Special Report: Protean Energy’s Perth vanadium battery is working as planned, successfully hooking into the local grid and doing two charge-discharge cycles a day.

The successful trial and project completion means a release of the $120,000 funding from the Korean Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) – the organisation which is funding the trial.

Protean Energy (ASX:POW) says its 60 per cent-owned Korean affiliate KORID Energy is already fielding offers of interest in South East Asia in the battery.

KORID was recently awarded approximately $3 million in funding for its part in a significant multiparty 1MW/4MWh vanadium battery project from KETEP.

Perth trial a success

The ‘plug and play’ 25kW/100kWh V-KOR vanadium redox flow battery (VFRB) was switched on at industrial fittings supplier OzLinc Industries in Perth, in June.

Tests included charging from solar only, grid only and solar/grid.

“The project has been extremely valuable for understanding the implementation requirements for projects in the Australian region,” said Protean chairman Bevan Tarratt.

“It has provided important insights into the development of our flagship 25kW stack development and we have identified customer segments that can benefit from the company’s value proposition.

“This is now helping refine the commercialisation program for the 25kW stack, and we are focused on delivering a highly efficient, low-cost 25kW stack that will competitively position V-KOR for large-scale battery configurations.”

Modular batteries

The battery consists of two electrolyte tanks, two battery stacks of 12.5kW each, one 25kW inverter, electrolyte pumps and a power management system. It’ll be charged from a 21.1kW rooftop solar system.

The “plug and play” battery is modular and can be scaled up from as small as 2kw to 20MW.

Protean says it has received a number of enquiries regarding its V-KOR battery and is progressing towards commercial orders

Modular technology is the flavour of the moment in many industries.

Data from this trial will be put towards building a larger single 25kW stack (as opposed to the two 12.5kW batteries used in this project), as well as improving the design of a containerized system for large-scale electricity grid deployments.

Vanadium redox flow batteries are a key focus for the energy industry because the technology can store more power and last much longer than lithium-ion batteries. That makes it highly sought-after for industrial and domestic energy storage.

(You can read more about vanadium and its applications in our guide)

Market researcher IDTechEx predicts the market will be worth $US4.5B by 2028.

The battery technology “has the potential to become a mainstream technology that will compete directly with lithium-ion and sodium-sulphur — currently the two leading chemistries in the stationary storage market”, IDTechEx says in a recent report.

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