On June 12, 2017 UniEnergy Technology (UET) and Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNNL) jointly received the prestigious EPA / American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Challenge Award. The achievement being recognized is the development and commercialization of an advanced Vanadium flow battery. Using an ingenious mixed acid electrolyte, research at PNNL, funded by DOE’s Office of Electricity, over a five year period succeeded in cutting the cost of the storage system in half, doubling the temperature window, and roughly doubling the energy density. UET licensed the technology, perfected the manufacturing process, found financial partners and has started to commercialize the system. As a flow battery the UniEnergy battery separates power and energy. Power is produced in a reversible fuel cell and the energy resides in the vanadium electrolyte stored in large tanks. As a result the company was able to produce a long duration, four hour battery with long life time and little degradation. More than 100 megawatt hours of UET systems are deployed, ordered, or awarded.
The ceremony took place at Washington’s National Academy. The Green Awards Program recognizes individuals and organizations on a national level for successfully researching, developing, and implementing outstanding green chemical technologies. Five awards were presented at the event. Dr. Imre Gyuk, director of OE’s Energy Storage Program, joined the UET/PNNL team on stage during the award presentation.
The Sandia National Laboratories storage program is involved in several field validation projects using the technology. A blog providing further details on the award is available on the DOE-OE web site: https://energy.gov/oe/articles/unienergy-technologies-and-pnnl-recognized-advancing-energy-storage-national-level.