What is a vanadium battery? Which is better, vanadium battery or lithium battery?

The full name of vanadium battery is all-vanadium redox flow battery. In order to ensure the safety of energy storage power stations, the National Energy Administration issued relevant documents in June 2022. It is planned to stipulate that medium and large electrochemical energy storage power stations shall not use ternary lithium batteries, sodium Sulfur batteries, soliciting opinions from the society, let vanadium batteries usher in the spring.

What is a vanadium battery? Which is better, vanadium battery or lithium battery?

Which is better, vanadium battery or lithium battery?

1. Safety: The reason why vanadium batteries have become famous for a while is the safety. From 2011 to April 2022, a total of 34 energy storage power station explosions occurred around the world, of which 32 were lithium batteries, 1 lead-acid battery, and 1 sodium-sulfur battery;

2. Cycle life: Lithium battery has a short cycle life, and the maximum cycle number of lithium iron phosphate for energy storage is about 6,000 times, but the life of vanadium battery is very long, and the cycle number can reach 10,000 to 20,000 times;

3. Energy density: The energy density of vanadium batteries is low, only 12~40Wh/kg, which is mainly limited by the solubility of vanadium ions and the design of the stack. Lithium batteries are generally 80-300Wh/kg, so in order to achieve the same storage capacity, the volume of vanadium batteries is undoubtedly much larger, 3-5 times that of lithium batteries;

4. Energy aspect: Vanadium battery needs a pump to maintain the flow of electrolyte during operation, so there is energy loss and low energy conversion efficiency. The system efficiency of vanadium battery is 70%-75% of that of lithium battery;

5. Cost of use: The initial installation cost is high, twice that of lithium batteries. The total investment cost of the project is concentrated at 3.8~6.0 yuan/Wh, but it can be reduced after scale. If calculated from the whole life cycle, the cost of vanadium battery is 0.72 yuan/KWh based on the cycle life of 12,000 times, which is lower than the cost of lithium battery energy storage 0.80 yuan/KWh. It can be completely recycled. Considering the recycling problem, the whole life cycle cost of vanadium battery is only 0.48 yuan/KWh;

6. Energy security: Lithium mines are mainly distributed in South America, Australia and other countries and regions. China's reserves account for only 7%, and there is an energy crisis. As of the end of 2021, China's vanadium resource reserves are the world's largest, accounting for about 39%, and the output accounts for 68% of the world.

Can vanadium batteries replace lithium batteries?

Vanadium batteries are expected to partially replace lithium batteries in the field of energy storage. Vanadium batteries have breakthrough safety performance and are easy to expand, while lithium batteries are more risky to expand. The charging and discharging of vanadium batteries has extremely low capacity loss and outstanding performance-to-price ratio in the whole life cycle. However, in the field of energy storage, vanadium batteries also have a strong opponent, that is, sodium-ion batteries, and the current commercial application of sodium-ion batteries is faster.

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