Reasonable use of renewable energy

International Flow Battery Forum in Karlsruhe, Germany

Pressemitteilung / 24.5.2016

The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT will showcase its newly developed large-scale flow battery, which is under construction in Pfinztal, near Karlsruhe. The flow battery - an advanced long-duration energy storage system - will be able to store and discharge energy up to 20 MWh, improving the technical and economic performance of the research institute’s local power supply and enabling the integration of a 2 MW wind turbine planned for spring 2017.

Electrolyte tanks Redox-Flow-Battery at Fraunhofer ICT
© Fraunhofer ICT

Electrolyte tanks Redox-Flow-Battery at Fraunhofer ICT

Redox-flow battery systems combine the advantages of Li-ion batteries and fuel cells for stationary energy storage. They are very efficient - 75% efficiency in current technical solutions - and their service life is about 5 times longer than that of conventional batteries, with more than 10,000 additional cycles. The liquids used are not flammable, so the systems are also safer to use.

Fraunhofer ICT is actively involved in the development of all-vanadium redox-flow battery (VRFB) systems for stationary applications, including materials, battery design, prototyping, performance and safety tests. Apart from VRFB technology, the simulation of smart and micro grids is also a focus of research.

At an open day in June, timed to coincide with the International Flow Battery Forum which will be held in Karlsruhe on 7th – 9th June,  guests will have the opportunity to see the new installation and hear about its development.  “ Developing improved energy storage technologies is an essential step in creating a cleaner and more sustainable energy system,” explains Stefan Tröster, Head of the General Management Department at Fraunhofer ICT. “Over the past few years, redox-flow batteries have become more and more significant as we realise the need for longer duration energy storage.  We are delighted to be the host for the International Flow Battery Forum and we look forward to welcoming over 200 delegates from more than 30 countries to see our research activities in Pfintztal.”

The conference will include presentations, papers and discussions from the world’s leading researchers, developers and manufacturers of flow batteries.  “Cost reductions for flow batteries will drive project development in the next 3-5 years,” says Michael Salomon of Clean Horizon Consulting.  Using data from on- and off-grid markets, there is a clear business opportunity to use flow batteries to reduce the cost of operating power systems.  “Flow batteries are especially suited to long-term storage solutions and off-grid applications.”  Manufacturing companies presenting at the IFBF include Trumpf Huttinger, Gildemeister, SGL Group and UET Technologies.