Latest technology insights into Lithium Ion and Vanadium Flow Batteries

Latest technology insights into Lithium Ion and Vanadium Flow Batteries

12 Oct 2017, 2:55 PM - 4:15 PM

Room 219, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
English (Australia)

Chair: Vincent Algar, Managing Director, VSUN Energy


Lithium Ion Battery Innovation: Moving to Cobalt-Free Chemistry to Increase Safety, Reliability and Lifecycle of Energy Storage

Catherine Von Burg, CEO, SimpliPhi Power

Numerous recalls of lithium-ion cobalt-based batteries, most recently the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phone, can be found on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Whether the battery is in a phone, laptop or building, no lithium-ion chemistry that uses cobalt cathodes is immune from spontaneous, runaway fires. Cobalt-based lithium-ion chemistry clearly poses safety issues that are catastrophic as this chemistry is used in larger format batteries for homes and businesses. 

This presentation will address the timely issue of the hazards cobalt represents in the ‘lithium-ion’ classification of batteries. It will begin with an introduction of the different levels of technical attributes that influence battery safety and reliability (chemistry, form factor and battery management systems), then provide an overview of the inherent safety and reliability issues stemming from the use of cobalt-based chemistry. Finally, a leading alternative battery chemistry that eliminates cobalt, Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LFP) chemistry, will be reviewed. Case studies and test results from real-world applications of LFP batteries will be presented to underscore the robust, efficient and safe nature of this battery chemistry. From on and off grid, residential and commercial, to mobile and military applications, the presentation will illustrate how LFP’s elimination of cobalt has garnered success for clean, safe and reliable energy storage in some of the harshest temperatures and use-cases across the globe.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Identify different chemistries utilized within the lithium-ion classification of batteries. 

2. Use a new model for understanding the parameters that affect the safety, reliability and lifespan of energy storage.

3. Educate their customers on the pros and cons of different lithium ion battery chemistries for their projects based on safety, reliability, efficiency, longevity and cost. 


Lithium-Ion Battery Test Centre - 12 Months of Data Analysis

Jonathan Kennedy, ITP Renewables

ITP Renewables has developed a Battery Test Centre to conduct performance testing of lithium ion and other emerging battery technologies over a three-year period. Phase 1 now has over 12 months of data since it started in July 2016. Phase 2, in which another ten batteries were added was commissioned in April 2017. This presentation will present an analysis of the findings so far.

Partly funded by ARENA, the objective of the test is to inform future energy storage investors by analysing the performance of 16 major lithium-ion battery brands/types and comparing these to lead-acid technologies. 

The project will involve

•Cycling the batteries at fast charge and discharge rates to reveal performance characteristics in the shortest possible time.

•Mimicking ‘real world’ conditions by cycling the temperature of the facility where the batteries will be installed.

•Publishing performance data, measuring the batteries’ decrease in storage capacity over the three years of the trial, and documenting any integration challenges or issues that arise.


Advances in Lithium Ion Batteries with 3D nanomaterials

Stephanie Moroz, Chief Executive Officer, Nano-Nouvelle

Three dimensional nanostructured materials have the potential to significantly improve today’s lithium ion batteries. Nano-Nouvelle is developing a platform technology that will begin with the Copper Lumafoil as a replacement for solid copper current collectors, and progress to the Nanode which incorporates high energy active materials to replace the complete anode. 

The Copper Lumafoil is a nano-porous membrane that provides a 3D conductive framework. The process starts from a porous polymeric membrane structure and then coats all internal and external surfaces of the membrane with a metal such as copper to become conductive. The thickness, strength and porosity of such polymer substrates can be adjusted to suit a particular application. The structure provides a number of benefits including substantial weight reduction, lower cost cell assembly due to faster electrolyte wetting, and better active material adhesion.

The Nanode technology is substantially based on the Copper Lumafoil current collector in that the Lumafoil is combined with high energy active materials to produce complete anodes for lithium ion batteries. The 3D structure of electrodes using the Nanode technology benefit from high energy, low internal resistance and better absorption of stress from active material expansion into the internal pore space.

This talk will present the latest developments in the design and manufacture of these materials, and their impact on the battery performance.


Latest Technology Insights into Vanadium Flow Batteries

Peter Morrow, Director, Auspac Energy Technologies

The vanadium flow battery (VFB) is a rechargeable flow battery. 

The first successful demonstration of the all-vanadium redox flow battery was by Maria Skyllas-Kazacos and team at the University of New South Wales in the 1980’s using a sulphate based vanadium electrolyte.

A new generation chemistry using a mixed acid solution was developed over 5 years by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Washington State, USA. 

This breakthrough technology improved stability, doubled the energy density and allows operation at high temperatures (50deg C) enabling passive cooling and a substantially reduced bulk energy footprint. 

The chlorine based electrolytes also inhibit oxygen evolution, preventing carbon electrode oxidation, extending the battery life. 

The inherent passive cooling characteristics make this technology ideally suited to Australian conditions, where high and variable ambient temperatures can be experienced. 

Coupled with 100% depth of discharge and unlimited cycles over 20+ years, this technology ideally suited to robust utility applications with high duty cycle requirements and the flexibility to support both power and energy functions.


  • Vincent Algar


    Managing Director

    VSUN Energy

  • Catherine Von Burg



    SimpliPhi Power

    Catherine Von Burg is President and CEO of SimpliPhi Power, a technology company that designs and manufactures intelligent, non-toxic, efficient,...

  • Jonathan Kennedy


    ITP Renewables

    Jonathan Kennedy has a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the Australian National University. Since starting with ITP in 2013, Jonathan has...

  • Stephanie Moroz


    Chief Executive Officer


    Stephanie has focused her career on developing and commercialising clean energy technologies. Following her studies in Engineering Physics, she...

  • Peter Morrow



    Auspac Energy Technologies

    During a 25-year development career in Australia and Asia, Peter has applied vision and innovation to secure real commercial benefits from...

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