 
2022-09-30 8:58:36 PM  
Not surprising. China doesn't have oil oligarchs throwing up roadblocks for every non-petroleum energy advance.
 
2022-09-30 9:10:16 PM  
It's a nice grid battery tech, but the energy density is low enough that it's really only competitive for stationary installations.  I need my magic portable flow battery with a higher energy density than gasoline.  That's the dream.
 
2022-09-30 9:41:02 PM  
The NPR article the linked article references is far superior in detailing the situation.

www.npr.org/2022/08/03/1114964240/new-battery-technology-china-vanadium
 
2022-09-30 9:54:55 PM  
And if it works well, let's mass manufacture it here in the US for global consumption.
 
2022-09-30 10:15:56 PM  

DarnoKonrad: We had a thread about this.  A simple Wikipedia search shows this tech is like 100 years old.


And as we discussed in the earlier thread:  "Other VRFBs lack PNNL's special acid/electrolyte mixture, which the lab said was twice as powerful as other vanadium formulae and could last 30 years without losing capacity, hence their far smaller capacities."

The US tech has twice the energy density of previous formulations.
 
2022-09-30 10:19:59 PM  

dericwater: And if it works well, let's mass manufacture it here in the US for global consumption.


To remain profitable, you would need to convince shareholders that verticle intigration of you supply chain is good, and have an EPA and DNR that is able to give a shiat, or have governments that DON'T care about environmental damage and a populous who love living in, eating, and drinking that stuff.
 
2022-09-30 10:37:35 PM  

lilbjorn: Not surprising. China doesn't have

oil legal oligarchs throwing up roadblocks for every non-petroleum energy technology advance.

Note the word "patented" in the TFA's title.
 
2022-09-30 10:39:18 PM  
This is the sort of battery we need for grid scale solar and wind projects.
 
2022-09-30 10:39:33 PM  
The value of the proof of concept coming to fruition much more quickly in China than would be possible anywhere else is likely far greater than the cost of R&D to develop this technology. Now that it is proven to work lets hope the task of recouping licensing fees for future projects doesn't end up lost in the wake of progress.
 
2022-09-30 10:43:47 PM  

chitownmike: Yeah, let's hate anything that has any connection to America or China. That should work out well


China should be held liable for IP theft, but we'd rather have cheaper iPhones.

When was the last time China or Russia invented something truly fundamental?
 
2022-09-30 10:54:46 PM  

indy_kid: China should be held liable for IP theft, but we'd rather have cheaper iPhones.


FTFA:
"Other VRFBs lack PNNL's special acid/electrolyte mixture, which the lab said was twice as powerful as other vanadium formulae and could last 30 years without losing capacity, hence their far smaller capacities.
PNNL's recipe isn't being manufactured anywhere in the US, and through a series of moves ended up in the hands of Dalian Rongke Power Co. Ltd, which stepped in when PNNL's lead VRFB scientist Gary Yang claimed to not be able to find a US company to invest in the technology's production."


For once, this isn't China blatantly copying something from stolen plans.  This is the result of an American patent holder striking out trying to find ONE domestic manufacturing outfit willing to produce something that might upset the coal/oil industry*, and selling manufacturing rights to a country that will.

*cheap ginormous batteries can even out the peak/demand load unbalance that works against solar/wind generation.
 
2022-09-30 11:16:05 PM  
I distrust everyone involved in this story, including the journalists reporting it.
This whole story has a stink that makes the hair on my neck stand up, from top to bottom.
 
2022-09-30 11:19:17 PM  
More importantly, is this something that could realistically go in my garage?

1/10 of the energy density doesn't matter if it's the size and shape of a shelving unit in the corner and costs half as much.
 
2022-09-30 11:23:41 PM  
According to this, no. At least in the current state:
https://www.ieh.kit.edu/img/content/Economics%20of%20the%20VRFB%20for%20home%20and%20community%20storage.pdf

For a single household with an annual electricity demand of up to 10 MWh and an installed PV-capacity of up to 15 kW peak, a VRFB is not an economically viable option, see Figure 2. This is mainly because of the high power related costs and the low partial load efficiency during discharging in the evening and in the night. Energy related cost is assumed to be 400 €/kWh. For the 2 kW-system, power related cost is assumed to be 3,000 €/kW (5 kW: 2,000 €/kW, 10 kW: 1,500 €/kW).

For deployment as community-storage system, the VRFB delivers a positive return-on-invest (ROI) for communities with at least 45 MWh of annual electricity consumption and a large PV-plant of 90 kWpeak (communities 3 and 4), see Figure 3.


Our household uses roughly 600KWh/M. So that's what, 7.2MWh annually.

Looks like it scales well but has a high initial capital cost.
 
2022-09-30 11:38:36 PM  

Unsung_Hero: It's a nice grid battery tech, but the energy density is low enough that it's really only competitive for stationary installations.  I need my magic portable flow battery with a higher energy density than gasoline.  That's the dream.


