Sumitomo Electric expands battery business to US

Image credit: Sumitomo Electric

Japanese engineering firm Sumitomo Electric Industries has announced that it will expand its redox flow battery business to the United States.

The company intends to investigate the possibility of establishing a North American manufacturing system to match the increasing global demand for large-scale storage batteries.

Sumitomo Electric will make an initial investment of about $7,6m to prepare for local production and installation systems for their redox flow batteries.

The company announced its expansion plans at DISTRIBUTECH International in San Diego, and received positive feedback from US operators.

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Sumitomo Electric’s redox flow batteries are used in applications such as grid-side supply and demand adjustment, microgrid operation in emergencies, and energy trading in the ancillary services market.

According to Sumitomo Electric, their redox flow batteries are characterised by design flexibility and their longer life compared to other batteries.

Sumitomo Electric began developing redox flow batteries in 1985 and commercialised them in 2001.

Redox flow batteries are rechargeable batteries that are charged and discharged by means of the oxidation-reduction reaction of ions of vanadium. They have a longer service life with almost no degradation of electrodes and electrolytes, high safety due to being free of combustible materials, and availability of operation under normal temperatures.

These make the batteries ideal for use in power grid systems, according to Sumitomo Electric.

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