Work is underway in the flow battery industry to secure a greater level of standardisation. During the flow batteries’ CEO Panel session at this week’s International Flow Battery Forum in Prague, Cellcube CEO Alexander Schönfeldt said the industry had to think about European standardisation.
“Not so that we’re special,” he told the audience, “but we have to meet standard requirements. That’s what we as an industry have to consider: how to help each other meet these requirements.”
He later told BEST this should apply to material quality, technology and electrolyte standards. A common standard would mean a common recipe for electrolyte, allowing it to be used in different manufacturers’ batteries, for example.
Larry Zulch, CEO of Invinity and fellow panellist, told BEST his company had for years been a proponent of electrolyte standards. He confirmed informal discussions are underway between battery manufacturers and the supply chain, including electrolyte manufacturers.
“It’s not a formal working group at this point,” Zulch said. “It’s informal discussions that I believe will lead to a more formal process with electrolyte standards and a pooling of the knowledge that we have.”
Toshikazu Shibata, manager of the energy system division of Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries, told the CEO Panel session that his company has reused the electrolyte in different equipment after 10 years of use and has experience operating it for a long period of time.
He gave the example of electrolyte being transferred from a 500 kW x 10h system in Hyogo, Japan (operated from 2001) to a 1 MW x 5h system in Yokohama, Japan, where it has operated from 2012.
He stated that vanadium electrolyte provides a highly circular economy and re-using it is an effective option to reduce electrolyte prices.
Photo: Cellcube CEO Alexander Schönfeldt called for more standardisation