More countries and individuals across the globe are transitioning into using electric vehicles in a bid to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, as countries work on fighting climate change. This transition is also encouraging the use of renewable energies, which will help to significantly reduce green-house gas emissions. Lithium ion and vanadium redox batteries will be among the most common components of this transition.
So, what are the differences between the two?
Lithium-ion batteries are smaller in size when compared to vanadium batteries, which enable them to be used in electric vehicles and portable electronics. Also known as Li-ion batteries, lithium-ion batteries are used in aerospace and military applications.
This battery uses graphite as the material at the negative electrode and an intercalated lithium compound at the positive electrode. It usually holds a considerable quantity of nickel, which is dependent on the precise battery type. Cobalt and manganese are also used in lithium-ion batteries.
Additionally, li-ion batteries have a high-energy density and can, in some circumstances, be a safety hazard as their electrolytes are flammable. When incorrectly charged or damaged, lithium ion batteries can also cause fires or explosions.
On the other hand, the vanadium flow battery, which is also known as the vanadium redox battery, uses vanadium ions in various oxidation states to store chemical potential energy. Vanadium flow batteries are rechargeable but bulky, which is why they are commonly utilized in grid energy storage. Additionally, the batteries can be attached to electrical grids and power plants.
Various producers of vanadium speculate that the majority of the demand for storage to balance the power system and absorb renewable energies will be for long duration, which is generally more than four hours and often ranges between six and 10 hours.
Vanadium batteries will be suitable in meeting this need as they are not only cheaper for long-duration applications but are also water based, which makes them fire safe and significantly safer than li-ion batteries.
Additionally, vanadium batteries provide other benefits, which include:
- A lower carbon dioxide intensity, in comparison with other battery technologies
- Effortless recovery of the metal from the electrolyte
- Long lifespans of two decades or more with minimal degradation
Utilizing a vanadium battery can also assist in smoothing the load distribution of a power system by shifting power demand and also in the stabilization of power grids that utilize huge amounts of variable renewable energy sources. This is in addition to storing any surplus power generated in off-peak periods.
So, which is better than the other? It all depends on the application as each has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on how it is used.
A number of firms, including StorEn Technologies Inc., have invested in making vanadium flow batteries, and as these energy storage avenues become more widely available, the push to switch to greener forms of energy will be a lot easier.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StorEn Technologies Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/StorEn
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