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Mass. startup licenses PNNL’s vanadium redox flow battery technology

27 January 2014

A Massachusetts startup has signed a license agreement with Battelle to commercialize battery technology that can help store large amounts of renewable energy and improve the reliability of the nation's power grid. (Earlier post.) PNNL suggests that the license with Lowell, Mass.-based WattJoule Corporation will advance the commercial use of redox flow battery technology.

Smoothly integrating intermittent renewable power such as wind and solar onto the electric grid while also maintaining grid stability has been challenging. First developed in the 1970s, the redox flow battery shows promise in meeting this challenge. Until recently, these batteries have been limited by their ability to only work well within certain temperature ranges, their relatively high cost and their low energy density.

Researchers at PNNL, which is managed by Battelle, have made significant progress in improving the performance of redox flow technologies. PNNL developed novel vanadium electrolytes that overcome the limitations of earlier redox flow batteries. The result is a significantly improved operating temperature range, higher energy density and lower cost for vanadium redox flow batteries.

WattJoule plans to combine its own proprietary technology with PNNL’s to develop an energy storage platform for a broad variety of energy companies, including those involved in wind and solar power. This is the third and final license granted for PNNL’s technologies to all-vanadium, mixed acid redox flow battery developers. (Earlier post.)

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