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RedT

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RedT

#165650

Postby gbjbaanb » September 11th, 2018, 11:19 am

in the news again, a month ago they announced a pilot sale to Anglian water to integrate solar power at treatment sites, and today announced they were "preferred storage suppliers to the NHS" though an Essentia project.

The Anglian news report says "In total, the project is expected to reduce site electricity costs by 50 per cent per annum by 2040." which is a significant saving, one I'd think would be attractive to other high-energy operators across the UK, especially those needing expensive backup generation systems in far-flung corners of the country.

All this comes on the back of new generation of storage machines, so perhaps this company is now going mainstream.

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Re: RedT

#172328

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 8th, 2018, 6:32 pm

I was looking at RedT a few months ago after an article for them hit the IC. I'm pretty sure that unless we go down a carbon-greenhouse gas graveyard route then these technologies that buffer the energy from renewables must be the future.

I like the idea of a flutter on RedT, i.e. say £500 as part of a high risk portfolio :lol:

But I'm still curious about the underlying technology and whether it's necessary the best way to solving the puzzle at hand.

Since me and my colleagues are techie geeks we wasted a bit of work time today chatting about it and other things. The differentiator between this and conventional batteries is that the energy is stored in the electrolytes not the electrodes as far as could deduce. Hence unlike typical lead/acid for example batteries there is physical stress on the electrodes. A fluid, umm being a fluid, does that suffer in this way, and hence this would suggest a major advantage durability wise.

Indeed on the wiki page, the cycles durability suggests the product lifetime of 20-30 years as sounding reasonable.

More stuff on vanadium redox
https://cleantechnica.com/2015/06/21/fl ... n-looming/

But what is the competition for their position in the market?


This project uses wind power and converts in hydrogen - a renewable fuel, however the market is transport not domestic, so not competition
http://www.itm-power.com/news-item/laun ... ng-station

We also have these https://redflow.com/ exploiting this technology. However despite also being described as "flow" some solid Zn is part of the system, so in my ageing knowledge of A level chemistry perhaps this lacks durability?

For more on redflows technology, google for zinc bromine battery, choose images tab, then click "visit" on the link for the prettiest picture, e.g.
http://www.ee.co.za/article/zinc-bromin ... ctory.html

Matt

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Re: RedT

#172339

Postby jackdaww » October 8th, 2018, 7:43 pm

this is my sole speculative holding .

assuming storing excess power from turbines and solar is useful , this company's product seems to work.

could be a multi bagger .

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Re: RedT

#172346

Postby gbjbaanb » October 8th, 2018, 8:15 pm

I think so too, but whilst I originally invested because I am keen on sustainable tech for the future, in this case the H1 results suggest that H2 will present quite a different story to the "startup" phase that its been in for a while.

In addition to the 37 machines they refer to in the results, there's the German grid, Anglian water and the (potential) of the NHS thing that I should imagine will be shown in next years' results.

When they announce profits and continued sales, I think the share price will reflect the difference between them as a speculative bid and a 'proper' company.

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Re: RedT

#172348

Postby dspp » October 8th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Not wishing to upset ex-colleagues and contemporaries out there ...... could someone who knows what they are taking about please make:

1) the pure technology case for RedT's technology;
2) the link that shows that RedT has sole proprietary ownership of that technology space;
3) the comparison of that technology with all the others in the same space (hint: think global; think big);
4) the comparison of RedT's ability to scale their technology vs the competing technologies & manufacturers in a global context;
5) the economics behind this;
6) the compelling investment case that results versus the risk entailed.

If I were being cynical I might worry that there are purely local and opportunistic and political reasons for RedT to be out there hunting punters & cash.

regards, dspp

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Re: RedT

#172428

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 9th, 2018, 6:55 am

dspp wrote:Not wishing to upset ex-colleagues and contemporaries out there ...... could someone who knows what they are taking about please make:

1) the pure technology case for RedT's technology;
2) the link that shows that RedT has sole proprietary ownership of that technology space;
3) the comparison of that technology with all the others in the same space (hint: think global; think big);

I did make an initial attempt here:
viewtopic.php?p=172328#p172328

I believe the principle of the energy being in the electrolyte is fantastic. There is no physical stress whatsoever. (Compare to the zinc/bromine alt-tech I also quoted in my earlier post).

dspp wrote:4) the comparison of RedT's ability to scale their technology vs the competing technologies & manufacturers in a global context;

Hmm. Not really my bag. But the supply and availability of vanadium for one, and labour supply for construction.

dspp wrote:5) the economics behind this;

Dunno, it's more politics really. Trying to keep global temp rise down hit R4 again yesterday morning. e.g. this
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45775309

Though having said that it is allegedly cheaper to obtain energy from renewable sources. The problem is buffering the supply between peaks and troughs of supply and demand. And that's obviously where the storage will be key in the future.

