having spent 30 minutes at the International flow battery forum discussing the dynamics of Vanadium pricing with Professor Huamin Zhang, Chief Engineer of Rongke power I can confidently assert that the Chinese were not aware of what had driven the price down post Nov 2018.
There is one other possible explanation and that begins with the letter G.
RE: Some observations from March 2018 (1 of 2)11 Nov 2019 14:38
Fairwinds - a fair assessment but I would make two points. You are describing a worst case scenario where ALL of the march 2018 152M are being sold down - the reality is almost definitely less than this and given the fact that there are even cornerstone investors explicitly listed I estimate that the real size of the current TS overhang might have only been half of that 152M figure.
Going on from this there was clear evidence from Nov 2018 to the start of Feb 2019 of an excess of Buys of around 400K per day. Note this is the excess of Buys and says nothing about what is the number of Sells that might be attributable to the TS(s). I think that 4M per week is really an overestimate given that the average volume in 2019 is about 4M per day - I would reckon that on average perhaps 1M per week might have been disposed from the TS pot - this might therefore would take 76 weeks to burn through. Or it could be less.
The increased liquidity and access to a wider investing pool means that if someone does try and create irrational price movements then there is much greater chance that these are counteracted by someone else taking advantage to trade against it.
... and continuing 'they have no application at all in small batteries' - errr well maybe he should tell 30 or so people who work at Voltstorage (https://voltstorage.com) that as they are making sub 10KWh sized domestic VRFBs....
Out of curiosity I just had a listed to that Mickey Fulp interview. It seems he really doesn't know what he was talking about - claiming that Vanadium went from '34 bucks a Kilogram to 8 bucks a Kilogram'. Those were actually the prices per POUND of VANADIUM PENTOXIDE not Vanadium per Kilogram (which was about a factor of 5 higher).
Alexander Schoenefeldt of Cellcube told me that some Lithium-ion batteries running in cold conditions actually need to run electrical heaters to keep them working. The energy used for this of course has to come off the energy stored by the battery and acts to reduce the effective round trip efficiency of Lithium-ion below its typically quoted RTE of 85%.
RE: Very useful V price tracking tool10 Nov 2019 12:32
Delboys - that appears to be the Asian Metal data - for example it shows the famous double peak structure in the european data at the end of last year (metal bulletin never showed that) and shows the FeV price at 87 on the 1st Jan when Metals Bulletin quoted it around 69 USD.
Amazing how different the Asian Metal and Metal Bulletin data is isn't it ? It is as if they are probing quite different parts of the world Vanadium market.
coffeecups - Vandium redox flow battery chemistry is most certainly not in its infancy. It has been well understood for 30 years now. Even more than that the chinese most certainly do know what they are doing as you would discover if you had ever read a single one of the 418 pages of 'Redox Flow Batteries - Fundamentals and Applications' edited by Huamin Zhang, Xianfeng Li and Jiujun Zhang.
Pat48 - the question of what you can do with the electrolyte at the 'end of life' of the battery is intrinsically related to the mechanism that causes the 'end of life' - for example if the acid in the electrolytes eats through the seals on the plumbing and a bit leaks out then no real problem for the electrolyte. If for example something inside the pumps goes and the electrolyte spills into the pump casing, then for example the electrolyte might contact the copper windings of the pump motor and then you've got copper ions in the electrolyte which is an impurity that you don't want as it tends to plate out inside the power stacks. Thus it is a hard question to answer as we're talking all about hypotheticals a long way off into the future.
The simple fact though is that in a flow battery everything is separated into its constituent elements, so even if you do have a problem in pumps or in the power stacks, the general point is that you can fix that part and then get back running quite quick. Even supposedly mature technology such as gas or coal thermal plants have to undergo maintenance shutdowns something like 10% of their operational lives