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Redox Flow Batteries

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

The need for large, grid-scale electrochemical storage is being realized as a critical part of integrating large quantities of renewable, intermittent generation into the electrical grid.  PNNL is investigating a number of potential solutions, but the most promising of them is redox flow batteries because of the relatively low cost of scaling them to large capacities.  A redox flow battery is a form of rechargeable battery that can reversibly convert electrical energy into  chemical energy which are stored in two redox couple solutions with high efficiencies, independent power and storage capacity, and long cycle life.  


A variety of redox flow batteries have been investigated since the invention was conceived and practiced in 1975 at NASA. Among the promising redox flow batteries reported today, the all vanadium flow battery (VFB) invented by Dr. Maria Skyllas-Kazacos and co-workers at the University of New South Wales in the 1980s demonstrated the best performance so far. The major issue of this type of flow battery is the high capital cost, partially due to the high market prices of vanadium compounds.  Another drawback of the vanadium system is the highly acidic vanadium redox solutions that pose extremely corrosive hazard to the battery components and the environment.  Therefore, PNNL has investigated a number of alternative redox couples and alternative electrolyte solutions.

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IPID 16760, 16762, 16883, 16882DevelopmentAvailable03/11/201103/11/2011

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To: Gordon Graff<>