Arotech Corporation announced that its Battery and Power Systems Division has advanced its development of an iron flow battery to provide storage for grid power, following promising results in lab tests. Arotech has filed a patent application covering this new technology. The highly variable supply of electricity generated from renewable sources requires a buffer for the relatively flat demand for energy. Arotech believes it has developed a potentially revolutionary new technology that can combine highly significant cost savings, performance advantages and potentially greater efficiency, with a more environmentally-friendly profile.
This latest development is the first of three projects expected to lead to commercialization of these iron flow batteries. Stage two will take place in the fourth quarter of this year and will include three elements: demonstration of a large-scale pilot battery in the lab, in-house fabrication of a unique membrane expected to enhance cell performance and development of the accompanying anode structure.
Stage three will start in 2015, extend for up to 24 months and have a budget of $4-6 million. It will consist of the fabrication of a 2-kW/100kWh prototype housed in a shipping container, establishment of a cost target for mass production of the battery system, development of a production facility for flow-battery components and securing a beta-site program with energy supplier.
Robert S. Ehrlich, Arotech’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, “We are very pleased with the results from lab tests on this new technology, which opens a huge new market for us. While flow batteries themselves are not new technologies, with over fifty flow batteries installed globally as at the end of last year, our design uses a patent-pending iron chemistry providing the highest ROI, with the lowest total lifecycle, capital and maintenance costs. While this will be a multi-year development effort until commercialization, we believe that given the sheer size of the market, which is expected to exceed $400 billion by 2020, this is a project highly worthy of our R&D investment. I applaud the capabilities of our R&D team in their ongoing development and ability to push the realms of possibility in the battery space.”