Germany to build world’s largest redox flow battery in underground salt caverns

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A German energy company is building a redox flow battery in underground salt caverns that could power 75,000 homes.

A redox flow battery generates electricity by a reversible reduction-oxidation reaction between two liquid vanadium electrolytes of the battery. When the battery is charging, the electrons pass through a membrane from the catholyte to the anolyte. The process is reversed in discharging.

German company Ewe Gasspeicher GmbH will install its brine4power battery system in two huge underground salt caverns in Jemgum gas storage facility. Each salt cavern has the volume of 100,000 cubic meters.

“The amount of electricity this kind of storage facility contains – consisting of two medium-sized caverns – is sufficient to supply a major city such as Berlin with electricity for an hour. It means that we will have built the world's largest battery,” Peter Schmidt, Managing Director of Ewe Gasspeicher GmbH told New Atlas. The battery is expected to start operating by the end of 2023.

Flow batteries seem to have many more advantages over lithium ion batteries. The water-based electrolyte has no risk of explosion and the batteries typically last longer than lithium ion batteries.

U.S. company Tesla has announced last week that it is building the world’s biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia.

Jemgum gas storage facility
RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Illustration of a redox flow battery
2. Size of the underground salt cavern
3. Brine4power system supplies electricity to homes

VOICEOVER (in English):
“A redox flow battery generates electricity by a reversible reduction-oxidation reaction. This reaction takes place between two liquid vanadium electrolytes. When the battery is charging, the electrons pass through a membrane from the catholyte to the anolyte. The process is reversed while discharging.”

“The brine4power system will utilize two large underground salt caverns, each of which has a volume of 100,000 cubic meters. These will serve as the electrolyte tanks.”

“The battery can supply a day’s worth of power to 75,000 homes.”

SOURCES: New Atlas, EWE, gtm, Energy Storage
http://newatlas.com/brine4power-largest-redox-flow-battery/50405/
https://www.ewe.com/en/media/press-releases/2017/06/ewe-plans-to-build-the-worlds-largest-battery-ewe-ag
https://www.ewe-gasspeicher.de/home/b4p
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/can-redflows-home-flow-battery-really-beat-lithium-ion
https://www.energy-storage.news/blogs/why-lithium-ion-is-not-the-new-silicon