The Redt system is certainly the most practical in populous areas, without hydro storage facilities.

dspp wrote:6) the compelling investment case that results versus the risk entailed.

Pass!

dspp wrote:If I were being cynical I might worry that there are purely local and opportunistic and political reasons for RedT to be out there hunting punters & cash.

Please elaborate!

Matt

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Re: RedT

#172487

Postby dspp » October 9th, 2018, 10:22 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:Please elaborate!
Matt


Matt,

I'm not the one wanting to splurge their hard-earned cash on this share, so really it is not for me to make the investment case. However I have spent many years in the relevant sector playing with exactly these technologies hence my sounding a note of caution about just that investment case. I am also well aware of who else is in this space, and who is working in which companies, and whilst I have great respect for them all I know some are better placed to succeed than others.

(In fact I can trace the the job I am in right now to a failure of flow battery adoption some 20-years ago !)

There is always a short term trading opportunity in any share, either by going short or by going long. However if you wish to go long for any length of time then there needs to be a realistic investment case. For that to happen - in this technology space - you need to be able to make a positive answer to all of those questions I have listed. If one of the answers is negative then there is a gap in the value chain that causes the whole thing to collapse.

When I read your post (and those of others) it read like a list of assertions, not reasoned arguments. Sentences like "I believe .... fantastic" cause me to get my mental red pen out. Try reading your own post with that red pen in your hand, and then try answering the questions I have posed. If you can't answer them, then you are simply gambling - which is fine: it is your money. Most stocks on AIM are simply vehicles for daytraders, gamblers, and highly paid management teams.

The emerging dominant design in scalable mass storage is lithium of one sort or another. That is the technology that is being locked-in for so many sectors that it is creating its own path-dependency (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_dependence) . So if I am right then either flow batteries will fail to make the breakthrough and so their companies will collapse; or flow batteries will fail to make the breakthrough and their companies will have to pivot to lithium. Once they've pivoted to lithium where is their sustainable advantage vs the companies that are already in lithium ?

The VCs reckon on 1/10 success for a positive exit in these sort of companies, 8/10 as total failures, and 1/10 as get-your-money back. Personally I think that is rather optimistic, but they get paid their fees even in many of the failure cases. So too do many of the management teams. And brokers and media handlers and etc. You as a smallbeer individual investor are at the bottom of the food chain getting trampled on in these situations. It is extremely high risk, so is the reward potential high enough to deserve your money ?

As with Tesla my hope is that RedT and all the others in the renewable space succeed. However I am very cautious from an investment perspective. Whilst I think that the renewables industry as a whole is succeeding, I struggle at present to find compelling investment opportunities (after taking into account risk : reward) in it for smallbeer investors. If you want to invest out of a sense of charity then that is another thing entirely.

regards, dspp

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Re: RedT

#172497

Postby gbjbaanb » October 9th, 2018, 10:54 am

The German sale of 1600 units means this company is different, while in the past they were speculative, this one item changes things. Any preconceived ideas about the tech or company must be re-evaluated since then.

Other considerations around tech or competitors are often pointless, its all about the ability to execute sales and get units delivered. I don't care if there are other companies doing the same thing, that's irrelevant even if they have significantly better equipment, it means nothing unless they can make and sell them. So Musk might be a competitor with lithium batteries, but the market is big enough for both and as we see, the Germans are happy to buy these instead. Others will follow. Considering the lifetime TCO for vanadium storage is much better than for lithium, without some of the safety issues and operating environmental issues (ie too hot, cold doesn't make lithium work well) there's a greater chance the vanadium offering will outperform lithium as the benefits are seen over time.

All vanadium has to do is continue to operate and win sales from places like the German grid.

I don't see the case for lithium mass storage as strongly anyway, grid-scale storage is not the ideal scenario for lithium, and while they do currently have the market dominance, the immaturity of the market means there is scope for an alternative (if one can break through the barriers to come to market with such a product) that can compete easily against lithium. Note, the hard work is done here - RedT has obviously done it. So the main case for thinking lithium is the only game in town is already invalidated.

