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Redox Flow Batteries: An Ideal Solution for Energy Storage Needs

Publish Date: March 02, 2020

To tackle the problems associated with conventional batteries, scientists have introduced an energy storage device that offers extended storage facility for the energy generated from renewable resources. Dive in to know about redox flow batteries that are a perfect solution for storing energy.

The need for storing energy is becoming more essential every other day. Whether it is to charge our vehicles or phones, we use energy that is generated from renewable energy sources. However, this energy is increasingly going to depend on batteries for storage purposes in the future. Some scientists have discovered that batteries get easily degraded. Hence, it is necessary to replace them with an advanced solution that provides energy. This is necessary because conventional batteries tend to deteriorate with time—whether they are in use or in idle state. These batteries have a limited number of charge or discharge cycles before they ultimately need to be disposed of.

Industrial development across the globe, along with the growing discharge of carbon dioxide, is greatly disturbing our ecosphere and is showing substantial impacts on the atmosphere. Hence, the world is now in need of an environment friendly solution to store energy produced from renewable sources, for instance, redox flow batteries. To augment the usage of sustainable and renewable energy and to increase the constancy of grid networks, storage systems of energy are required for the storage of surplus electricity. Once the energy is stored, it can be supplied to users or to power grids. Electrochemical energy storage with the help of rechargeable batteries that are based on redox chemistry can be an ideal solution to solve this problem of energy storage. Hence, the invention of redox flow batteries has been proved as a true solution to alleviate the issues with conventional batteries. 

What is a redox flow battery?

A redox flow battery is an electrochemical energy storage unit that converts chemical energy into electrical energy by reversible oxidation and reducing the working fluids. The idea of redox flow batteries was originally perceived in 1970s. Sustainable and clean energy, generated from renewable sources, will be in need of effective, affordable, and reliable energy storage systems in the forthcoming years. Owing to the flexibility in the design and cost, redox flow batteries are known to offer stationary storage of energy from intermittently sources like wind and solar.

Advantages of redox flow battery

Redox flow batteries have longer charge/discharge cycles and possess life expectancy which is equal to that of a PV-system. Besides, in this type of batteries, the electrolyte does not deteriorate and the battery is 100% biodegradable. In terms of flexibility of the system, cost, rapid response, and safety concerns for large?scale applications, redox flow batteries offer several benefits over other types of batteries including lithium?ion and lead?acid batteries. 

The low cost of redox flow batteries is another eye-catching factor that is grabbing the attention of several energy plants. Moreover, the converter in these batteries remain of the same size for a specified power density. However, the duration for which power can be consumed can be extended from 4 hours to 12+ hours by simply mounting larger plastic storage containers that are capable of storing more electrolyte. The electrolytes can be recharged by connecting them to a source of electrical power. In simple words, when mains power is connected, the containers charge, whereas, when mains power is not connected, the containers begin to discharge as a back-up.
Redox batteries are considered both practical as well as economical. They come in various types including zinc-cerium, zinc bromide, and polysuplhides but among all of these the vanadium-based version of these batteries is very popular due to the advantages it offers, for instance, their ecofriendly and cost-effective nature.

Demand for redox flow batteries to grow in future

According to an analyst evaluation, redox flow batteries are anticipated to have rewarding opportunities with increased technological developments in future. Hence, considering the advantages of redox flow batteries, the redox chemistry, and technical essentials of flow batteries, it can be foreseen that the market for redox flow batteries is expected to experience industrial triumph and growth in the demand in the next few years.

author

Princy A. J

Princy holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the prestigious Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. University at Chennai, India. After a successful academic record, she pursued her passion for writing. A thorough professional and enthusiastic writer, she enjoys writing on various categories and advancements in the global industries. She plays an instrumental role in writing about current updates, news, blogs, and trends.