Montana Patent of the Month – December 2022
Founded in 2009, ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. have been working towards a renewable energy-powered future enabled by reliable and safe energy storage. With a mission of modernizing the world’s grid and delivering electricity to remote areas, the company has spent the last decade innovating and developing energy storage solutions. This work has come together, resulting in a recently granted patent for their flow cell decontamination.
The normal operation of a flow cell (i.e. rechargeable battery cell) results in the buildup of charged species within the posolyte (i.e. the positive component of an electrolyte). This also causes the formation of electrochemically obstructive transition metal breakdown contaminants on the surface of the positive current collector. These contaminants restrict the available reactive electrode surface area, reducing the efficiency of the flow cell.
The solution stops the flow of posolyte through a positive electrode chamber of a flow cell. This traps the posolyte, hydraulically isolating the flow cell without stopping the flow of negolyte through the negative electrode chamber and discharges the flow cell until hydrogen gas is evolved at a reactive surface of the positive electrode chamber. ViZn Energy’s design effectively removes these contaminants, improving the long-term efficiency of the system.
ViZn Energy’s core technology, chemistry, and robust packaging is the result of extensive engineering and R&D into truly promising energy storage technologies. Their value lies in their ability to simultaneously deliver high-power and long-duration energy services. (Most battery technologies can only excel at one aspect.) The ViZn battery achieves this unique performance blend by utilizing a hybrid flow battery in which alkaline electrochemical components are dissolved in the electrolyte.
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