Invinity Energy Systems' flow battery ‘to create green hydrogen’ in Orkney Islands

by John Shepherd
Operations team performing maintenance on the hydrogen plant on Eday. Photo: Colin Keldie / EMEC
Flow battery technology will combine with tidal power to produce "continuous green hydrogen” at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland, Invinity Energy Systems has announced.

Invinity – formed earlier this year through the merger of UK & North American flow battery firms redT and Avalon – said its 1.8MWh vanadium flow battery system would be installed at EMEC’s tidal energy test site on the island of Eday.

The system will store electricity generated by tidal turbines during high power periods and discharge it during low power periods. EMEC said this would "smooth tidal generation to create continuous, on-demand electricity to turn into hydrogen”, using the centre’s 670kW hydrogen electrolyser.

'Industrial quantities of power'

Invinity’s modular flow battery system, funded through the Scottish Government’s Highlands and Islands Enterprise agency, will be assembled at the company’s manufacturing facility in Bathgate, Scotland and comprise eight Invinity VS3 battery modules linked into a single system. 

The project is expected to go live next year.

EMEC managing director Neil Kermode said: "As flow batteries store electrical charge in a liquid rather than a solid, they can provide industrial quantities of power for a sustained period, can deeply discharge without damaging itself, as well as stand fully charged for extended periods without losing charge.

"This is the first time that a flow battery will have been coupled with tidal energy and hydrogen production.”

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