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Irish redox flow energy storage demonstrator project underway

The ImpRESS project was launched at an International Energy Research Centre (IERC) workshop at Queen’s University, Belfast.

A new redox flow battery demonstration project was launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this week.

The joint UK-Ireland research programme will assess the best electrochemical properties of a redox flow system for the Irish grid, develop a pilot model and identify a path for a >125kW “scalable unit”.

The ImpRESS project was launched at an International Energy Research Centre (IERC) workshop at Queen’s University, Belfast.

“Ireland has fluctuating energy dynamics, and as a consequence of being an island, the scale of the power system is such that it provides an excellent test-bed for the evaluation of energy storage solutions,” said Professor Tony Day, executive director of the IERC.

“The ImpRESS project focuses on all-island electrical energy generation, consumption and storage to meet current requirements, and examines technologies for future electrical networks and grids. It will deliver engineering recommendations capable of influencing future grid-code standards and electrical power system policy development,” said Day.

Ireland is adding more renewables to its grid as it struggles to meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 20%.

“The ImpRESS project provides new commercial opportunities for the businesses involved, including energy trading, providing access to new ancillary services for I-SEM, single energy market pricing and a competitive advantage for faster response services,” said Dr. Matthew Kennedy, head of strategy and business with the IERC.

The project involves collaboration with Chinese vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer Rongke Power, which is in the process of developing and then building a vast 200MW / 800MWh flow battery installation in China's Dalian peninsula. A 125kW test site with supply from multiple renewable energy sources will be developed at the Belfast site.

“The Rongke Power’s battery solution was selected by our ImpRESS consortium due to its technology advantages including reliability, full recyclability of the electrolyte, and longevity,” added Kennedy.