Comparison of technologies
Numerous positive factors
Arguments in favor of vanadium
Vanadium redox flow batteries are ideal electricity storage systems and designed for continuous operation. They are capable of reacting within a few seconds and yet can still supply energy over the course of many hours and days. This makes it possible to not only cover peak loads during the day but, in combination with sun and wind, also to work through the night. Vanadium-based storage systems can not burn and do not lose capacity even after decades of use. But even beyond that, vanadium is stable for a nearly indefinite period of time, making it more durable than any other battery technology and highly cost efficient for a multi-hour storage system.
Vanadium does not decompose so, with regular maintenance, there is no loss of power and capacity even after many years of operation. In principle, vanadium redox flow batteries have an unlimited lifecycle. The electrochemical reactions within the battery occur on the surface of graphite electrodes, so that no forces are exerted on the electrodes themselves. The lifecycle of a CellCube system is only limited by the components such as the plastic tanks.
Less impact on the environment
Vanadium can be nearly completely recycled making it especially sustainable. It can be reclaimed from the electrolyte solution and used in another vanadium redox flow battery or in the steel industry.
Operating vanadium redox flow batteries is safe in a number of ways. The tanks are designed with double walls, leaks are identified with accuracy to the centimeter and result in the system being shut down. This means that this technology has virtually no danger of overheating which could result in fires or explosions. Vanadium is dissolved in the water-based electrolyte solution, which is not combustible. If fire should reach the storage tank of a CellCube system, the electrolyte solution could even put out the fire.
If the capacity of a vanadium redox flow battery is doubled, only the size of the tank doubles. The costs for the entire system actually decrease proportionally, as the capacity of redox flow batteries is quite inexpensive. That is what makes this type of storage so convincingly affordable for multi-hour storage systems. As demand for storage increases, the number of storage cycles per day also increases. Many storage cycles lower the price per stored kilowatt hour. The vanadium battery does not degrade in accordance with the cycles, so no adaptations are needed.
We would also like to mention, however, that vanadium redox flow batteries are currently associated with higher purchase costs than lithium ion batteries, for instance. However, CellCube also offers a rental service for the electrolyte solution, a feature which allows for accurate cost budgeting over a 20 year operation period.
Lithium: Effects on the environment and society
Lithium ion batteries provide efficiency, high energy density and low purchase cost. These are ideal prerequisites for use in the electromobility sector. In the field of stationary storage systems, these advantages are offset by many risks and disadvantages too. Significant negative environmental impacts, a lack of recycling options, risk of fire and explosion and a short lifecycle are not in line with sustainable use.
Hydrogen: Competition or partner?
Hydrogen production is currently still extremely unprofitable. Yet, one outstanding quality is its use in combination with industrial process heat to drive many industrial operations while remaining environmentally friendly. There are still many obstacles to overcome when it comes to the production of green hydrogen. CellCube is the optimal partner for utilizing hydrogen plants at full capacity and optimizing costs. With our multi-hour energy storage systems, we increase the flexibility and profitability of fuel cells and electrolysis plants.
Overview of various different technologies
We are firm believers in vanadium redox flow batteries. This overview provides a summary of how well they meet various requirements compared to other technologies.