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Vanadium Flow Battery vs Lithium-ion Definition and Differences

Vanadium Flow Battery vs Lithium-ion Definition and Differences

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What is the vanadium flow battery?

The Vanadium Flow Battery or as commonly known as the Vanadium Redox Battery is a type of rechargeable flow batteries that uses Vanadium ions presented in different oxidation states to store the chemical potential energy to be released later. The first Vanadium flow battery was made back in the year 1930 by Pissoort. However, Pissoort was not successful in demonstrating the technology. It was not until the year 1983 when Maria Skyllas-Kazacos at the University of New South Wales created the first fully functioning Vanadium redox battery by employing Vanadium in a solution of Sulfuric Acid in each half. Maria Skyllas-Kazacos's design used sulfuric acid electrolytes alongside Vanadium. Her invention and was patented by the University of New South Wales in Australia in 1986.

What is the difference between the vanadium flow battery and lithium ion?

Lithium-ion batteries

The British Chemist M. Stanley Whittingham first proposed using Lithium to make batteries in the year 1970. Whittingham used electrodes made from Titanium Sulfide and Lithium. Whittingham rechargeable lithium battery could never be made practical as it was very expensive to make in the first place in the 1970s. It was the year 1991 when Sony announced its new product the lithium-ion battery. Since then, the commercial production of lithium-ion batteries has been performed. This invention allowed the manufacturer to produce cell phones at a much smaller scale. Lithium-ion batteries are of all shapes and sizes nowadays. However, no matter the size or the shape of the battery they all look the same inside. In any given Li-ion battery pack there are certain things that are present:

" Lithium-ion cells. They can either by cylindrically shaped like conventional AA batteries or they can be prismatically shaped.

" Temperature sensors to monitor the temperature of the battery. Overheating can have catastrophic results. 

" Voltage converter and Regulator circuit. This is to maintain safe levels of the voltage and the current inside the battery pack.

" Voltage tap, which acts as a monitor for the energy capacity of each individual cell inside the battery pack. 

" Battery charge state monitor. Which is a small computer that handles all the charging process. It makes sure the batteries are charged as quickly and as safe as possible.

" An additional, optional shielded connector is sometimes present inside the battery pack, it allows the power and information to flow in and out of the battery pack.

When charging or even during the usage of the battery, if it gets too hot, the computer (Battery Charge State Monitor) will shut down the power flow in an attempt to cool things down. If you try to use your device while in this hot state, this computer will prevent you from using it, and will even prevent you from powering on the device itself.

Due to the technology in the Li-ion batteries, they have a capacity that will remain constant for a long time no matter what your discharge rates are. 

Lithium-ion batteries have a much larger usable capacity than that of the Vanadium redox batteries. 

Depending on how you are going to use your batteries, lithium-ion batteries though offer a significantly lower operational cost than those of the Vanadium redox batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries have a high level of efficiency thanks to its technology. They are 99 % efficient and offer higher usable capacity at the exact same Amp-Hour rates. A smaller, lower capacity Li-ion battery will achieve the same results as a huge lead acid battery. That saves up space, cost, and charging time are less. 

When it comes to efficiency, Li-ion batteries are a perfect choice, they offer small charging time, relative to Vanadium batteries. They are smaller in size and weight. And most importantly, they have a higher lifespan than any lead acid battery. They are efficient and more easy to handle.

Lithium-ion batteries have an estimated life span of 2000 to 5000 cycles. That translates to approximately two to three years of usage.

Vanadium Flow Batteries

The main advantages of the Vanadium redox battery are that it can deliver almost unlimited energy capacity when compared to its Li-ion counterparts. The Vanadium redox batteries can do that by simply using larger electrolyte storage tanks. Unlike, Lithium-ion batteries, Vanadium redox batteries can be left completely discharged for long periods without any bad effects. Not only that but also if the electrolytes inside the battery are accidentally mixed, the battery suffers no permanent damage. The electrolyte used in the Vanadium redox battery is aqueous and safer than that used in the Lithium-ion counterparts.

It has an approximate cycle durability of more than 20 thousand ones. 

One of the main disadvantages of Vanadium Redox Technology is the relatively poor energy-to-volume ratio in comparison with its counterparts. Vanadium redox batteries also have relatively poor round-trip efficiency. Moreover, the electrolyte aqueous material makes the vanadium redox batteries heavier than its counterparts, which makes it only suitable for stationary applications.

Can you replace lithium ion with a vanadium flow battery?

As of this moment, the short answer is no. Vanadium redox batteries are heavier than their counterparts, which makes it only suitable for stationary applications. Lithium-ion batteries have a much larger usable capacity than that of the Vanadium redox batteries. 

Depending on how you are going to use your batteries, lithium-ion batteries though offer a significantly lower operational cost than those of the Vanadium redox batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries have a high level of efficiency thanks to its technology. They are 99 % efficient and offer higher usable capacity at the exact same Amp-Hour rates. A smaller, lower capacity Li-ion battery will achieve the same results as a huge lead acid battery. That saves up space, cost, and charging time are less. 

When it comes to efficiency, Li-ion batteries are a perfect choice, they offer small charging time, relative to Vanadium batteries. They are smaller in size and weight. They are efficient and more easy to handle.

Lithium-ion batteries have an estimated life span of 2000 to 5000 cycles. That translates to approximately two to three years of usage.

 

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