Yurika is excited to be designing, constructing, and commissioning a vanadium flow battery. The work is part of a trial of vanadium battery technology, that works better over longer periods and at scale, to help Queensland meet its renewable energy commitments.
Yurika has been awarded a tender to design, construct, and commission a vanadium flow battery to connect to Energex’s distribution network. The timing coincides with the newly opened vanadium battery manufacturing facility in Townsville, owned by the Vecco Group. Vanadium mined in Queensland will be used in batteries installed in Queensland, for the benefit of Queensland electricity consumers.
Greg Piper, Yurika’s Principal Engineer for Hybrid & Renewable Systems, says Yurika is one of very few Australian companies with in-house experience designing, building, and operating vanadium flow battery installations.
“I’m proud to be one of the few engineers to have previously delivered a vanadium battery project in Australia, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities of this project,” said Greg.
Yurika has a strong understanding of the technical and commercial viability of vanadium flow batteries and will apply this knowledge throughout the trial. Learnings from the trial will help inform and assess the benefits and technical considerations for connecting more vanadium batteries to the National Electricity Market.
“Buying the battery is the easy part; there are a lot of other pieces of infrastructure to design, procure and install beyond just the battery.”
“Connecting and integrating it to the network is where you need an experienced team to design the balance of plant,” said Greg.
Balance of plant includes for example, designing and building a substation to connect to the medium voltage network, designing and installing the control system, and civil infrastructure such as foundations.
Vanadium flow batteries use tanks to store an electrolyte (vanadium) which stores the energy in chemical form and is circulated through a cell stack to convert to electrical energy for charging and discharging.
The unique architecture of a flow battery enables the energy storage capacity of the battery to be expanded by adding additional tanks and vanadium liquid.
Vanadium batteries potentially provide advantages over lithium-ion batteries, offering a longer serviceable life with very high charging and discharging cycles possible – some sites have recorded 20,000 cycles, compared to 5,000 to 10,000 cycles for lithium-ion systems.
Vanadium systems can also fully discharge, and charge, without damaging the battery and have negligible capacity degradation over time. They can last up to 20 years with the key technology component, vanadium, being 100% reusable.
Learn more about Yurika’s capabilities in batteries and electrical balance of plant.