With the accelerated outbreak of new energy storage, the deployment of energy storage by industrial and commercial users is not only an important development trend for the whole society to pursue low-carbon or even zero-carbon. Including the Chinese market, the entry of energy storage into industrial and commercial applications has gradually become a global trend.
With the introduction of China's wider time-of-use electricity price new policy, huge opportunities for industrial and commercial energy storage will explode, and it will further release the development space for flow batteries that are more compatible with industrial and commercial energy storage and are extremely safe.
1. How flow battery meet industrial and commercial energy storage demands
Since 2022, energy storage has continued to show a high growth trend. However, the popular lithium battery energy storage has at least 30 safety accidents in 2022, and the hidden dangers of lithium battery energy storage safety are highlighted. At present, the safety concerns of lithium battery energy storage are prompting the industry to advance in two aspects. One is to improve the safety of lithium batteries; the other is to find fundamentally safe energy storage. How to fundamentally solve the problem of energy storage security has attracted great attention from the industry.
Among them, in the process of searching for a safer new energy storage technology, the flow battery has become one of the new high-safety energy storage technologies that has attracted the most attention from the industry. Liquid flow batteries are considered to be "extremely safe, low cost of electricity, long-term, large capacity, high cycle times, environmentally friendly and flexible in site selection". The cycle times can generally exceed 20,000 times, and the battery life can be as long as 20 years. It has incomparable advantages in the construction of energy storage projects.
Long-duration energy storage will help account for day-to-day and seasonal variations in renewable energy supply as the electricity system shifts to a greater proportion of intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. With the construction of new power systems based on clean energy such as wind and solar, flow batteries can solve many problems for some industrial and commercial users who are pursuing higher returns.
Industrial and commercial energy storage can be regarded as one of the most typical user-side energy storage, which has extremely high requirements on safety and economy. Compared with lithium-ion energy storage, flow batteries have outstanding advantages such as long cycle life, low impact on the environment, high recovery rate, and long-term large capacity, and even have outstanding advantages in extreme environments. According to analysis, flow battery energy storage is highly suitable for industrial and commercial energy storage in at least three aspects.
- First, based on long-term and long-cycle characteristics, it can better help customers realize peak-valley spread arbitrage;
- Second, based on the advantages of intrinsic safety, flow battery energy storage can save industrial and commercial customers from worries about safety;
- Third, based on advantages such as long-term large capacity, flow battery energy storage can cope with extreme environments.
In general, the characteristics of flow batteries are more in line with the pursuit of extreme safety and economical industrial and commercial energy storage.
2. What are the advantages of zinc iron flow battery?
Flow batteries serve as a subdivision track for electrochemical energy storage, and zinc-iron flow batteries with better cost advantages can be called subdivisions in subdivisions. At present, under the dual promotion of "capacity + technology" of representative companies such as WeView, zinc-iron flow batteries will emerge in the industrial and commercial energy storage track. In the process of industrialization breakthrough, zinc-iron flow battery has received global attention. Zinc-iron flow batteries have several advantages in terms of cost, safety, performance, and environmental adaptability:
- First, from a cost point of view, zinc and iron mineral reserves are abundant and their prices are stable.
- Second, from a safety point of view, the zinc-iron flow battery uses an alkaline electrolyte, which stores energy in the form of an aqueous solution, and has the characteristics of zero explosion and zero combustion. It is also easy to recycle after the life cycle, and no hazardous waste is generated in the whole process.
- Third, from a performance point of view, the zinc-iron flow battery uses a unique combination of non-toxic and harmless zinc and iron elements, which has high energy density and stability.
- Fourth, from the perspective of environmental adaptability, zinc-iron flow batteries can operate safely and stably at ambient temperatures ranging from -10°C to 45°C.
Overall, the zinc-iron flow battery has high safety and high economy, and can easily meet the new energy storage demand for a very long time. Under the rated power output, the discharge time exceeds 8 hours. Based on the multiple advantages of flow batteries such as long-term operation and safety, flow batteries are not restricted by geographical environment, and can be deployed in western regions with abundant wind and solar resources but harsh environmental conditions, as well as densely populated residential areas in bustling cities.
3. What is the prospect of zinc-iron flow batteries in commercial applications?
On the one hand, the industrialization process of zinc-iron flow battery technology has been greatly accelerated, forming a unique competitive barrier in the field of industrial and commercial energy storage. On the other hand, based on the initial large-scale development of the entire energy storage industry, the market demand for flow batteries continues to rise, which will further drive the overall improvement of the upstream and downstream related industrial chains.
In the process of two-way promotion, zinc-iron flow batteries are highlighting the application prospects of industrial and commercial energy storage. From the perspective of cost of electricity, safety, and long-term demand, zinc-iron flow batteries are the preferred technical route to solve these problems in the industrial and commercial track.
- First, the low cost of electricity enhances the profitability of industrial and commercial energy storage.
- Second, high-security escort industrial and commercial energy storage.
- Third, long-term energy storage empowers industrial and commercial energy storage.
With the development of the industry in depth, long-term energy storage with high safety, low cost, abundant production capacity, green and low carbon will become one of the leading technical routes for industrial and commercial energy storage.