Special Report: A 50 per cent-owned subsidiary of vanadium battery tech developer Protean Energy has exceeded expectations in a battery trial in South Korea.

Protean Energy (ASX:POW) is currently developing a 1 megawatt/4 megawatt vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) in a trial funded by the Korean Government.

And today, the company told the market that KORID had exceeded stack development expectations by 12 per cent in the Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) program.

In the KETEP trial, certain targets have been set for battery development. The most important of these targets are the stack power and stack power density — the stack being the part of the VRFB that converts the charge difference in the two liquid tanks to electrical current.

The first-year target for KORID was to produce a battery stack of 12.5kW with a power density of 60 kW/L, but it was able to generate a stack producing 14kW @ 67.3 kW/l in the trials.

Higher stack power means an increased power output of each individual stack.

Higher power

The company is aiming to develop a final VRFB product with significantly higher stack power and power density and the trial results were independently audited by third-party experts, KTC.

Key components optimised within the first year of development include reduced internal resistance, improved stack flow-frame design and the incorporation of a 430 per cent thinner bipolar plate.

Currently, if one wishes to make a battery that has a 25kW capacity, one would need to use two stacks coupled together; this takes up more space, is more expensive and decreases the efficiency of the battery. Thus, KORID’s goal is to reduce the amount of separate stacks required in a system through increasing the power output of each individual stack.

And higher funding

Through the trial KORID Energy has also received a funding commitment of $3 million to further develop its battery stack technology.

KORID recently landed a big fish, appointing Dr Soowhan Kim as technical advisor to help develop the battery system. He has over 20 years experience working for large research associations and energy corporations and is also the administrator of the KETEP grant for the project.


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