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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VR-ENERGY (A RELIABLE, EFFICIENT, FLEXIBLE AND COST FFECTIVE VANADIUM-REDOX BATTERY ECHNOLOGY FOR LARGE SCALE ELECTRICITY STORAGE: A NOVEL SOLUTION FOR A GREEN GRID.)
H2020

VR-ENERGY Report Summary

Project ID: 738654

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VR-ENERGY (A RELIABLE, EFFICIENT, FLEXIBLE AND COST FFECTIVE VANADIUM-REDOX BATTERY ECHNOLOGY FOR LARGE SCALE ELECTRICITY STORAGE: A NOVEL SOLUTION FOR A GREEN GRID.)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Problem/issue being addressed
The energy crisis being faced today is unlike previous ones. It is not only economic and political, but has also become an environmental and humanitarian crisis. Fossil fuels are the main source of air pollution with enormous costs to lives and welfare and a direct impact on climate. Renewable energy is now central to the world’s ongoing energy transformation. It offers a real solution, one which can be implemented quickly and on a huge scale. Clean, efficient and with generation costs lower than diesel, the renewable sector has delivered on all counts. Only one problem remains –intermittency – which leads to excess supply being wasted and under supply often being penalized.
Energy storage has long been hailed to be the key to solve renewables’ unpredictability, but most technologies currently available do not satisfy the sector’s complex mix of technological, environmental and economic requirements. HydraRedox stands out as a strong contender, offering large scale energy storage solutions ideal for use with renewables to create clean and sustainable energy systems. The HydraRedox system is based on a proprietary radically new approach to vanadium redox technology. The system is very flexible, modular and scalable and can be designed to match exact power and energy requirements. Power can be scaled up to multi-MW while the duration of storage (MWh) can be independently sized from a few hours to 24hours. It is highly efficient (>80%, even at low charge), with 100% depth of discharge, a long-projected life (in line with that of renewables), unlimited cycling and requires low maintenance. Environmentally, the system is neutral when operated and when dismantled/disposed of; furthermore, the energy section, is entirely recyclable.
Why is it important for society?
It is estimated that 64% of the world energy consumed today is still in the form of burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and this is the cause of 75% of air pollution: 87% of the world population lives in places which exceed air pollution guidelines, according to IRENA. Climate change is accelerating at an alarming pace and itself is the cause of more frequent grid instability, compounding the problems of power generation. Energy storage implementation will increase the levels of wind and solar that can be accommodated by the electricity system and be a crucial component of future renewables growth – but the positive ramifications go well beyond the energy sector. For government, industry and society, storage will trigger a chain reaction of benefits from power quality, reliability, security of supply, price stability to environmental and other social benefits. For example, an off-grid solution in a remote location based on renewable energy could, simultaneously, significantly reduce the use of diesel and its environmental impact, lower exposure to oil price volatility and the risks and complications associated with transportation, and avoid expensive infrastructure build. Furthermore, HydraRedox will create employment opportunities as the leader in this new disruptive sector. Additionally, as an enabling technology HydraRedox will boost demand for renewables as well as for supporting technologies such as manufacturers of inverters and software/controls, all of which are expected to see strong job growth.
Overall Objectives
The ultimate goal of the VR Energy project is to install and operate a 1MW-4MWh Hydraredox storage plant in a real environment, i.e. connected to large renewable energy sources.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), over the next 2 decades there will be a doubling of installed capacity for electricity production in the world with solar and wind growing to 44% of total. In this scenario, enabling technologies such as storage will play a crucial role, providing flexibility, addressing variability and facilitating integration in the grid. But, to be a commercially viable partner, energy s

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The VR Energy project consist of several lines of work aimed at the final objective: scaling up the technology and demonstrating its technical and commercial validity through a 1 MW 4 MWh unit operated in a real environment. To achieve this, in-depth R&D work was carried out to optimize the individual parameters of the system and test them extensively ahead of the full manufacturing scale up. The R&D program brought to light several drawbacks with our original design and eventually led to a completed redesign which we now are confident will achieve the flexibility, reliability, efficiency and cost structure needed to succeed commercially.
Running in parallel, a comprehensive commercial plan was implemented to initiate a broad range of activities and prepare the ground for full commercialization at the end of the VR Energy project. These included extensive face to face meeting with potential clients, participation to investors events as well as extensive communications and dissemination activities. The incredible amount of interest generated in HydraRedox and in its ability to demonstrate the scalability of its technology at this level is the best indicator of success.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The first year of the VR Energy project was focused on the optimization of the parameters of the power section of our installation to optimize costs while maintaining efficiency in the scaling up of the technology. A redesign has led to the development of a better HydraRedox cell cell configuration. The novel (multi-circuit) configuration renders the storage much more reliable, efficient, flexible, cost effective and brings it in accordance with safety regulations. HydraRedox Iberia is now confident that it has a product which will be able to address the needs of its target segment and that it will meet if nor exceed its project revenue plan in the next five years. An acceleration of the implementation of energy storage in a large scale will bring a whole range of benefits to society, financial, welfare, quality of life as well as generating employment.

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