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Chemistry

Chemical Equation

Vanadium redox batteries are based on the ability of vanadium to exist in four different oxidation states (V2, V3, V4, and V5), each of which holds a different electrical charge. Read more

Business Benefits

The benefits of  the REDT Batteries are compelling for all applications and business sectors: Grid energy, Green energy incentives, Electric vehicles, Industrial applications, Domestic applications... Read more

History

Flow batteries were invented by the French scientist Charles Renard in 1884. Along with Arthur C. Krebs, he launched the army airship La France, whose propeller was driven by an electric motor powered by a 435 kg flow battery that used zinc and chlorine as the reactive elements.

 

The airship completed an 8 kilometre flight in 23 minutes and landed back at the take-off point, making it the first ever round trip by air.

 

Army airship La France, driven by an electric motor using a flow battery

 

Renard’s invention was forgotten for many years until being revived in 1954 by a German scientist who patented a procedure for storing electrical energy in a solution of titanium-chlorine and hydrochloric acid. Further advances were made in 1973 when NASA scientists, who were looking into ways of storing solar energy at a future moonbase, developed a redox flow battery using the chemical reaction between iron and chromium to generate electrical current.

 

Other Redox Flow Batteries have been developed by researchers or commercial enterprises, including the uranium redox flow battery, the zinc bromine redox flow battery, and polysulfide bromide flow battery.

 

The early redox flow battery developments had some limitations that prevented their widespread adoption and commercial viability.

  • The chemical reaction took place at high temperature and under high pressure.
  • The batteries used hazardous chemicals.
  • The positive and negative half-cells used different electrolytes, causing the electrolyte solution to be progressively contaminated as the battery was discharged and recharged.

These limitations were addressed by the invention of the vanadium redox flow battery at the University of New South Wales in 1984. This design took advantage of the unique chemical properties of vanadium to create a redox flow battery that used the same chemical species in the electrolyte on either side of the membrane. This unique feature prevented cross-contamination from the small amounts of molecular transfer that inevitably occur through the membrane, thus making the electrolyte continually reusable as well as non-hazardous.

 

There are several vanadium redox battery installations in use around the world, including one that delivers the entire electricity requirements for the 3,000 inhabitants of King Island, a remote outpost between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Like most other implementations to date, the one on King Island is a bespoke solution. Now, with the REDT range of energy storage systems, vanadium redox flow batteries are widely available for the first time.

 

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The range of Vanadium Redox Batteries from REDT offer exciting possibilities for all kinds of applications. To find out more, please contact us.