That's the idea. A conventional battery keeps all its energy inside the cells, but the vanadium based system can store energy is giant liquid storage tanks. The cells are just there to draw and place energy in the liquid medium. Then it's a matter of how quick you can get the cells to draw or place. Gasoline is one direction on the entropic highway.
 
2022-09-30 11:39:41 PM  

dyhchong: According to this, no. At least in the current state:
https://www.ieh.kit.edu/img/content/Economics%20of%20the%20VRFB%20for%20home%20and%20community%20storage.pdf

For a single household with an annual electricity demand of up to 10 MWh and an installed PV-capacity of up to 15 kW peak, a VRFB is not an economically viable option, see Figure 2. This is mainly because of the high power related costs and the low partial load efficiency during discharging in the evening and in the night. Energy related cost is assumed to be 400 €/kWh. For the 2 kW-system, power related cost is assumed to be 3,000 €/kW (5 kW: 2,000 €/kW, 10 kW: 1,500 €/kW).

For deployment as community-storage system, the VRFB delivers a positive return-on-invest (ROI) for communities with at least 45 MWh of annual electricity consumption and a large PV-plant of 90 kWpeak (communities 3 and 4), see Figure 3.

Our household uses roughly 600KWh/M. So that's what, 7.2MWh annually.

Looks like it scales well but has a high initial capital cost.


In contrast to conventional batteries, flow batteries are mechanical devices with pumps, valves, and plumbing. It's not that surprising that bigger flow batteries are more economical. It's just a general pattern with mechanical systems that bigger means relatively lower overhead losses, decreasing both upfront and operating costs per output capacity. Same reason that wind power production cost goes down with size.
 
2022-10-01 12:04:28 AM  

LoneVVolf: indy_kid: China should be held liable for IP theft, but we'd rather have cheaper iPhones.

FTFA:
"Other VRFBs lack PNNL's special acid/electrolyte mixture, which the lab said was twice as powerful as other vanadium formulae and could last 30 years without losing capacity, hence their far smaller capacities.
PNNL's recipe isn't being manufactured anywhere in the US, and through a series of moves ended up in the hands of Dalian Rongke Power Co. Ltd, which stepped in when PNNL's lead VRFB scientist Gary Yang claimed to not be able to find a US company to invest in the technology's production."

For once, this isn't China blatantly copying something from stolen plans.  This is the result of an American patent holder striking out trying to find ONE domestic manufacturing outfit willing to produce something that might upset the coal/oil industry*, and selling manufacturing rights to a country that will.

*cheap ginormous batteries can even out the peak/demand load unbalance that works against solar/wind generation.


No, it's a case of one dude entirely motivated by profit and lying about not being able to find domestic investment.
 
2022-10-01 12:24:01 AM  
I'd bet US oil companies probably did everything in their power to prevent this form of battery being developed in the US. If so, you can blame the developer from going elsewhere?
 
2022-10-01 12:55:51 AM  

dyhchong: More importantly, is this something that could realistically go in my garage?

1/10 of the energy density doesn't matter if it's the size and shape of a shelving unit in the corner and costs half as much.


Probably not, for safety / regulatory reasons. You don't want one of these to spring a leak and dump a tank of toxic chemicals down your storm drain. It will probably stay at large scales where you can afford to hire staff to do maintenance and keep an eye on things.
 
2022-10-01 4:33:56 AM  
That's a lot of juice for one location, but 100MW isn't that much. By comparison, Cal just had it's worst September heat wave on record and (distributed) battery power kept us from having rolling blackouts.

'During a critical peak the evening of Sept. 5, when the grid was quickly approaching capacity, California's batteries provided more power - over 3,360 megawatts - than the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the state's largest electric generator, which tops out at 2,250.'

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-13/california-electric-grid-batteries-heat-wave-september-2022

Call us when you have a few dozen hooked up, China.
 
2022-10-01 5:51:59 AM  
A company called redflow makes flow batteries that some people are using for home use.  They weight about a ton and are about the size of few file cabinets. They would be about the same area as a tesla battery but in a more cubical format.  The problem is they can't do 24x7 power because they have to do cleaning process.  Once the fluid is charged, it can be stored for a very long time.
 
2022-10-01 7:29:25 AM  

phishrace: That's a lot of juice for one location, but 100MW isn't that much. By comparison,


We just need something good enough that you can put it next to a solar farm so it can charge from solar during the day and release that power over the night, but without the limited charge cycles you get with lithium ion batteries.

You can't replace fossil fuel power plants with solar until you have battery tech good enough to keep the power on when the sun isn't shining.
 
2022-10-01 11:27:30 AM  

jaytkay: $15 US million to help China reduce carbon emissions is a bargain


Yea and developing technologies in America is a great thing to do and I hope we do more of it
 
2022-10-01 12:31:35 PM  
Since the answer to everything energy in the US is to burn more fossil fuels this technology is not needed. Where are they going to use it? America's arsehole (in relation to America's dick, and the amount of methane emitted)? Nuh-uh! Texas has a world-beating grid, second to none, and has no need of such witchcraft!
 
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