CellCube Challenge Lead 2022March 29, 2022 2022-04-01 8:10
CellCube Challenge Lead 2022
Let´s store green energy in a circular product!
“How might we move our production locally to offer our product at a lower cost, also in developing countries and remote regions, so that we reduce our carbon footprint and produce our green energy product sustainably”
We want to offer a product that actively contributes to the optimal use of green energy and can be used in all areas of the world. For many regions, companies and communities, storage is currently not an option because of the cost. The goal is to create added value for people and the climate, which should not fail because of the costs. This is particularly important in remote regions that are not connected to the electricity grid. Together with wind power or PV systems, a microgrid can be created that can provide entire communities with access to energy.
Our Battery is divided into 4 parts: Energy unit (Electrolyte), power unit (stacks, pumps, control cabinets), inverter (outside the plant) and infrastructure (base plate). Our storage unit type Release 4 FB500-2000 has a total weight of 268 tons. Of this, 74% is electrolyte, which is a mixture of high-purity water, vanadium pentoxide and sulphuric acid. 8.4% of the weight is accounted for by the containers (40 feet, 5 pieces for this type of plant). 2.5% on racks, which serve as holders for the stacks. The stacks are the heart of the plant and are produced in Wiener Neudorf, and this is to remain the case.
Electrolyte: This is located in 3 containers and is stored in tanks and overflow protection tubs. The electrolyte is currently produced in the USA or China and shipped directly from there to the customers. In addition, the electrolyte can only be transported in IBC containers (material: plastic and iron), which generate a large amount of waste. The 3 containers are bought by us, foamed in Germany (insulation inside), sent to Slovenia and there the tanks, hoses and overflow protection tubs are installed. From Slovenia, these come to the customers and are filled there with the electrolyte.
Power Unit: For this type FB500-2000, 2 containers (40 feet) are needed which are also foamed in Germany and receive their interior in Wiener Neudorf. This includes shelves, floors, stacks, pumps, hoses, switch cabinets and other technical equipment. From there they are transported to the customer.
Inverters are purchased and installed at the customer’s site.
The infrastructure such as floor slab (concrete) is also erected at the customer’s site.
The transport of the heavy weight creates emissions which need to be reduced. These also contribute to the cost of the storage unit, as electrolyte is a hazardous material.
Our battery is not explosive nor flammable. 25 years of lifetime guaranteed without capacity loss. The Electrolyt has no expiry date, does not diminish and does not degrade. Actually, we get the electrolyte back from our customers, clean it and fill it into a new battery. If not needed in a new battery, the Vanadium can be recovered to a rate from 97%.
We will not be able to sell batteries to regions, communities and companies which can’t afford the price which will affect the implementation of renewable energy and providing energy at all.
Especially more rural areas and poorer regions will have to manage without electricity for even longer and will not be able to use renewable energies.
Emissions from the energy sector are not reduced, although there is an urgent need for action.
The idea is to have a kind of kit model for our storage, which can be assembled at the customer’s site and by local workforces. We want to support local development, promote knowledge transfer, reduce emissions and create jobs. In addition, the battery needs to be serviced at least once a year, which in turn creates local jobs in the long term, depending on the size of the project. This should also reduce the emissions of our technicians, which are currently very high due to constantly travel.
An additional concern of ours is the promotion of women in technology. Particular attention should be paid to this in local production.
In the kit model, we can imagine that the power unit is assembled entirely on site, except for the stacks. From the delivery of the containers, the foaming, the installation of shelves, floors and other things. The assembly of the switch cabinets, installation of hoses and pumps up to the final installation of the stacks – all this could happen on site.
To avoid job losses in Austria, the kit will be developed and prepared here. The stack production will also remain here.
Another step towards reducing transport emissions is the electrolyte. Here, the aim could be to mix the individual components directly on site. The water (100t) could be added on site, but it has to be highly pure, which requires a purification plant. This could then move from one project to the next.
We are CellCube — technology and industry leader in the field of sustainable, future-proof and durable energy storage infrastructure. We are one of the world's first and largest developers, manufacturers and sellers of vanadium redox flow batteries, also referred to as VRFBs.