The US Department of Defense has begun its second phase of research into vanadium flow batteries in partnership with Ameresco, a developer of clean energy and microgrid projects.
As part of the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), the study is being done in Golden, Colorado, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Phase two of the research is designed to examine the potential of vanadium flow batteries in military microgrids. The experiment will test the validity of the battery’s potential to decrease reliance on diesel fuels and lower the cost of critical load support through hardware in the loop systems.
The second phase of research follows the investigation’s 2020 Project of the Year Award from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and the ESTCP, who are funding the project.
Join Michael Bakas, executive vice president at Ameresco, at Microgrid 2021 for a panel discussion, “The Green Energy Balancing Act: How Microgrids Steady the Scale,” 1 p.m., May 25. Participation in Microgrid 2021 is free if you register in advance. Space is limited on the virtual platform. Previous Microgrid Knowledge virtual conferences have attracted more than 4,000 participants.
Martha Symko-Davies, the NREL program manager, sees value in the experiment, stating that “flexible energy storage is a key component to incorporating more variable renewable energy into microgrid systems.”
She believes that the results from this experiment will have a wide range of both military and nonmilitary applications, incorporated into public and private microgrids.
The test is one of several underway into the potential of vanadium flow batteries for microgrids as a replacement for gas generators or lithium-ion storage.
Vanadium flow batteries have also helped support electrical outages during California wildfires, and they are currently planned for use in Africa’s first megawatt scale flow battery microgrid.
Ameresco was also selected for a separate ESTCP project scheduled for 2022, designed for research into indoor zinc bromide flow batteries.
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