Invinity Energy Systems plc (AIM:IES), manufacturer of vanadium flow batteries for the large-scale energy storage requirements of businesses, industry and electricity networks, is pleased to announce that the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has purchased a 1.8 MWh vanadium flow battery (VFB) system for delivery in 2021.
EMEC will use the system at their facility on the Isle of Eday, located in the Orkney Islands off the northeast coast of Scotland, in a project that has received £1.8m of funding from the Scottish Government via Highlands and Islands Enterprise . Approximately twothirds of the funding amount relates to the Invinity battery system, ancillary components and associated services.
In a first for the technology, Invinity’s VS3 vanadium flow battery system will smooth output from tidal electric generation and provide consistent power to EMEC’s hydrogen production plant. The complete system, combining tidal power, robust energy storage, and electrolyser technology, is expected to create large amounts of hydrogen every year without emitting carbon at any
stage of the process. This so-called ‘green’ hydrogen is seen as an important transformative fuel as the world moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Invinity’s flow batteries were chosen for this application due to their ability to perform multiple cycles per day without degradation. This is important as tidal generation is variable, with two high and two low tides occurring each day. Batteries coupled with tidal generation can be required to cycle up to four charge-discharge cycles per day which can strain other battery technologies.
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said:
“We are delighted to support this world-first innovative energy systems project in Orkney with £1.8 million of funding from the Scottish Government. The demonstration of hydrogen and systems integration with renewables will be a key part of our energy transition pathways and we look forward to watching the progress of this exciting and pioneering project, building on the strong track record of Orkney and EMEC, in particular, in demonstrating hydrogen and integrated energy systems.”
Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC, said:
“EMEC’s core purpose is to demonstrate technologies in new and inspired ways to decarbonise our energy system. This is the first time that a flow battery will have been coupled with tidal energy and hydrogen production, and will support the development of the innovative energy storage solution being developed in the Interreg NWE ITEG project.
“Following a technical review looking at how to improve the efficiencies of the electrolyser we assessed that flow batteries would be the best fit for the energy system. As flow batteries store electrical charge in a liquid rather than a solid, they can provide industrial quantities of power for a sustained period, can deeply discharge without damaging itself, as well as stand fully charged for
extended periods without losing charge. These are all necessary qualities to integrate battery technology with the renewable power generation and hydrogen production process.”
Larry Zulch, Chief Executive Officer at Invinity said:
“This far-sighted project demonstrates how Invinity’s vanadium flow batteries can accelerate the commercialization of producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources such as tidal power. Robust energy storage can ensure hydrogen production systems operate at their best even when powered by intermittent renewable sources. It is a great honour to be chosen by EMEC to assist their hydrogen research efforts and support the development of marine technologies that are leading the way to a brighter energy future.”