Zinc-Bromine Battery Market: Enhancing Storage in Renewable Energy Systems
Zinc-bromine batteries are serving as a cost-effective, safe, and sustainable alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Companies in the zinc-bromine battery market are innovating on battery-integrated portable and automated solar light towers for various commercial applications.
Due to the increasing demand for large storage capacities in batteries, manufacturers are developing installations with battery-integrated light poles that leverage storage capacities in rooftop solar PV systems. Manufacturers in the zinc-bromine battery market are making increased efforts to develop innovative battery storage solutions to help renewable energy systems reach their full potential. Consumers are gravitating towards zinc-bromine batteries, as the chemistry of these two elements eliminates the need for additional cooling.
A lot of start-ups are officially launching novel battery installations in the zinc-bromine battery market. For instance, in February 2018, Gelion Technology – an Australian battery manufacturer, announced the launch of Gelion Endure – a zinc-bromine gel battery that provides flexibility in initial outlay and low-cost ownership to consumers.
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Flow Batteries Efficient for Large-scale Power Supply to Cities and Utilities
In the zinc-bromine battery market, the utilities sector is projected for an increase in revenue during the forecast period. Since the utilities sector currently accounts for ~73% of the market share, the highest amongst all sectors, manufacturers are developing novel zinc-bromine batteries that support this infrastructure.
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With the growing adoption of wind and solar energy, manufacturers in the zinc-bromine battery landscape are solving the issue of storage in renewable energy systems with the help of flow batteries. Manufacturers of vanadium and zinc-bromine infused flow batteries are capitalizing on the increasing demand for efficacious batteries that are capable of supplying electricity to thousands of homes, with the added flexibility of long hours of supply.
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Manufacturers in the zinc-bromine battery market are developing a new generation of flow batteries that harness solar and wind energy on a grand scale. These batteries serve as an effective alternative to lithium-ion batteries, as these batteries cannot provide backup power for cities and other large-scale industrial environments.
Manufacturers Compete with Lithium-ion Batteries for Opportunities in Future Applications
Flow batteries have many advantages as compared to lithium-ion batteries. However, manufacturers in the zinc-bromine battery market need to compete with the market penetration and diversity in commercial applications of lithium-ion batteries. The zinc-bromine battery market is highly consolidated. This makes it challenging for emerging market players to gain successful penetration in the zinc-bromine battery market, even after introducing innovative offerings. As consumers are hesitant in trying out new offerings in zinc-bromine batteries, established and emerging market players also prefer to stick to safe shores and scale up on lithium-ion batteries, as lithium batteries are integrated in a wide range of commercial products. Manufacturers are trying to overcome this hurdle by introducing flow batteries with vanadium-based technology to gain more opportunities in future applications.
Another challenge that manufacturers in the zinc-bromine battery market come across is the degradation of batteries. Since hybrid flow batteries such as zinc-bromine or zinc-iron function on the solid-liquid electromechanical reaction, it leads to degradation of the batteries and increases resistance. As such, manufacturers are developing flow batteries with improved designs that focus on serving the needs of consumers for minimized installation time.
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Analysts’ View of the Zinc-Bromine Battery Market
The global zinc-bromine battery market is anticipated to exponentially grow, especially in the Asia Pacific region, with a market share of ~46% in 2018 increasing to ~55% by 2027. Manufacturers can exploit power supply in an economical way by simply increasing the tank size of flow batteries. However, they face limitations in low DC (Direct Current) round-trip efficiency (RTE) in flow batteries as compared to lithium-ion batteries. To overcome this, manufacturers are introducing flow batteries that can be integrated with renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar energy, to serve the requirements of consumers, such as upfront cost advantage due to the long-life of these systems. Since storage is the key requirement in the widespread adoption of renewable power, manufacturers should focus on increasing their production capacities of zinc-bromine gel batteries.
Zinc-Bromine Battery Market: Description
- The working principle of a zinc-bromine battery is based on the chemical reaction between two commonly-available chemicals: zinc and bromine. The electrodes of a zinc-bromine battery are separated by a porous membrane. Aqueous zinc-bromide flows through these electrodes.
