Successful battery test has potential for mine sites

Australian Vanadium (AVL) subsidiary VSUN Energy has undertaken a successful test of an electric vehicle battery charge using renewable energy, provided via a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB), with the potential of installing the system at mining sites.

The project opens the way for vanadium battery-based standalone electric vehicle (EV) charging stations anywhere in Australia.

VSUN Energy partnered with EV charging hardware and software provider Gemtek Group for the test.

Gemtek Group commercial manager Florian Popp said that Gemtek has tested a wide variety of power systems with their EV charging technologies.

“Developing expertise in integrated renewable energy EV charging solutions to suit Australian requirements for mining, agricultural and regional applications has been a key focus for Gemtek,” he said.

“The VSUN Energy storage system’s unique capabilities and operating life provide a substantial advantage in high temperature and remote environments.”

VSUN Energy is currently installing VRFBs into agricultural, commercial, mining and rural residential sites, and is working to develop an urban residential battery for construction in Australia.

According to the company, VRFBs have the capacity to be scaled up to suit a wide range of projects, from residential energy storage through to large grid-scale industrial, mining and agricultural needs.

AVL is developing the Australian Vanadium Project south of Meekatharra in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

The Australian Vanadium Project is part of an integrated vanadium value chain, spanning mining, manufacturing and downstream processing.

AVL managing director Vincent Algar said this EV charging initiative is part of the company’s strategy to further develop the market for VRFB energy storage technology in Australia.

“The intent is for AVL to not just sell vanadium into the metals sector internationally, but to be fully vertically integrated onshore here in Australia,” he said.

“In doing so, we are able to reduce the cost of these batteries while adding local value, content and job creation.”

The mining and processing project will enter its development phase next year, while a vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility will be built in parallel near Kwinana in WA.

The electrolyte plant is expected to be in production by mid-2022 with an annual production capacity of vanadium electrolyte of 33MWh.

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