Market Research Report
Redox Flow Batteries 2017-2027: Markets, Trends, Applications
|Published by||IDTechEx Ltd.||Product code||490478|
|Published||Content info||121 Pages
Delivery time: 1-2 business days
|Redox Flow Batteries 2017-2027: Markets, Trends, Applications|
|Published: April 20, 2017||Content info: 121 Pages||
Redox Flow Batteries were initially developed by NASA in the 70's for its space programme. The expiry of a number of patents related to RFBs in 2006 has sparked an industrial race to commercialisation, which will grow to become a $4bn market by 2027.
Often perceived as an underdog, redox flow batteries (RFB) may not deliver the same power of a Li-ion battery, but they can compete in terms of cycle life, safety, and reliability for stationary applications. Utilities around the world are avidly testing RFBs in pilot projects, while China is underway in the construction of the largest battery in the world (200 MW / 800 MWh), which will be entirely powered by redox flow batteries. If successful, this project will be replicated across the country and probably also in Europe and the US.
In this report, technology analyst Dr. Lorenzo Grande from IDTechEx analyses the different flow battery chemistries available from a technology standpoint (all-vanadium, all-iron, zinc/bromine, hydrogen/bromine, polysulphide, etc.) as well as by engaging with the world's main stakeholders (UET, Sumitomo, Primus Power, Gildemeister - just to name a few). Overall, 19 companies are included in this report, covering the whole RFB spectrum as well as all the main markets, namely USA, Europe, and Asia. The companies are compared in terms of their target markets and a series of case studies explains who are the most likely winners and why.
RFBs operate by means of electro-active chemicals dissolved in liquid solutions that are named anolyte and catholyte, and which are stored into tanks. By exchanging ions through a membrane, it is possible to generate a cell voltage and extract energy out of such a system. The possibility to modulate both the tank and the membrane size independently allows for the decoupling of power and energy capabilities, thus making this technology extremely flexible and tailored to user needs.
Stationary energy storage is a cost-effective way to increase renewable energy utilisation, as well as to implement energy efficiency measures, both at residential, industrial, and grid level. The redox flow battery technology, despite higher upfront costs and lower energy density, has a shorter payback time thanks to a good capacity retention even after many thousands of cycles. Additionally, redox flow batteries (RFBs) retain most of their initial value thanks to the possibility to recycle their core components more easily than other battery chemistries. Some RFB chemistries, like that based on vanadium, are already commercial and set to capture most of the $4bn market value. Other chemistries, like zinc/bromine and hydrogen/bromine, have the potential to capture significant portions of the market thanks to high-profile collaborations and partnerships already in place.
Lithium-ion batteries will suffer a setback from the emergence of utility-grade flow batteries, which will contribute to ease the pressure on lithium resources that are more needed for electric mobility applications. One final interesting remark is that, with notable exceptions, a sizeable portion of the RFB industry is located in Europe and the US. The success of said companies will fuel the Western World's competitiveness against the Asian Li-ion incumbents.
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