Vanadium Flowing in 2020

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.

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