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Solstice sun ‘smiling on flow battery industry’

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 09:46 -- Paul Crompton
Solstice sun ‘smiling on flow battery industry’

As the northern hemisphere ushers in the summer solstice on 21 June, the auspicious event augurs well for the upcoming International Flow Battery Forum (IFBF) in the UK, say organisers.

Flow battery technology is definitely benefiting from its time in the sun, according to the IFBF. The range of industries represented at the 8th annual forum, which gets under way in Manchester on 27 June, are drawn “from the broader energy space”, the IFBF said.

IFBF organiser Anthony Price said industries represented in Manchester will include “large users of power, computing, transport and infrastructure companies and funds”.

“We need to start thinking about much bigger market opportunities for flow batteries,” Price said.

“The whole energy storage industry has seen a revolution,” Price added. “Storage is now integral to the whole power system and just constraining the market to large scale installations ignores the huge value that there is in storage behind the meter, close to small substations and most importantly seizing the opportunities from widespread distributed renewable generation and now the electric vehicle revolution.”

“The early days for flow batteries included research into refillable electric vehicles, where electrolyte was physically exchanged to achieve the fast charge,” Price said. “Although this did not make the cut six or seven years ago, it is quite likely with the new organic and low cost electrolytes that the next generation of EVs will have flow battery capability, and it is very likely that EV charging stations will be supported by larger scale flow battery based energy storage in order to overcome local power distribution constraints.”

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