Of course, if I'm wrong and lithium does turn out to be the only product sold, then we're all screwed anyway as Chinese companies are moving into this space. The investment case for storage tech then becomes one like PV solar, in the running of sites rather than the sales of the kit. However, note that China's energy storage strategy used a flow battery to inform its policy:

https://www.vanadiumcorp.com/news/indus ... ng-part-2/

He [Jim Stover from VRB/Pu Neng] says that the company was “thrilled” with the success of test deployments at China State Grid since 2012, which included a rigorous 240-hour test against four different applications including peak shaving, renewables load-shifting, frequency response and renewables smoothing – “sort of micro-responses to fluctuations in solar and wind”. This initial 2MW/8MWh trial run helped inform China’s 2017 energy storage strategy document, including the several, multi-hundred megawatt-hour flow battery projects green-lit for development over the next decade.


All that said, RedT does make a hybrid lithium-vanadaium product, that offers fast discharge to cater for peaking from the lithium, that's backed by large storage from the vanadium, thus making the lithium battery last a longer. There's no reason to think the two compete as much as suggested.

What has come now to the market – which is a fact – is that it’s the cost of degradation on the lithium which is the problem for grid storage, McGregor says. "Trading using a [lithium] battery, you have to work out what the cost of that use is. With flow you don’t have a cost because there is no degradation"


The VC case is again, for entry level companies that are trying to break into markets, and would have applied to RedT last year. The sales to Anglian, Germany and others show it is a viable company, and thus one of the 1/10 successful ones. I admit it has been shaky at times, but then that's how these companies start off.

But either way, these are macro investment arguments, and the case for RedT today is that if they have the sales revenue booked in the H2 results then I think the sp will start to take off then. Whether they become the biggest storage company or not is irrelevant unless you want to hold for 10 years.

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Re: RedT

#172575

Postby jackdaww » October 9th, 2018, 2:31 pm

dspp wrote:
TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:Please elaborate!
Matt


Most stocks on AIM are simply vehicles for daytraders, gamblers, and highly paid management teams.


regards, dspp

=================================

i hope not .

i have burford capital , breedon , manx telecom and watkin jones , amongst others.

all are doing ok , some very well.

certainly i avoid most overseas aim company's and startups , but not all AIM stocks are basket cases.

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Re: RedT

#172691

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 10th, 2018, 6:33 am

dspp wrote:
TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:Please elaborate!
Matt


Matt,

I'm not the one wanting to splurge their hard-earned cash on this share, so really it is not for me to make the investment case. However I have spent many years in the relevant sector playing with exactly these technologies hence my sounding a note of caution about just that investment case. I am also well aware of who else is in this space, and who is working in which companies, and whilst I have great respect for them all I know some are better placed to succeed than others.

Hi dspp,

Thanks for all words. I always welcome the opportunity to hear your views.

dspp wrote:There is always a short term trading opportunity in any share, either by going short or by going long. However if you wish to go long for any length of time then there needs to be a realistic investment case. For that to happen - in this technology space - you need to be able to make a positive answer to all of those questions I have listed. If one of the answers is negative then there is a gap in the value chain that causes the whole thing to collapse.

I do take your all points. And whilst I could counter some of them by arguing that all our investments have some degree of uncertainty, you/I would probably maintain that there is more so in RedT, since it has a limited track record, and (in my knowledge) has made no profit as yet.

dspp wrote:Sentences like "I believe .... fantastic" cause me to get my mental red pen out.

I know what you mean! I was being a bit brief, and a bit flippant to be frank. When I said fantastic, it was just to summarise my on-the-spur-of-the-moment view that having the energy stored in a fluid medium, as opposed to a solid, is intrinsically better, since no mechanical stress can occur. From a scientific perspective this is a massive advantage.

dspp wrote:The emerging dominant design in scalable mass storage is lithium of one sort or another. That is the technology that is being locked-in for so many sectors that it is creating its own path-dependency (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_dependence) . So if I am right then either flow batteries will fail to make the breakthrough and so their companies will collapse; or flow batteries will fail to make the breakthrough and their companies will have to pivot to lithium. Once they've pivoted to lithium where is their sustainable advantage vs the companies that are already in lithium ?

I'm not going to be or even pretend to be a vanadium saleman. And I do intend to do a lot more research over the next few months.

I did do a very quick google and read, and quickly found this article - which probably was written by a Vanadium salesman :lol: My point re. "energy in the fluid" is repeated. If I was to make my call based solely on this then I'd invest in the V route.

