Honeywell Debuts Flow Battery For Formal Testing, 12 Hours Power Discharge Promised

US-based multinational Honeywell has announced the development of a new flow battery for providing long duration power of up to 12 hours. The firm says the technology will be first tested by US utility major Duke Energy in a 400kWh system configuration in 2022, before being scaled upto a 60MWh pilot project by 2023.

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The new flow battery technology can work with renewable generation to meet the demand for uninterrupted sustainable energy through storage. The firm claims that the battery uses a safe, non-flammable electrolyte that converts chemical energy to electricity to store energy for later use while meeting the environmental, longevity and safety objectives of utilities.

The entry of a large firm like Honeywell with storage solutions augurs well for renewable generators, as demand for renewable energy goes up along with dependable supply. If it delivers on the promise of storage and discharge electricity for up to 12 hours, it will better the performance of lithium-ion batteries, which can only discharge up to 4 hours, besides creating serious raw material sourcing issues. Honeywell has also claimed that the battery is designed with recyclable components and does not degrade over time, making it a greener option too.

Honeywell Chairman And CEO Darius AdamczykDuke Energy plans to test the flow battery at its Emerging Technology and Innovation Center in Mount Holly, N.C. Honeywell will deliver a 400 kWh unit to Duke Energy’s facility in 2022. If the battery is deployed at scale, it will reduce the use of Duke Energy’s fossil-fuel power plants by utilizing solar and wind. Honeywell aims to deploy a utility-scale pilot project of 60 MWh starting in 2023.

“Duke Energy has followed flow battery technology for a number of years and is interested in the advancements Honeywell is pursuing,” said Tom Fenimore, director, Smart Grid Emerging Technology and Operations. “Our Emerging Technology and Innovation Center is an ideal proving ground to study this technology. Over the next five years, Duke Energy plans to install almost 400 megawatts of battery storage capacity in our service territory. We have a keen interest in breakthrough technologies.”

The Honeywell flow battery can also be combined with Honeywell’s unified system for process, business and asset management, Experion PKS, and its enterprise performance management solution, Honeywell Forge, for remote monitoring.

For Honeywell, besides storage, a key area to work on is Hydrogen. The firm is working on ways to decarbonize residential, commercial and industrial energy by replacing natural gas with hydrogen, which ultimately can be produced by electrolyzing water using renewable power.

Big breakthroughs in flow batteries have been awaited for some time, and multiple firms have been working on them, with a focus on driving down costs to a competitive level vis a vis lithium ion batteries. The Honeywell announcement should be one of the earliest ones, and followed by many more in the coming months we understand.

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