Rechargeable Battery in Takeover Battle

The corporate battle over a rechargeable battery technology with implications for renewable energy facilities may be coming to a head.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, CA, 2001-10-03 [SolarAccess.com] The technology for the Vanadium Redox Battery originated at the University of New South Wales in Australia. The storage units have no life degradation from deep discharge and recharge, have a low environmental impact because of cheap materials used, use no lead nickel, zinc or cadmium, and the electrolyte has an indefinite life with no disposal issues. Major commercial installations of VRB have been made in Japan, where Sumitomo Electric Industries uses it for stationary load-leveling on the Tokyo grid, and in South Africa, where a 250 kW unit has been installed at the University of Stellenbosch for TSI/Eskom. VRB works by storing energy in a vanadium acid electrolyte indefinitely, in separate ionic forms separated by a membrane and circulated through the cells in parallel so that the voltage is developed across the cells in a series fashion. The level of energy drawn off depends on the electrolyte flow and the battery can be recharged and discharged at the same time. A Vancouver company, Vanteck VRB Technology Corp, is trying to take control of Pinnacle VRB Limited, of Australia. Vanteck claims Pinnacle has internal problems which has affected the commercialization of the technology. As the largest single shareholder in Pinnacle, Vanteck has extended a takeover offer. The VRB system allows charging at night when power rates are low, and maintains voltage and frequency stability with storage for renewable energy sources.
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