However, common sense makes me curious/sceptical. So I want to answer the following myself before rushing out 1) why has lithium been adopted by folk like Tesla, 2) who else is in the Vanadium field in the UK?

many thanks for encouraging me to think more!
Matt

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Re: RedT

#172728

Postby PeterGray » October 10th, 2018, 9:41 am

why has lithium been adopted by folk like Tesla

Unless I've missed recent advances during a very quick scan of some of the links, is it not the case that vanadium flow batteries have significantly lower energy density than solid Li? They appear have some advantages, but while they may be suitable for large scale static storage associated with power grids, that doesn't make them suitable for mobile use.

PS: In fact that's what your link above says:Vanadium-based systems are made for industrial-size applications from a few kilowatts to several megawatts. And there is no danger of thermal reactions. i.e. not for sticking in cars!

Peter

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Re: RedT

#172742

Postby gbjbaanb » October 10th, 2018, 10:43 am

PeterGray wrote:why has lithium been adopted by folk like Tesla

Unless I've missed recent advances during a very quick scan of some of the links, is it not the case that vanadium flow batteries have significantly lower energy density than solid Li? They appear have some advantages, but while they may be suitable for large scale static storage associated with power grids, that doesn't make them suitable for mobile use.

PS: In fact that's what your link above says:Vanadium-based systems are made for industrial-size applications from a few kilowatts to several megawatts. And there is no danger of thermal reactions. i.e. not for sticking in cars!

Peter


Yup, Vanadium flow batteries have a much lower energy density than lithium. This means you need a huge box to store the same amount of energy in compared to a lithium battery. But, there are other differences that are important, such as lifetime. Lithium batteries (as everyone with a mobile knows) degrade over time, they start storing less and less as they're used. The flow batteries do not have this limitation.

Nobody is considering using them for other uses - these are designed and sold for large-scale grid-sized facilities, either to level the grid (like we use hydro for currently), power arbitrage (ie buy when too much is generated and sell it on when demand increases) or simply storage for renewables like solar that produce nothing at night.

So, if you want something that fits in your pocket, lithium is our current best tech. If you want something to charge and discharge every day for 20 years, then lithium is a poor choice, the flow batteries are better. If you are running a grid or utility, or a solar farm spread over acres of land, then having a battery the size of a shipping container isn't exactly a problem.

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:1) why has lithium been adopted by folk like Tesla

Its a side-effect of how poorly lithium holds its charge. Tesla needs lithium batteries for its cars, but as they age, the batteries have to be replaced (10 years IIRC) as nobody wants their car's range to drop like a mobile's capacity. What to do with the old batteries? Use them to store grid scale power, either in the home as powerwalls or to industry! The idea is that these now worthless-for-cars batteries get some more life out of them.

Of course this starts to impact the whole lithium-as-grid-storage message, in that they start off in a pre-degraded state and will not last even another 10 years, let alone the expected lifetime for an installation. The lithium storage people keep quiet about the need to continually switch out packs for lithium based storage facilities, and no doubt here's a cost to recycling or disposing of the worn out batteries that isn't factored into the costs yet.

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Re: RedT

#172788

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 10th, 2018, 12:46 pm

So if we assume Vanadium storage has a place and may usurp Li in some areas, what direct competition does Redt have? I.e. in the vanadium technology space?

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Re: RedT

#172789

Postby jackdaww » October 10th, 2018, 12:53 pm

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:So if we assume Vanadium storage has a place and may usurp Li in some areas, what direct competition does Redt have? I.e. in the vanadium technology space?


========================

other companies with vanadium connections are evraz and bushveld minerals.

i am looking at those.

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Re: RedT

#172923

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 11th, 2018, 6:13 am

jackdaww wrote:
TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:So if we assume Vanadium storage has a place and may usurp Li in some areas, what direct competition does Redt have? I.e. in the vanadium technology space?


========================

other companies with vanadium connections are evraz and bushveld minerals.

i am looking at those.

I thought bushveld was just supply....but no I see this

http://www.bushveldminerals.com/bushvel ... 1ff0f-5ccb

I guess in one sense it's encouraging since it could mean that more are seeing benefit in V (as opposed to Li). Perhaps if they focus on different market places (china, africa) compared to redt it's not the end of the world. But perhaps Bushveld are better established?

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Re: RedT

#173008

Postby dspp » October 11th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Real world lithium cyclic life is very dependent on usage pattern. In the Nissan Leaf, with a very small battery, the cyclic lifes are being consumed remarkably quickly - anecdotally faster than anticipated. In contrast in the various Tesla models, with their much larger batteries the reverse is true and they are holding up much better than anticipated. As lithium battery prices continue to fall then more cars will come to market with the larger sized battery packs. That leads on to the second point.

