A major new use of vanadium is now emerging as the electrolyte in VFB’s used for energy storage. Although lithium-ion batteries are better known and are more suitable for mobile applications where weight is important, VFB’s have several advantages for fixed, high capacity and long term storage, either as part of a grid or for isolated mini-grids. The main advantages are:
- No degradation over time or after repeated charge and discharge cycles
- Can be fully charged and fully discharged without damage
- Capacity can be scaled independently of power by addition of larger electrolyte tanks
- No fire hazard
- Suitable for long discharge periods, for example, to store solar energy during the day and release over the whole evening and night
Ferro-Alloy Resources Limited (LON:FAR) is developing the giant Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit in Kyzylordinskaya oblast of southern Kazakhstan. The ore at this deposit is unlike that of nearly all other primary vanadium deposits and is capable of being treated by a much lower cost process.