- Redox flow batteries such as zinc-bromine batteries can be recharged rapidly with the replacement of an electrolyte that is stored outside the cell. The peculiarity of a zinc-bromine battery is that, it can be left fully discharged indefinitely.
- A zinc-bromine battery is an advanced storage system, which is able to provide an integrated solution to most critical energy needs such as electric grid modernization and power storage.
- Two types of zinc-bromine batteries are commercially available: large scale and compact. Large scale zinc-bromine batteries are used for power utility applications. Zinc-bromine batteries are employed for applications such as power utility, commercial & industrial, residential, electric vehicles, military, and others (including marine and telecommunications).
Key Growth Drivers of Global Zinc-Bromine Battery Market
- Zinc-bromine batteries are increasingly used in power utility applications. Rise in the demand for batteries in energy management, back-up power, load leveling, frequency regulation, voltage support, and grid stabilization is anticipated to boost the demand for zinc-bromine batteries during the forecast period.
- Increase in the demand for electric grid systems with advanced battery storage systems helps improve the operating capabilities of power grids.
- Recent advancements in the renewable energy sector is another factor fuelling the demand for zinc-bromine batteries for power grid applications.
- Population demographics in various countries across the globe is one of the major factors determining the need for power distribution networks. The need for electric power grids is high in vastly populated regions such as Asia Pacific. This is expected to boost the demand for zinc-bromine batteries in the near future.
Key Growth Challenges for Global Zinc-Bromine Battery Market
- Lack of standards for energy systems is a prominent factor restraining the global zinc-bromine battery market. Developing countries such as China, India, and those in Latin America lack the global standards for the deployment of energy storage technologies.
- Lack of adequate infrastructure and integration technologies in developing countries is also hampering advanced energy storage technologies. Currently, there is no consensus on the precise method of extinguishing a zinc-bromine battery fire. Thus, lack of proper energy standard systems is likely to adversely affect the zinc-bromine battery market.
Lucrative Opportunities in Global Zinc-Bromine Battery Market
- Rise in the trend of the commercialization of electric vehicles is anticipated to offer lucrative opportunities to the zinc-bromine battery market in the near future. Zinc-bromine and vanadium oxide batteries are able to charge electric vehicles in a short period of time.
- The production of electric vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV), extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs), and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) has risen significantly in the last decade. Zinc-bromine batteries are estimated to offer solutions to overcome storage limitations associated with electric vehicles.
- Increase in the demand for sustainable modes of transportation in the automotive sector is also a key factor driving the applications of zinc-bromine batteries in electric vehicles.
- Rise in the need to improve energy utilization and reduce emissions is estimated to offer lucrative opportunities for the expansion of the electric vehicles market, and thereby, the zinc-bromine battery market.
Asia Pacific to Dominate Global Zinc-Bromine Battery Market
- Asia Pacific dominated the global zinc-bromine battery market in 2018, owing to the increase in the demand for energy storage systems in utility applications in the region. Rise in the demand for electricity in emerging economies of Asia Pacific can be ascribed to the growth in the population and increasing urbanization, and the presence of emerging countries in the region.
- Emerging economies in Asia Pacific are likely to double their electric power output in order to cater to the rising demand for electricity. Increase in investments in rural electrification is another factor that is expected to offer significant opportunities to the zinc-bromine battery market.
- Red Flow Limited is a global zinc-bromine battery producer, headquartered in Australia. The company is investing significantly in R&D activities for the development of flow battery systems. This is projected to boost the zinc-bromine battery market in Asia Pacific.
- Manufacturers of zinc-bromine batteries in Asia Pacific are focusing on the adoption of technologies that help reduce the manufacturing cost of these batteries. Increase in the production of electric vehicles, rise in consumption of electronic devices in residential applications, and shift in consumer preference toward the usage of flow batteries are estimated to offer significant opportunities to the compact segment of the zinc-bromine battery market in Asia Pacific.
Global Zinc-Bromine Battery Market: Leading Players
- Key players operating in the global zinc-bromine battery market are
- Red Flow Limited
- Primus Power
- EnSync Energy Systems
- MGX Renewables Inc
- Gelion Technologies Pty Ltd.