University Combines PV System, Redox Flow Battery

2020/03/26 12:16
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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The redox flow battery (source: Saitama Institute of Technology)
An image of the control of the power supply-demand system (source: Saitama Institute of Technology)

Saitama Institute of Technology installed a power supply-demand system that makes a solar power generation (PV) system and a redox flow battery work in conjunction with each other in a facility on the premises of the university as part of research and development for using renewable energy with a high efficiency.

The system was set up in "Monozukuri Research Center," and the university started a demonstration test of the battery March 11, 2020, aiming to commercialize it.

A redox flow battery is charged and discharged when electrolyte is circulating between battery cells and an electrolyte tank. It has a long life because its members are not deteriorated by battery reaction and an excellent safety because it consists of non-flammable materials and does not explode or catch fire.

Moreover, the degree of charge between cells is uniformed, and the battery is highly resistant to high-load fluctuations. Therefore, it is considered to be suited for storage batteries for renewable energy-derived electricity, whose output drastically fluctuates.

The Monozukuri Research Center was established as an "eco-research center" using renewable energy in 2016 in the commemoration of the 40 anniversary of the university. From the viewpoint of effectively using renewable energy, the first redox flow battery was introduced and, since then, has been tested for three years.

This time, based on the results of the past verification and research, the university installed a new redox flow battery as the second battery as well as the power supply-demand system that works in conjunction with the PV system. Solar panels were set up on the roof of a building located to the south of the Monozukuri Research Center.