AVL taps WA firm for Chinese residential battery prototype
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Special Report: Australian Vanadium has taken a step forward in its agreement with a Chinese vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) manufacturer, appointing a local consultant to design and prototype a residential VRFB for the Australian market.
Under a memorandum of understanding signed in September between Australian Vanadium Limited’s (ASX:AVL) 100%-subsidiary VSUN Energy and the Chinese manufacturer CEC VRFB Co (CEC), VSUN Energy is exploring ways to develop CEC’s residential VRFB locally.
Today, VSUN Energy announced it had appointed WA-based design and consultancy firm CADDS Group to work on the project.
VSUN Energy and CADDS Group will evaluate the recently imported 5kW/30kWh VRFB – manufactured by CEC – and explore ways to improve its suitability for the local market and conditions.
CADDS Group has been engaged to design new housing for the VRFB, and to provide potential design changes which would make it more suitable for the Australian residential customer.
The VRFB will be tested onsite at CADDS, with the help of an engineering student from Curtin University who will receive training and support from VSUN.
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said the company was looking forward to getting started in its work with CADDS Group.
“We are looking forward to working with CADDS Group to develop the design for the residential VRFB,” he said.
“This will give us the opportunity to provide feedback to CEC and ensure that the product is ideal for the Australian market.
“By initiating market growth in smaller systems we anticipate a knock-on effect for larger VRFB uptake, which in turn will grow the market for vanadium pentoxide in energy storage.”
Algar said the WA and Federal governments’ eagerness to increase both manufacturing and green energy capability meant the project was being launched at a good time.
Once initial testing is successful, VSUN plans to deploy the unit to a residential customer with a single-phase solar system to see how it performs in local conditions.
The company said it had also recently ordered 5kW/30kWh VRFBs from V-Flow Tech in Singapore for both a regional residential customer and the Beverley Caravan Park in WA.
VSUN is just one aspect of the AVL business model. Last month, the company announced it had updated the prefeasibility study for its namesake vanadium project near Meekatharra in WA – substantially improving operating costs.
The update reduced C1 cash costs from $US4.15 per pound of vanadium to $US3.66/lb – including a credit from an iron titanium co-product.
The announcement made the project competitive with global primary vanadium producers.
The company is also exploring the use of green hydrogen to reduce emissions at the project, alongside renewables and of course, VRFB-based energy storage.
Offtake MOUs were signed with Singaporean and US firms in December, and a bankable feasibility study for the project is expected in the middle of 2021.
This article was developed in collaboration with Australian Vanadium, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.