An Imergy containerised flow battery system loaded onto a truck. Image: Imergy facebook page.
Tom Tipple, regional VP for Imergy Power Systems, a flow battery maker headquartered in Fremont, California, recently visited the PV Tech Storage offices to share his thoughts on the global market for energy storage.
Imergy has recently garnered headlines through deals with SunEdison, for the renewable energy developer’s micro-grid and rural electrification projects in India, while the US Navy has also selected Imergy flow batteries for an “advanced micro-grid” demonstration project.
Tom Tipple has been in the vanadium redox flow battery space for about five years. His background is in utilities, telecoms, oil and gas. According to Tipple, Imergy was originally involved in iron-chrome battery technology until a switch to vanadium was prompted by a perception that it would be “more reliable and cost-effective, better performance technology”, in 2012.
“I think it’s a general consensus of opinion that vanadium redox is a good storage technology, for a number of reasons. The challenge has always been getting the right price point in the market,” Tipple says.
Imergy claims that with some IP that the company has developed, it can manage the cost of electrolytes and cell stack technology and bring it down.
Tipple is responsible for the company’s activities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and talked PV Tech Storage through some of the key characteristics of those markets, including drivers for adoption and how the appropriate business models for each vary greatly. He also shared some candid views on Imergy's near-neighbours in Fremont, Tesla, but those will remain strictly off-the-record!
International energy storage markets – a vanadium redox flow battery maker’s view