The anticipation is that there will be a market for part-used [ex-automotive] lithium battery packs in the static storage market. At present there are some people using new lithiums in the storage market (e.g. Tesla Powerwall - either the 6kWh version designed for domestic use, or the 129MWh version used for grid storage (e.g. see https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... -in-a-year), there are many more brands and etc), but in the future it is expected that the part-used versions will also be presented for use. When you model grid-scale storage of energy what you soon realise is that there are multiple use-cases. Some of them are very intensive: daily cycling. Others are very unintensive (occasionally used, long term back up). So rationally one would target the cheap part-used lithiums at the low cyclic duty applications, and the new lithiums at the intensive duty applications.

All of these are relatively large-scale adoption cases for mass-manufactured (lithium) product benefiting from large amounts of R&D. That is a recipe for aggressive progressive on both performance and cost.

In contrast flow batteries have highly specialised use cases in which they are potentially economic, with near-bespoke or low volume manufacturing, low levels of R&D spend, and slow progress.

We know hoe these sorts of technology games play out. The one with the faster improvement curve generally wins.

Whilst I have been impressed with some of the responses to my post, and some of the adoption that is being claimed, I remain unconvinced that this is a good investment case for either flow batteries in general, or RedT in particular. It may however be an interesting trade opportunity.

regards, dspp

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Re: RedT

#173032

Postby jackdaww » October 11th, 2018, 2:57 pm

my gut feel is VRFB wil be very big , a no brainer .

whether REDT does well is a different matter - that is my speculation.

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Re: RedT

#173188

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 12th, 2018, 6:16 am

dspp wrote:The anticipation is that there will be a market for part-used [ex-automotive] lithium battery packs in the static storage market. At present there are some people using new lithiums in the storage market (e.g. Tesla Powerwall - either the 6kWh version designed for domestic use, or the 129MWh version used for grid storage (e.g. see https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... -in-a-year), there are many more brands and etc), but in the future it is expected that the part-used versions will also be presented for use. When you model grid-scale storage of energy what you soon realise is that there are multiple use-cases. Some of them are very intensive: daily cycling. Others are very unintensive (occasionally used, long term back up). So rationally one would target the cheap part-used lithiums at the low cyclic duty applications, and the new lithiums at the intensive duty applications.

I appreciate you know a lot more about these applications. But using presumably hundreds/thousands of used car batteries as a grid storage, compared to a purpose-built VRFB, seems less efficient to me. Surely the ex-auto Li system requires permanent monitoring and replacement? Isn't a much better market ($$$) for the Tesla packs recycling back to new Li units and resale back to Automotive?

dspp wrote:In contrast flow batteries have highly specialised use cases

Grid storage? Providing much lower maintenance costs? I thought (you know I'm green here....;) ) minimising labour costs was key in very profitable industry. A very large single unit, would be much cheaper ongoing maintanence wise than multiples of auto units, each with their interconnections, and varying efficiency rates?

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Re: RedT

#173211

Postby dspp » October 12th, 2018, 9:25 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:
dspp wrote:The anticipation is that there will be a market for part-used [ex-automotive] lithium battery packs in the static storage market. At present there are some people using new lithiums in the storage market (e.g. Tesla Powerwall - either the 6kWh version designed for domestic use, or the 129MWh version used for grid storage (e.g. see https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... -in-a-year), there are many more brands and etc), but in the future it is expected that the part-used versions will also be presented for use. When you model grid-scale storage of energy what you soon realise is that there are multiple use-cases. Some of them are very intensive: daily cycling. Others are very unintensive (occasionally used, long term back up). So rationally one would target the cheap part-used lithiums at the low cyclic duty applications, and the new lithiums at the intensive duty applications.

I appreciate you know a lot more about these applications. But using presumably hundreds/thousands of used car batteries as a grid storage, compared to a purpose-built VRFB, seems less efficient to me. Surely the ex-auto Li system requires permanent monitoring and replacement? Isn't a much better market ($$$) for the Tesla packs recycling back to new Li units and resale back to Automotive?

