China wants to test vanadium redox flow batteries


China's National Photovoltaic and Energy Demonstration Experimental Center has begun testing vanadium redox flow batteries at its Daqing facility in northeastern China.

The announcement was made by Toronto-based Sparton Resources Inc., a minority shareholder in Canadian vanadium redox battery provider VRB Energy, which will provide a 125 kW/500 kWh storage unit for testing.

“The unit will be installed at the Center and used as an evaluation and demonstration unit to assist in developing the Peoples Republic of China’s industrial energy storage policies and technical standards as part of the nation’s commitment to carbon neutrality,” Sparton said in a statement. “The Center and the battery system are scheduled to be completed and fully functional by September 26th, 2021.”

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VRB Energy, which is majority-owned by Vancouver-based metals exploration company High Power Exploration Inc. (HPX), unveiled in March a plan to build a gigafactory for the production of vanadium redox flow batteries in China. The agreement includes the setting up of an R&D facility and the development and construction of a 100 MW solar plant linked to a 100 MW/500 MWh vanadium flow battery in Xiangyang.

VRB Energy claims its vanadium redox flow storage systems rely on low-cost ion-exchange membrane and bipole material, and long-life electrolyte formulation. The standard battery power module is rated at 250 kW for megawatt-class systems

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