A network of conveniently located fast charging stations have begun to be installed in various parts of the USA to facilitate the ease of charging which will allow for mass adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs). Fast charging Vanadium Redox Flow Battery stations are charged during low electricity demand periods and then supply electricity for the fast charging of EVs during day, thus implementing a power peak shaving process.
Flow batteries have unique characteristics which make them especially attractive when compared with conventional batteries, such as their ability to decouple rated power from rated capacity, as well as their greater design flexibility and nearly unlimited life. Moreover, their liquid nature allows their installation inside deactivated underground gas tanks located at gas stations, enabling a smooth transition of gas stations' business model towards the emerging electric mobility paradigm. An energy and cost analysis of this concept shows that the project is technologically and economically viable.
Approximately 85% of vanadium produced is used as ferrovanadium or as a steel additive. The considerable increase of strength in steel containing small amounts of vanadium was discovered in the early 20th century. Vanadium forms stable nitrides and carbides, resulting in a significant increase in the strength of steel. From that time on, vanadium steel was used for applications in axles, bicycle frames, crankshafts, gears, and other critical components.
There are two groups of vanadium steel alloys. Vanadium high-carbon steel alloys contain 0.15% to 0.25% vanadium, and high-speed tool steels (HSS) have a vanadium content of 1% to 5%. For high-speed tool steels, a hardness above HRC 60 can be achieved. HSS steel is used in surgical instruments and tools. Powder-metallurgic alloys contain up to 18% percent vanadium. The high content of vanadium carbides in those alloys increases wear resistance significantly.
One application for those alloys is tools and knives. Vanadium stabilizes the beta form of titanium and increases the strength and temperature stability of titanium. Mixed with aluminium in titanium alloys, it is used in jet engines, high-speed airframes and dental implants. The most common alloy for seamless tubing is Titanium 3/2.5 containing 2.5% vanadium, the titanium alloy of choice in the aerospace, defense and bicycle industries. Another common alloy, primarily produced in sheets, is Titanium 6AL-4V, a titanium alloy with 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium.
VRFB’s are the most efficient batteries that have the capability to charge and discharge power simultaneously. Fast charging Vanadium Redox Flow Battery are charged via either wind turbines or solar panels during low electricity demand periods and then supply electricity to large neighbourhoods and commercial districts during peak usage times.
Flow batteries have unique characteristics which make them especially attractive when compared with conventional batteries, such as their ability to decouple rated power from rated capacity, as well as their greater design flexibility and nearly unlimited life. VRFB’s are favoured over lithium ion batteries especially when it comes to large wind or solar farms. There are various problems with lithium batteries other than the parasitic load factor. Lithium-ion or lead-acid also begin degrading after a couple of years unlike VRFB’s. Lithium ion batteries life is exhausted after about 1,000 charges and become environmental hazard with little residual value. This is hardly compatible with the lifecycle of a wind or solar farm, which can last 20 to 30 years. Scalability is also an issue as batteries require a delicate maintenance circuitry and must be daisy chained to grow beyond 50 MWh. Many countries such as China have begun favouring VRFB;s over Lithium ion batteries.
“China has the largest and highest-grade vanadium resources in the world and is poised to use this miracle metal to fundamentally transform its electricity grid. With massive amounts of renewable energy and storage coming online, China will create the most modern, clean and efficient grid in the world,” said Robert Friedland in a press release from Pu Neng.
In fact, the China National Development and Reform Commission released a policy document on the issue in late September called “Guidance on the Promotion of Energy Storage Technology and Industry Development.” The document calls for the launch of pilot projects such as multiple 100-MW-scale vanadium flow batteries by the end of 2020.
The goal is to have larger-scale deployment over the ensuing five years. Friedland said the policy, “will result in vanadium flow batteries revolutionizing modern electricity grids in the way that lithium-ion batteries are enabling the global transition to electric vehicles.”
Xie Guangguo, chairman of Hubei Pingfan, said the company selected a vanadium flow battery “because they have superior safety, reliability and lifecycle economics compared to lithium-ion and other battery types. We selected Pu Neng because it is the leader in China with its VRB technology, and has a track record of performance with State Grid Corporation of China.”
The goal is to have larger-scale deployment over the ensuing five years. Robert Friedland said the policy, “will result in vanadium flow batteries revolutionizing modern electricity grids in the way that lithium-ion batteries are enabling the global transition to electric vehicles.”
Vanadium alloys are used in nuclear reactors because of vanadium’s low neutron-absorbing properties. A nuclear reactor fuel element has an outer cladding, a central core of fissionable or mixed fissionable and fertile fuel material and a layer of vanadium as an oxygen getter on the inner surface of the cladding. The vanadium reacts with oxygen released by the fissionable material during irradiation of the core to prevent the oxygen from reacting with and corroding the cladding.
United Battery Metals (UBM) Wray Mesa property contains 500,000lbs of uranium which is also a crucial element in the operations of nuclear reactors.