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ITI Energy is investing up to £9.3 million in a large-scale battery system being jointly developed with innovative US-based businesses, Applied Intellectual Capital (AIC) and Electrochemical Design Associates (EDA), and Lotus Engineering in Norwich, England. California-based company EDA will relocate key staff across to Scotland, in the process setting up a new Scottish company Plurion Limited. ITI Energy estimates the potential market for large-scale battery storage to be worth US$ 1 billion by 2020.

The flow battery technology has the potential to offer power generators, distributors and end users a versatile technology with a range of key applications, including electricity grid support, emergency power back-up and more effective integration of dispersed generation from renewable energy sources such as wind. The R&D project will focus on producing large-scale 250kW batteries capable of offering up to 8 to 10 hours of continuous high capacity power. These modular batteries can then be stacked or combined to provide utility-scale storage up to 20MW. Flow batteries store energy electrochemically. There are two key elements: the cell stacks, where power is converted from electrical to chemical form (and back), and tanks where the energy, in its chemical or electrolyte form, is stored prior to conversion to electrical power. This enables flow batteries to separate the storage power factor from the storage capacity, making it easier and more economic to scale up.
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