Iron Flow Energy Storage going Commercial in 2016

March 09, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Electric Fuel Energy (EFE) has developed a novel Iron Flow energy storage technology that is projected to be less costly, safer, and more environmentally friendly than other large-scale battery storage solutions. EFE is a newly-formed subsidiary of Arotech Corporation, a provider of advanced power supplies and multimedia interactive simulators/trainers.

The EFE development team was drawn from leading Arotech experts with over 20 years of experience, and EFE thus holds a broad knowledge base regarding every aspect of battery development and energy storage. As considerable market growth is expected for stationary storage applications, EFE has made the strategic decision to enter this market segment and has successfully developed a tailor-made solution. The patent-pending Iron Flow battery will bring a breakthrough solution for stationary energy storage that is environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and safe. The new battery's technology is particularly suited for renewable integration, load shifting, peak shaving, and other long-duration storage applications.

The new Iron Flow technology consists of a proprietary iron anode and a liquid cathode. This combination provides a solid foundation for a low-cost battery with an overall system price of $200/kWh, even at low manufacturing volumes.

The EFE solution achieves advantages beyond mere cost reduction, as its anode and cathode materials are neither toxic nor dangerous. In sharp contrast to flow batteries based on bromine, vanadium or strong acids, the Iron Flow battery’s electrolyte hydroxides are well known, safe, easily disposable, and contain no toxic chemicals. The membrane is non-fluorinated and available at low cost. Even very large batteries are safe to operate in all environments, and are environmentally friendly during operation and disposal. The new solution is particularly robust and has a long cycle-life.

Current battery solutions are not always optimized for storing energy for several hours. For the future growth of solar and wind applications, a cost-efficient multi-hour storage solution is a key success factor. “In many commercial and industrial applications our new system can make the difference and help renewables to compete fully with electricity from the grid and from diesel gensets,” points out Ronen Badichi, President of Arotech's Power Systems Division and CEO of EFE. “We have tested the technology successfully and will deliver the first commercial systems in 2016. At the moment, we are extending our network of select competent technology partners in the main storage markets.”