First the technical bit: It is the individual cell that either deteriorates progressively (i.e. uses up its cyclic life), or gets to a fairly random failure moment (becomes a dud). In your phone you have just one cell. In a car power pack there are thousands. The intention is, that for those cars which it is worth re-battery-ing at mid-car-life, the old battery packs would be hauled out and completely fresh ones installed. Then the old packs would be opened, the duds removed and put into the waste battery mountain for recycling, and then the pack becomes available for static applications. Note this pack is part-way through its lifetime (because you can't magically rejuvenate the individual cells), is no longer that attractive for a car, but is perfectly good enough for a static use.
Now the economic bit: Those part-used packs are largely paid for. Not quite free, but certainly very cheap. Efficiency is a very flaky term unless its attached to a definition. If the objective is to provide power storage at minimum cost then a high capacity / low cost / well proven battery pack sounds pretty good to me. So flow batteries don't need to just beat new lithiums to market, they also need to beat nearly-free but part-used lithiums to market. When you look at space (volume) used and other metrics then you find that lithiums are perfectly reasonable, and in the power industry good enough is good enough.


dspp wrote:In contrast flow batteries have highly specialised use cases

Grid storage? Providing much lower maintenance costs? I thought (you know I'm green here....;) ) minimising labour costs was key in very profitable industry. A very large single unit, would be much cheaper ongoing maintanence wise than multiples of auto units, each with their interconnections, and varying efficiency rates?

Lets see. A flow battery with all its moving parts is just another process system. These have lots of single points of failure, will need maintenance schedules, inspection, etc. In contrast a warehouse full of static solid-state machinery (lithiums) and some ventilation is relatively trouble free. The warehouses can get pretty big mind you: I've calculated that the UK would need about a hundred warehouse nodes, each of about 20 hectares (of which 10 hectares was green space, and 10 hectares multi-level warehouses) to get to 100% renewables penetration. I think I calculated about 20-such warehouses would be needed to get to 80% renewables penetration (it is a non-linear problem). You put those warehouses at the main HV grid nodes and major HV feeders at the edge of the big cities, not in the middle of the urban landscape. Old power station sites and edge-of-city switchyards are good locations, where space already exists and the HV grid is already there. These power storage sites can use either flow or lithium or a mix, but my strong suspicion is that path-dependency factors will block widespread adoption of flow. I'm happy to be wrong as I am not (at present) invested in this space. I have been in the past, and may be again in the future mind you.

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Re: RedT

#173227

Postby gbjbaanb » October 12th, 2018, 10:30 am

The Lithium packs need more maintenance than vanadium which comes in closed boxes, as long as the pumps work, there's little to no maintenance required. And changing a pump isn't too hard a job anyway!

Lithium products need constant monitoring to environmental concerns - too cold and they stop working well, too hot and they stop working well, much too hot or too much power and they explode (in a spectacular way the Daily Mail loves to show happening to cheap Chinese consumer products). You also have to monitor the packs to see when they're falling below usable capacity and have to be swapped out - and that's the biggest issue IMHO (note too that Tesla powerwalls are over-specified for this reason, a 7kW storage pack they sell is actually a 10kW pack that doesn't use the last 3kW because to do so degrades the battery to death in next to no time). A lithium grid-scale store will have packs needing replacement almost continuously, they start off in a pre-worn, limited cap state after all.

That means that the cost of vanadium storage goes down when scaled up, and the cost of lithium goes up when scaling up - vanadium is simply adding more tanks of liquid. Lithium is adding more packs that require attention.

When looking at maintenance, you have to go for the 'total cost of ownership' for these things.

Vanadium is fully recyclable, whereas the lithium battery packs, once used up, are not. This adds to the TCO argument for vanadium. The fact that lithium is used from rejected EV packs is a good argument for lithium. Lithium has advantages of scale right now - used in consumer products, and that's probably the single best argument for it, but that also means there's a lot of demand elsewhere for it.

Perhaps the best investment case should be for the raw material: vanadium prices have gone from $2.50 per lb, to $12.

All that said, maybe the best choice is the hybrid systems of Lithium/Vanadium will be the best case for RedT type machines - using lithium for the fast discharge requirements while backing it with vanadium for the majority of the work required will prevent the lithium from being charged/discharged constantly will increase the life of the lithium significantly. Anywhere looking at lithium storage will be looking at these too.

Other storage tech is available: compressed air, and other flow battery (eg iron based ones) too.

But its all about making and selling the things, rather than the actual merits of the tech, so lastly, some analysis about storage costs... http://rameznaam.com/2015/10/14/how-che ... orage-get/

If companies like RedT can sell these (and now they've shown they can) then that's the game changer from lithium. I liked RedT because they had the tech and I speculatively punted a little on them for that reason. Since the German contract win, my attitude to them has changed.


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