High-performance Flow battery could rival lithium-ions for EVs and grid storage the battle is on?

high performance flow battery

A new redox High-performance Flow battery developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) more than doubles the amount of energy that this type of cell can pack in a given volume, approaching the num…


The Nano Flow Cell Technology, is another possible contender to knock the Lithium-Ion battery off top spot, the testing is not yet completed but the results look good after initial testing.

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Redox Flow Battery may Take Over from Lithium-Ion Batteries

The race to create the battery of the century is being fought out in universities all over the world, including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The PNNL have been working on a new type of battery known as the “redox flow battery”.

The scientists involved claims that the new battery will give twice the amount of energy in a given volume and the model is almost on par with the lithium- Ion battery. This battery will be yet another challenge to vast amount of input and dollars that have been put into the development of the lithium-Ion batteries. It will be a challenge to the statuesque offering power to the solar storage industry, portable electronics such as mobile phones and naturally power the electric cars.

How does the Redox High-performance Flow battery work?

This is a good question and I am afraid that I can only give a simple answer. A much more in depth explanation is available in nature.com.

The design of the High-performance Flow battery is made to form two electrolytes with an opposite charge. These make electricity through a chemical energy reaction by exchanging the ions that are produced through a membrane. The two electrolytes are kept in external tanks, making the system very easy to charge, you just have to change the electrolytes, which are also resistant to high temperatures, an advantage over the Lithium-Ion model.

At the moment a dis-advantage over the Lithium-Ion battery is the fact that flow cell only gives a third of the power?

The PNNL institute have already developed a first time battery, the high-performance zinc-poly-iodide flow battery. This battery can give a high density and it would be possible to increase this in the future, with further modifications.

Because size does not matter, there will be scope for this type of High-performance Flow battery is to be used in large scale storage applications, say for storing solar energy for whole communities, and this could put a spanner in the works of Tesla, who are now claiming a stake for their batteries to be used in the same field.

The new zinc-poly iodide flow battery, claim to be much safer than the other players in the battery field, because they can store more power in a smaller space and because there is no acid in the structure, then the battery is safe from catching fire and can work in much lower temperatures than the lithium-Ion batteries. This also eliminates the need to have expensive battery cooling technology, which at the moment takes up much room in a power train.

Further testing of the new battery is going onto solve a few minor problems and they will also be building larger batteries, that can also be tested over a period of time, but lithium-Ion battery makers will be looking over their shoulders with this one.


Please note these are the words and opinion of the author (Eric Roberts) only. Neither the author nor the website can be held responsible for any errors or omissions. You should seek professional assistance if in doubt about your choice of battery. The article may contain a link to Batteries on the web where you can buy battery products online.