Concept: South Korea’s tech startup Standard Energy has developed a vanadium-ion battery for energy storage systems that can safely store and use large-capacity electric energy in any situation. Standard Energy claims that vanadium-ion batteries have high efficiency, high power, non-igniting characteristics, and stable capacity retention as compared to conventional batteries. Also, vanadium is easy to source than lithium making it a more acceptable choice for battery applications.
Nature of Disruption: Vanadium batteries offer an energy efficiency of 96% which remains high even under high power and low-temperature conditions. Standard Energy has leveraged highly conductive materials and refining technologies to achieve high energy efficiency in vanadium-ion batteries. Leveraging high-efficiency material technology, unique material stacking configurations, and optimal heat management, the battery offers high power as compared to traditional batteries. Vanadium reforming technology developed by Standard Energy in combination with surface electrode technology helps in minimizing the irreversible side reactions due to repeated charge and discharge cycles. This helps to prevent capacity decay and offers long battery life. The vanadium-ion battery contains an electrolyte made from a mixture of water and ground vanadium that prevents the risk of fire in batteries in the event of overcharge or shocks. This makes it suitable for use in energy storage systems (ESSs), which have high fire risks. The unique electrolyte also makes the battery safe from overvoltage forced discharge, external short circuit, high-temperature exposure, drop, crash, penetration, and even no thermal runaway.
Outlook: Conventional batteries have several drawbacks including low efficiency, capacity decay, high ignition risks, and low power output. Standard Energy claims that vanadium-ion batteries help to overcome the drawbacks of traditional batteries and offer higher efficiency and high power as compared to traditional batteries. It aims to position vanadium-ion batteries as complementing support to Li-ion batteries. Vanadium-ion batteries are not as compact as Li-ion batteries making them non-suitable for mobile applications. It can be used to power stationary applications including wind and solar power plants and fast-charging stations for EVs. In January 2022, Lotte Group invested $54M in Standard Energy to acquire a 15% stake in the South Korean startup. The startup aims to use the funding to expand its teams and scale up its production capabilities.