nanoFlowcell

NOT JUST DIFFERENT, BUT UNIQUE

People know of flow cells right now only as garage-sized constructions for stationary energy storage in wind- and solar-power installations. With nanoFlowcell®, we have managed for the first time to reduce a flow cell to the size of a briefcase and, at the same time, to increase the energy density of the electrolytes by a factor of ten. The development of nanoFlowcell® not only makes flow cell technology powerful and mobile – nanoFlowcell opens up completely new technical perspectives for a wide number of applications.

Innovative energy. nanoFlowcell® is currently the most innovative and most powerful energy storage system for mobile and stationary applications. In contrast to conventional batteries, the nanoFlowcell® is provided with energy in the form of liquid electrolytes (bi-ION), which can be stored away from the cell itself.

Just like a regular flow cell, the positively and negatively charged electrolyte liquids are stored separately in two tanks and, just like a traditional flow cell or fuel cell, pumped through a converter (the actual cell of the nanoFlowcell system) in separate circuits.

Here, the two electrolyte circuits are separated only by a permeable membrane. An exchange of ions takes place as soon as the positive and negative electrolyte solutions pass one another on either side of the converter membrane. This converts the chemical energy bound within bi-ION into electricity, which is then directly available to the electric consumers.

Scalable energy. With nanoFlowcell®, the separation of the energy converter and energy storage medium means the stored energy is no longer dependent on the cell size. This is where a flow cell differs from traditional types of battery. With nanoFlowcell®, the amount of energy available is dependent on the concentration of electrolyte in the electrolyte liquid and on the volume of the electrolyte tank. Thanks to its unrestricted scalability, nanoFlowcell can therefore be adapted to an extremely diverse range of applications.

Filling up with electricity. What makes nanoFlowcell® special is that it is not subject to an arduous recharging process like conventional batteries or flow cells. Instead, the spent bi-ION electrolyte liquids can simply be replenished.

Everything remains as normal – just better. In mobile applications, such as the QUANT electric vehicles, the spent electrolyte liquid is first filtered to remove the dissolved salts and electrolytes. The filter must be changed roughly every 10,000 kilometres, after which it can be harmlessly recycled. A generator powered by the energy of the driving vehicle now ensures that the remaining water is vaporised and released into the atmosphere – an environmentally neutral process. The electrolyte tanks empty while the car is driving, as in a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine. Refuelling the empty electrolyte tanks is likewise comparable with filling up a regular petrol or diesel vehicle.

”Using nanoFlowcell® technology could avoid the emission of 19,250 megatonnes of CO2 every year from the combustion of fossil fuels in road traffic alone. That’s 75 percent of the CO2 emissions generated worldwide by transport and traffic.“

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”Using nanoFlowcell® technology could avoid the emission of 19,250 megatonnes of CO2 every year from the combustion of fossil fuels in road traffic alone. That’s 75 percent of the CO2 emissions generated worldwide by transport and traffic.“

Environmentally compatible energy. nanoFlowcell® technology is fully environmentally compatible and harmless to health. The nanoFlowcell® is very efficient and cost-effective to produce using commonplace materials and that are readily available in large quantities. Precious and rare-earth metals are not used in either the cell itself or in the bi-ION electrolyte solution. All the raw materials required for the nanoFlowcell® and its electrolytes can be sustainably acquired, used without harm to health and ultimately disposed of in an environmentally compatible manner.

Long-lasting and recyclable. nanoFlowcell® is also exemplary in terms of raw materials recycling thanks to its extended lifecycle. nanoFlowcell® thus eliminates the problem of performance loss experienced by conventional batteries as the nanoFlowcell® suffers no memory effect, even after 10,000 charge cycles. This means the nanoFlowcell® can handle up to ten times more charge cycles than conventional Li-ion battery systems (Li-ion battery: approx. 1,000 charge cycles). In a car, this would equate to a range of around 10,000,000 kilometres, which vastly exceeds the lifecycle of a modern automobile. Plus, self-discharge of the cell at rest is negligible.

Safety with certainty. Another benefit of the nanoFlowcell® compared with other battery systems is that monitoring the battery-system charge status is straightforward to implement as there is only one electrolyte. Equalisation charging of the kind required by conventional Li-ion or Li-po systems is not necessary. Dangerous conditions that could arise in a battery through unwanted reactions or deep discharge are not technically possible with a nanoFlowcell.

Efficiency. In contrast to an internal combustion engine, the efficiency of the nanoFlowcell® stands at more than 90 percent. When used in electric mobility applications, the operating temperature is between just 90 °C and 130 °C. The entire nanoFlowcell® system is also incredibly reliable and low-maintenance as it has no moving parts aside from the electrolyte pumps.

High reliability, low costs and long durability rightly place nanoFlowcell® front and centre when it comes to the development of forward-looking electric mobility concepts.