The 2017 International Flow Battery Forum (IFBF) covered a wide range of topics of relevance to the flow battery industry. Alongside the Forum, a related International Electrotechnical Commission technical committee meeting also took place. This discussed the ongoing development of important new standards for flow battery systems.
Patrick Jones, a Senior Engineer who helps manage NEL’s renewable energy test site at Myres Hill, attended the Forum and the meeting of the PEL/21 technical committee, which is responsible for the preparation of product standards for all secondary cells and batteries.
“I described my work on wind turbine metering and answered questions on accuracy and other issues,” says Patrick, whose expertise led to him being invited to attend the standards discussion. “I also took part in a joint standards working group looking at flow battery systems for stationary applications, as I have overseen the installation of such a battery system at our Myers Hill site, near Glasgow, for a South Korean company.”
The PEL/21 technical committee meeting involved people from many countries including China and Japan. Most were developers of the technology under discussion. The committee was specifically addressing the different aspects of the development of IEC 62932-2-1 ED1 – battery systems for stationary systems.
“Battery systems for stationary applications will help ensure the continuity of renewable energy supply,” Patrick explains. “By building energy storage into a system you can increase the penetration and uptake of renewable energy. The new standards that are being developed will underpin this work and will, for example, help project managers determine which battery technology to choose.”
The 2017 IFBF was held in June in Manchester, England. Over 200 delegates from 24 different countries representing more than 130 industrial companies, research and development institutions, universities and colleges attended the conference. Sessions included updates on developments in flow battery technology and materials and improvements in performance, manufacturing and commercialization.
“There were a wide range of speakers, poster presentations, and field visits,” says Patrick. “The international flavour of the conference was of particular interest to me, as was the range of technologies discussed. It will be interesting to see which will come through most successfully.”