One Step Off the Grid
Australian vanadium flow battery specialist VSUN has marked its first ever off-grid, residential sale in Australia, providing the energy storage component for a stand-alone power system for a home in regional Western Australia.
VSUN Energy, which is an offshoot of ASX listed resources outfit Australian Vanadium, said it had supplied a battery from Singapore-based manufacturer V-Flow Tech for the W.A. stand-alone power system (SPS), which would be paired with 12kW of solar and 18KVa of diesel backup.
The V-Flow vanadium redox flow battery system provided comprises a 5kW/30kWh VRFB with a maximum discharge of 7kW, which VSUN says the customer chose for its “particular strengths” of reliability, depth of discharge, safety and longevity.
The choice of battery storage technologies in support of solar energy supply is broadening to suit a variety of emerging applications. VSUN has just made its first power play for vanadium-redox-flow batteries in the off-grid residential market.
VSUN Energy, an organisation formed with the express intent of increasing awareness of the benefits of vanadium-redox flow batteries (VRFB) has taken to selling systems using the technology; its first residential case study came about because equipping a new farmhouse with a VRFB-based standalone power system was cheaper than connecting that rural home to the grid — nevermind the savings that will ensue as the farm lives through its first quarter without receiving a power bill.
The standalone power system (SPS) tailored for this property consists of 12 kW of solar PV, a 5 kW/30 kWh VRFB with a maximum discharge of 7 kW; an Australian-made Selectronic inverter and an 18 KVa diesel redundancy back-up system. The SPS is designed to provide an uninterrupted, clean, safe source of energy, primarily generated by direct and stored solar energy.
Special Report: Australian Vanadium has hit a milestone with its wholly-owned subsidiary VSUN Energy selling the first standalone vanadium flow battery system to a residential customer.
The customer in regional Western Australia acquired the standalone power system (SPS) due to the high cost of connecting to the grid and lack of reliable power in the region.
Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) added that the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) system was selected due to its particular strengths of reliability, depth of discharge, safety and longevity.
The VRFB was provided by Singapore-based manufacturer V-Flow Tech.
Energy Storage News
Residential vanadium flow battery systems under development for Australia’s solar-storage market
Energy storage systems based around vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) are being developed for residential use in Australia by partners Australian Vanadium (AVL) and Gui Zhou Collect Energy Century Science and Technology.
AVL made an announcement of the news to the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday. While the vast majority of new household battery systems are based around lithium-ion, an AVL representative told Energy-Storage.news that the advantages of a flow battery could include the ability to “store a lot more energy”, while the product is “inherently non-flammable”. The spokesperson also pointed out that the vanadium electrolyte can be reused at the end of the battery’s mechanical lifetime.
A 5kW / 30kWh system will be installed in Perth, Western Australia, to test out the technology and concept and provide feedback for product development. The system is being connected to the grid using an inverter approved by the national Clean Energy Council, which means it can be connected to a solar PV system and used to store energy for self-consumption at the site or for export.
Energy Storage News
An agreement to support the manufacture and sale of vanadium flow batteries has been struck between Australian Vanadium and Enerox, which makes and markets systems under its CellCube brand.
Australian Vanadium has a subsidiary called VSUN Energy which markets and installs vanadium flow batteries from a range of manufacturers. VSUN has now signed a ‘Value Added Reseller Agreement’ with Enerox. VSUN Energy will supply and install CellCube and related services in Australia under the agreement. Enerox markets the CellCube systems into both grid-connected storage and off-grid / microgrid market segments.
Image copyright Enerox GmbH
Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) subsidiary VSUN Energy has been included in a group of companies working with the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF), which has been awarded $654,807 to assess the advantages of battery ‘microgrids’.
VSUN will provide energy analysis and modelling for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) as a potential battery storage solution on four virtual microgrids.
The notion that safer, longer-lasting VRFBs are better suited for large stationary storage than lithium-ion is well established.
In 2020, VSUN has seen a “significant increase in enquiries and interest for microgrids and stand-alone power systems (SPS) in agricultural settings and in the mining sector”, AVL managing director Vincent Algar says.
“VSUN Energy’s focus on building strong relationships with major VRFB manufacturers over the last few years has enabled the company’s ability to provide robust and detailed modelling of various microgrid and SPS opportunities,” he says.
Australian Vanadium Ltd ASX Announcement
Federal grant for Regional and Remote Communities with project evaluation to include vanadium redox flow battery modelling
– The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has received a grant from the Federal Government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund
– VSUN Energy is included in the recipient group to provide energy analysis and modelling for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) as a potential battery storage solution
– Project to consider the benefits of microgrids and energy storage to Queensland and New South Wales agricultural energy consumers and networks
– Analysis will commence on four virtual microgrids
– VSUN Energy’s storage opportunities continue to grow, as focus shifts to sustainable, long duration storage alongside renewable generation deployment
Click here for the full announcement
Australian Energy Storage Alliance Newsletter
2020 was touted by many as the year of the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB). In spite of the impact of the global pandemic, this prediction is beginning to bear fruit and the year is only halfway through.
The VRFB was invented in the 1980s at the University of New South Wales by Emeritus Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos and her team. It was commercialised overseas and the majority of the installations have been outside Australia.
The most recently completed VRFB installation in Australia is a 150kW/600kWh battery from UniEnergy Technologies. The battery was commissioned in early 2020 in conjunction with a 344kW solar PV system to power and protect Heron Island in Queensland. The standalone microgrid will power the Heron Island Research Station and achieve a renewable energy fraction of more than 85%. For this project, one of the main drivers for selecting a VRFB was the fact that it is non-flammable.
Energy Storage News
21 April 2020: Vanadium mining and processing plant plans given support as WA state government targets battery industry strategy
The government of Western Australia (WA) has handed support to a project by Australian Vanadium Limited, a vanadium mining company seeking to vertically integrate its supply chain with its vanadium flow battery subsidiary VSUN Energy.
Stock Exchange-listed Australian Vanadium has been given Lead Agency status in WA by the state government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) for its project to develop vanadium supply from a mining project and concentrator as well as a processing plant nearby (pictured below).
The Australian Vanadium Project was awarded Major Project Status by the Federal Government last September, with vanadium on a “critical materials” list not only in Australia but also in the UK and US. The metal is used not only in the energy storage industry as electrolyte material for redox flow batteries by some makers but is also used in the steel industry and aerospace construction.
At state level, the DMIRS will now “provide advice and assistance” to Australian Vanadium on how to coordinate getting project approvals across government. Australian Vanadium says that the project could create 500 jobs during construction, while resources thought to be available could support an initial 17-year lifetime for the facilities over just 2.5km of a total 11km of vanadium minerals thought to be in the area.
WA’s government is also targeting becoming a leading exporter of battery materials through a Future Battery Industry Strategy. Australian Vanadium and flow battery subsidiary VSUN meanwhile signed an agreement to work with the Future Batteries Industry Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC) on developing vanadium extraction and processing skills, particularly in Western Australia, in late 2018.
One Step Off The Grid
A rooftop solar array installed across two turn-of-the-century buildings in Meekatharra in Western Australia’s Gascoyne-Murchison region is hoped to form the beginnings of a community energy trading platform for the remote goldfields town.
As it happens, Meekatharra is home to the world’s largest undeveloped vanadium resource, so the consortium has been liaising with VSUN Energy, a subsidiary of one of the companies developing the massive rare earths find, Australian Vanadium Limited.
“Having early dialogue with AVL and VSUN means we’re already looking ahead to the add-on potential of vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy innovations,” said Dr. Heij.