VSun Energy is supplying a 5 kW/30 kWh vanadium redox flow battery from Singaporean manufacturer V-Flow Tech that will be installed in the Beverly Caravan Park in Western Australia’s wheatbelt region. Paired with a 6 kW solar system, the vanadium flow battery will be fitted once it arrives in the state in June 2021.
The system was commissioned by the Shire of Beverley council, which owns the caravan park and is looking to extend its powered sites. VSun Energy’s business development manager, Samantha McGahan, told pv magazine Australia that the company was approached by the council, which wanted to use a vanadium flow battery because it is non-flammable and has longer duration.
It costs between $1,300 and $1,500 per KWh to fully install vanadium flow batteries, which have a lifecycle of between 20 to 25 years, according to McGahan.
With the notable exception of Yadlamalka Energy’s plan to build the country’s first utility-scale vanadium flow battery in South Australia, vanadium flow batteries are still relatively novel in Australia. VSun was set up by its parent company Australian Vanadium Limited in 2016 to drive market demand for the batteries and help raise part of the $500 million needed to open its Western Australian vanadium mine.
With different properties to the dominant lithium-ion batteries, vanadium flow batteries are gaining traction worldwide for being safer, more scalable, longer-lasting and more reliable. Notably, vanadium flow batteries don’t degrade with cycling like lithium-ion options and are able to move electricity without generating heat.
VSun also recently sold its first Standalone Power System (SPS) based on a vanadium redox flow battery to a residential customer in another Western Australian wheatbelt town, Hyden. That battery expected to arrive and be installed early next year.