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With the increase in the adoption of renewable energy sources over conventional fossil fuels for power generation, the complexities in generation fluctuation due to the intermittent nature of some renewable sources need some careful consideration and planning. Hybrid flow batteries are unique in storing grid-scale renewable energy owing to their versatile characteristics such as the decoupled design of power and energy, no intercalation/de-intercalation and stress build in electrode, active heat management due to the removal of heat by flowing electrolysis and capability of storing large energy in a simple design.
The distinctive property of hybrid flow makes it suitable for grid electric energy supply due to high energy density. The hybrid flow battery is a type of flow battery where electrolyte contains one or more dissolved electroactive element which flows through an electrochemical cell where the chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. The reaction is reversible that allows the battery to be discharged, charged and recharged. The electrolyte used is stored in a separate tank corresponding to the negative electrode and positive electrode. The amount of electricity generated depends upon the size of the storage tank. Hybrid flow batteries have many advantages over rechargeable batteries which scale up its growth in the market.
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The hybrid flow battery classified into three types i.e. Zinc-Bromine (Zn-Br), Zinc-Cerium (Zn-Ce) and Iron Salt. Zinc-bromine offers the highest energy density among available flow batteries which can be a substitute for lithium-ion batteries. Remaining two batteries can be used in an E-vehicle charging station, utility and commercial sector.
The versatile properties of the hybrid flow battery offer the highest energy storage and flexibility will boost its growth. The availability of renewable energy is intermittent and hybrid flow batteries can be employed to store a large amount of energy which can be used for an electric vehicle charging station. Hybrid flow batteries can be used where there is a lack of grid infrastructure and telecommunication base stations. Also, it has a long cycle life, quick response time, low maintenance and tolerance to overcharge/over-discharge which will stimulate its market.
Hybrid flow batteries require electrolyte tanks and pumps with extra sensors, control units, pumps, etc. which increases the overall cost of the system. The electricity generation is totally depending on the capacity of electrolyte stored in a tank, thus for the higher generation, extra space requires that will hinder its growth.
The notable key players in the hybrid flow batteries are Primus Power, Gelion Technologies, Aquion Energy, Redflow Limited, Smart Energy, EnSync Energy Systems, Gildemeister Energy Solutions, NanoFlowcell, Lockheed Corporation, and ZBB Energy Corporation.
· Zinc-Bromine (Zn-Br)
· Zinc-Cerium (Zn-Ce)
· Iron-Salt (Fe-NaCl)
· EV Charging Station
· North America (USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of Middle East & Africa)
The global market for a hybrid flow battery is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. North America potentially be the major market for hybrid flow batteries to mitigate the growing energy demand and a steady flow of power. The Depart of Energy (DoE) of the United States is doing a lot of research and development for advanced energy technology. The Asia Pacific is the largest market in terms of huge business potential in countries like India and China, rolling out the biggest energy project to meet its peak demand.
Ongoing development in India for mass transportation which includes metro, Hyperloop project which expected to the overall growth of the hybrid flow battery market. Europe is one of the most sensitive towards environmental policies and adopting clean energy technologies to meet its energy demand. Norway, Denmark, Latvia, and Austria are among the countries having the largest renewable energy production by wind and solar. In Germany, the community adopting solar energy with battery storage for their energy demand and provide assistance to the local grid. This will stimulate market opportunities for flow batteries in Europe.