All-iron flow batteries are a relatively new technology within the energy storage space. This technology offers many unique benefits in addition to the benefits associated with energy storage systems in general. These benefits of all-iron flow batteries include increased sustainability, safety, cost efficiency and practicality.
What is an all-iron flow battery?
All-iron flow batteries utilize electrolytes made up of iron sands in ionized form to store electrical energy in the form of chemical energy. Energy is stored in external tanks of liquid electrolyte that is pumped through electrodes to extract the elections. These electrons allow the flow pump to push the spent electrolyte back through the electrodes. This action recharges the electrolyte and returns it to the external holding tank. Chemical energy storage that involves an external battery container provides flow batteries with flexibility to shift rate of storage and energy flow, facilitating efficient energy management.
All-iron flow batteries are particularly advantageous because iron is an earth-abundant and non-toxic material. The iron-based technology creates an affordable and safe alternative for storing chemical energy.
Benefits of all-iron flow batteries
The benefits of all-iron flow batteries make this technology an ideal option for energy storage, especially when compared to similar technologies that use alternative materials. The ways in which all-iron flow batteries can be an asset to your company are outlined below. These are not the only benefits associated with all-iron flow battery technology, but the ones unique to it. To read more about the benefits of battery energy storage in general, click here.
1. Increase Sustainability
As is true with the installation of any renewable energy project, installing all-iron flow batteries for energy storage at your facility will work to decrease your company’s carbon footprint. Your dedication to sustainability may also attract likeminded individuals to your company whether they be potential customers or employee’s. All-iron flow batteries are also environmentally friendly in and of themselves because of iron’s earth abundance. The same can not be said for alternative battery technologies for energy storage such as zinc, vanadium or lithium-ion technologies.
In addition to being a more environmentally friendly option for battery energy storage technology, another one of the benefits of all-iron flow batteries is that they are a safer choice compared to other metals like lithium. Lithium hydrates are both toxic and flammable.They react violently with water and corrode in air. Iron on the other hand is a relatively non-toxic alternative. It is only slightly reactive with water and air most commonly in the form of rust. This makes all-iron flow batteries a softer alternative in environmentally or fire sensitive locations especially.
3. Cost Efficiency
Of all the benefits of all-iron flow batteries, it’s cost efficiency can be the most attractive to companies considering implementing this technology. At 15 years, all-iron flow batteries have the longest lifespan and are one of the cheapest options with a cost of 250-400 $/kWh. This is in comparison to generally shorter-lasting and more expensive options like supercapacitors, regenerative fuel cells with hydrogen storage, lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries, sodium sulfur batteries and vanadium redox batteries.
One of the only cheaper alternatives are lead-acid batteries. And while this technology can indeed be cheaper, it often only lasts up to four years comes with other drawbacks such as low energy density and temperature tentativeness. All-iron flow batteries have their own drawbacks like hydrogen evolution, low cell voltage and current efficiency as well. However, all of all-iron flow battery’s drawbacks can be overcome with suitable additives.
Last but not least, another of of the benefits of all-iron flow batteries is the technology’s practicality. They are both long-lasting and flexible, offering commercial businesses the ability to manage energy flow efficiently with the option to shift flow and rate of storage easily. In addition, all-iron flow batteries do not require cooling considerations, making for easier installation and maintenance processes. The same cannot be said for other flow battery technologies.
Interested in installing a battery energy storage system?
If you are interested in installing an energy storage system and taking full advantage of the benefits of all-iron flow batteries get started today with the help of EnergyLink’s team of experts. EnergyLink will walk you through the design, build and funding processes of an energy project installation and make sure you get the most our of the benefits of all-iron flow batteries should you choose to employ them. Click the link below for a free quote to get started on your battery energy storage project. If you’d prefer to speak directly with a team member dial (866) 218-0380.