Honeywell to test new long-duration flow battery with Duke

Honeywell has developed a new flow battery technology capable of storing and discharging renewably-generated electricity for up to 12 hours, the company announced Tuesday.

The company will test the 400 kWh unit at Duke Energy’s Emerging Technology and Innovation Center in Mount Holly, North Carolina next year, with the deployment of a utility-scale, 60 mWh pilot project expected in 2023.

Honeywell becomes one of the first vertically integrated end-to-end energy storage providers from battery manufacturing to integration, the company added.

“With this flow battery, Honeywell has developed an innovative energy storage technology to answer upcoming energy storage needs beyond the current technologies available on the market,” said Ben Owens, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “As utilities and corporations seek cost-effective alternatives to coal-fired plants with long-duration energy storage solutions, they are switching to renewable energy targets that work around the clock to reduce carbon emissions. By partnering with Duke, we can implement this innovate energy storage technology at scale and bring to market a revolutionary flow battery to meet growing energy storage demands while assisting companies in meeting their carbon neutral goals.”

Global energy storage deployments are expected to nearly triple year-over-year in 2021, reaching 12 GW/28 GWh, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie.

Wood Mackenzie’s Global Energy Storage Outlook forecasts nearly 1 TWh of total demand from 2021-2030, with the U.S. and China dominating the market. The two countries will account for over 70% of total global installed energy storage capacity through 2030, the report notes.

Emergen Research predicts the global battery market to reach $24.57 billion by 2027, up from $16.19 billion in 2019.

Long-duration energy storage, meanwhile, is a crucial piece of the energy transition to support rapid deployment of renewable, variable energy sources. While lithium-ion batteries currently dominate the market, there are safety and environmental concerns about sourcing and deployment of the technology, which is also limited to only discharge up to 4 hours.

“Duke Energy has followed flow battery technology for a number of years and is interested in the advancements Honeywell is pursuing,” said Tom Fenimore, director, Smart Grid Emerging Technology and Operations. “Our Emerging Technology and Innovation Center is an ideal proving ground to study this technology. Over the next five years, Duke Energy plans to install almost 400 megawatts of battery storage capacity in our service territory. We have a keen interest in breakthrough technologies.”

Long-duration energy storage — systems capable of storing energy for more than five hours — can provide resiliency for the grid and reliability for intermittent renewable energy generation.

Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures is backing long-duration storage companies ESS, Form Energy, and Ambri, among others, while gravity-based energy storage firm Energy Vault is expected to list on the NYSE after a SPAC merger of its own, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.

Earlier this month, ESS became the first U.S. long-duration energy storage company to list on the New York Stock Exchange. The company also inked a massive 2 GWh deal with SB Energy and reached an agreement to supply Enel Green Power with 17 battery systems in Spain.