New HBr Flow Battery Under Development

The EU is funding a project to optimize a new prototype flow battery at demonstration scale.
Published: Wed 08 Oct 2014

AREVA and Schneider Electric have signed an R&D agreement to develop a new flow battery energy storage solution combining hydrobromic acid and hydrogen.

Flow battery demonstration

The project, which is funded by the European Union under the KIC InnoEnergy FlowBox project, aims to optimize an existing 50kW flow battery prototype to a 150kW demonstration module. The prototype was developed by Yavne, Israel-based energy storage solution provider, EnStorage.

Under the cooperation agreement, the companies will test the flow battery technology under real conditions. The aim is to deliver a competitive and highly efficient solution for the integration of renewable energies.

AREVA will lead the project, manufacturing, integrating and installing the storage solution. Schneider Electric will design, manufacture and install the complementary power conversion system.

“The energy storage market is fast-moving and highly competitive,” comments Louis-François Durret, AREVA Renewables CEO. “In order to meet the energy needs of tomorrow AREVA is diversifying its technology portfolio with the flow battery technology and broadening its cooperation agreement with its partner, Schneider Electric.”

Frédéric Abbal, EVP of Schneider Electric’s Energy Business adds: “This latest agreement with AREVA reinforces our commitment to develop safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green energy management solutions. This storage technology will provide the flexibility and stability needed to facilitate renewable integration.”

FlowBox project

FlowBox, which is supported by KIC InnoEnergy France, is a 3-year project to develop the HBr/H2 redox technology to a high efficiency (>65%) and a target capex of 250€/kWh. This compares with lithium-ion solutions with a capex currently of 500€/kWh and a target 350€/kWh.

The project was started in March 2014 and runs through April 2017. Other participants include Arkema, CEA and TÜV SÜD.

HBr flow battery technology

EnStorage completed the HBr/H2 50kW prototype in March 2013, with tests at its site providing up to 100kWh of energy.

Use of HBr and H2 as storage chemicals, because of their abundance, is expected to reduce the chemical costs significantly compared with other battery technologies, estimated by EnStorage by as much as 95%.

EnStorage also found its conversion stacks to demonstrate power densities over 3 times that of other batteries, contributing to size and further cost reductions.