CleanTech Innovation Showcase Presenting Company Recap: UniEnergy Technologies
By Ray Adler
CleanTech Alliance Contributor
UniEnergy Technologies (UET) is building a better energy storage solution. Their vanadium flow batteries are better than existing batteries (like lithium) because they not only provide fast response, which can enhance grid stability and power quality, but also because the charge capacity does not degrade over time. Plus they are not flammable.
David Tomlinson, Sr. Director of Project Development remarked, “It’s nice that it doesn’t catch on fire. It’s actually really nice when you start putting [batteries] in urban areas.” Vanadium flow batteries will be the first ever to be installed in New York City parking garages.
Several years ago, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was looking to make renewable energy available globally in an effort to approach goals of 50-70% of renewable energy. They took existing vanadium flow battery technology, originally developed in the 1980’s and improved its chemistry by adding a chlorine molecule to vanadium. Once chlorine is added, the energy density and temperature stability of vanadium doubles, which allows vanadium flow batteries to be containerized and sold commercially. UET was born from this innovation.
Today, UniEnergy warranties their batteries for 20+ years and guaranties the same charge capacity and energy efficiency over the 30-40 year life of the battery. Vanadium flow batteries are designed for wind and solar projects that have similar operational lifespans and since vanadium is highly recyclable, it can be re-used in new generations of flow batteries when old batteries need to be replaced.
UET has Megawatt-scale battery systems operating in Washington and California and will install more systems in the U.S., Europe and China over the next two years.