The modernization and decarbonization of the electricity grid are setting a big challenge for the electric grid operators. To integrate and update the electricity grid, energy storage devices are one of the main solutions adopted, allowing the storage of the excess electricity produced by renewable energy sources, besides providing ancillary services, and stabilising the grid.
Within the different energy storage technologies, the electrochemical devices are one of the most common choices because of their location flexibility, efficiency, and scalability. From different electrochemical devices available, the Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are one of the most chosen solutions for medium and large-scale applications. The fast time response (in the range of milli seconds), a long cycle life (more than 20,000 cycles), and their easily recyclable components, allow the RFBs to steadily increase their adoption on the market.
While the stationary energy storage market is currently dominated by Li-ion batteries, redox flow batteries are slowly being adopted with an increasing number of projects all over the world.
The redox flow batteries have been developed for more than 40 years, and available on the market for almost 20 years. The flow battery producers, in particular vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) manufacturers, have abundantly developed, tested, and demonstrated the technology over the years, reaching an overall installation of roughly 70MW of power and 250 MWh of energy. Flow battery producers keep receiving funding to expand manufacture, improve their products and reduce the technology cost. Moreover, solid collaborations between flow battery manufacturers, OEMs, and chemical and mining companies are taking place all over the world, with the common target to make this technology competitive on the market.
To better understand the flow battery market and forecast future developments, IDTechEx performed an in-depth analysis of the different types of flow batteries, investigating the historical development of each technology and related flow battery market evolution. Moreover, to understand the technological development, and the adoption of this technology in the next years, several companies were profiled.
The results of these studies, presented in this report, revealed a market dominated by one of the oldest technologies, the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB), which accounts for more than 50% of the available companies commercialising flow batteries. Besides the VRFB, other flow battery manufacturers are developing flow batteries based on different electrolytes, like the Organic flow battery (ORFB), and All-iron (Fe-RFB), Hydrogen/Bromine or Zinc/Bromine flow batteries (ZBB). In the report a summary of the main properties of each electrolyte are presented.
The reader will understand the possibilities and the challenges of each type of electrolyte, explained in a simple and concise way. It will allow to evaluate himself/herself the characteristics of each technology, and related chances to conquer its share of the market.
Besides the investigation of different electrolytes, an analysis of the battery electrode stack, one of the core parts of this technology, is provided. The different components of the electrode stack are explained, together with investigating the different possible materials employed. This would allow investors, OEMs and chemical companies, to understand the different materials involved, and where further improvements will be required.
Besides the technical prospective of the technology, IDTechEx investigated why, and how, different countries are involved in the adoption of RFBs. Therefore, Chapter 5 provides an overview of different countries, covering Europe, US, Africa, and China, where it is explained how these countries are approaching the flow battery technology.
From these wide and in-depth techno-economic analysis, IDTechEx aims to facilitate investors, OEMs and chemical industries to understand the current redox flow battery market, and its future development between 2020-2030.