Tyfoon - I don't think it really changes that much - their approach to using precipitation inhibitors to increase the concentration of dissolved Vanadium only really works on one side of the battery - so you could not immediately apply the technique to increase the energy density of an all Vanadium flow battery. And indeed why would you bother as the energy density of the Vanadium flow battery is not really the issue for stationary applications - if anything the amount of Vanadium used in the battery, which directly contributes to the cost, is the issue there. In practise there are internal resistances in the power stacks that limit the range of state of charge that you can practically use full power to (eg you might only get to use the full power in the range 20-80%, if you are prepared to knock back the power then you can charge 0-100% energy capacity. Some of the most interesting developments that I saw in Lyon were to do with improved flow profiling and electrolyte contact resistance which I expect will soon be contributing to getting greater effective use of the Vanadium electrolyte in an all VRFB flow battery, and it is developments like these that I believe Mikhail was referring to when describing how the kgV per GWh figure may come down from the current approximate value of 5000T/GWh in the next few years.
Well Vanadium Nitride of course does allow you to get the same strength improvements with only 60% or so of the contained vanadium so now is an ideal time to start to introduce more of a premium for the product.
Indeed jogj99 - I had a good chat with Pat during the battery tour in what was only 5 months ago.
Bespooked - do not befooled by the discussion of the 'footprint' of their utility scale energy storage system. I do not believe that they even have kWh sized system made with this approach so talking about multi megawatt hour sized installations is pure hype.
somtam - if you compare this with the complexity of this idea with scaling energy storage in a vanadium flow battery (take V2O5, dissolve in Sulphuric acid, pour into tank) you will see just what a nonsense their thing is. Cripes it doesn't even scale into the second dimension well as wafers can be made only so big - at the recent intersolar exhibition I was interested to see a 4m long 300mm diameter boule of silicon that is used to make PV panels. Out of this they get about 4000 wafers of c. 0.7mm thick (i.e. 30% already lost). I was told that the boule costs around $1M - so around $250 per wafer from this estimate.
How does this compare with other published data ? - Well https://semiengineering.com/mixed-outlook-for-silicon-wafer-biz/ shows 2018 production of 12,700 Million square inches at a cost of 11 Billion dollars - So roughly 12e9 Square inches for 12e9 dollars - or a dollar per square inch. A 12 inch wafer is about 110 square inches so $110 dollars - so we're looking at 100-250 dollars per single wafer.
How many wafers might they require for, say a car, even if they could get 4 times the energy density. Well the battery pack on a tesla weighs 540Kg, so if you only had, say 125Kg of silicon wafers, how many would this be ? Well a standard 300mm wafer is 125g ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wafer_(electronics) ) so this brings us precisely to the 1000 wafer mark. That's already $100,000 before you have even though about etching them or adding anything else to them.
These claims are about as credible as wishing for a unicorn.
jogj99 - I suspect that Bushveld Shareholders are not going to be getting results of the Eskom battery tests.
Eskom will be though, but they are not about to reveal just how well the BE VRFB stacks up against the previous Lithium-ion battery test, ahead of their 1440 MWh BESS project tender, as that could lead competitor bidders to suggest that the competition was not conducted fairly.
Firstly a politician becoming a battery entrepreneur with claims that they can provide not only four times the energy density, but also four times the lifetime, AND at half the cost of a well established Lithium-ion battery industry worth tens of Billions of dollars sounds incredible. Because it is.
Then you get to the technical stuff - so not content with having to base it on silicon wafer technology they conclude that you need to etch half of the stuff away to make a silicon wafer sponge. Does this start to sound expensive ? Well it should do because it is. How expensive is a computer memory ? - actually pretty cheap because the active elements have over decades of research been scaled to incredibly tiny dimension.
You do not get the same benefit with battery energy storage - there is bugger all benefit in making the batteries any smaller, in fact you simply make more work for yourself and you cannot store any more energy. This is a nonsense idea, which is the reason it has been in 'stealth' mode, and is also the reason it will stay there.
Interestingly when you look at Graysmaker you discover that they work closely with the SA listed Hulisani Investment company (https://www.marketscreener.com/HULISANI-LTD-27879552/company/ ) who have investments from numerous SA major enterprises such as the pension funds of both Eskom and Transnet. Whilst they may not necessarily being buying BMN shares (though they might once we list on the JSX) they are just the sort of people who might wish to get involved in energy+storage joint venture projects.
One of the interesting things in that article is the graph that shows Lithium-ion battery costs per KWh plummeting to sub $200 per kWh. This is just one of the highly deceptive metrics used by the Li-ion battery industry - Lithium-ion batteries cannot be cycled to 0% State of Charge (SOC) without permanent irreversible damage to the battery (ok each charge-discharge results in irreversible capacity loss but a discharge to zero is very very damaging) - so Lithum-ion batteries are typically only actually cycled between 20% and 80% SOC.
So take the headline CAPEX/kWh figure and multiply by 167% to get the real cost per kWh of energy you can actually store in Lithium-ion cells.
According to https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/EF/Areas/Energy-storage/Battery-recycling :-
* only 2 per cent of Australia's annual 3,300 tonnes of lithium-ion battery waste is recycled
* this waste is growing by 20 per cent per year and could exceed 100,000 tonnes by 2036
Endion and Loudspeaker - from that same Energy Storage article:-
"when requested for comment back in May, the US office of battery maker LG Chem refused to handle the matter, deferring back to corporate HQ in Korea but claiming to be unable to contact or obtain comment from there. Direct requests to that HQ have yet to be acknowledged. Both Samsung SDI and LG Chem, among the country’s biggest players have taken a big financial hit based on one-off costs of dealing with the safety issue."
So two Major South Korean companies, being protected by the South Korean energy ministry - doesn't sound at all dodgy then.
Endion - see for example this article:-
"After fires were started at a reported 23 battery energy storage installations in South Korea during 2018, the government and a national standards committee have discovered the causes but have so far declined to engage with the international press on the matter."
"South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the national Standards Committee were reported by local news outlets to have held a press briefing a week ago, revealing that in nearly every case the issue appears to have been poor management of batteries, rather than anything inherently unsafe in the batteries themselves."