Winner | Asian Digital Media Awards 2020

Singapore's VFlowTech signs South Korea deal to power renewable grids for EV charging stations

First Vanadium redox flow renewable energy battery provider to achieve international recognition and business contracts for utility-scale storage solutions to drive the transition to renewables for EV charging infrastructures

Energy storage solutions provider VFlowTech has announced that it will be part of a tripartite project with Seoul National University of Science & Technology (SeoulTech) and Korean-based CompanyWE Inc to install self-reliant green EV charging infrastructure at existing gas stations in South Korea. The announcement makes VFlowTech the first renewable energy battery provider to achieve international recognition and business contracts for utility-scale storage solutions to drive the transition to renewables for EV charging infrastructures. The joint project is an initiative supported by EUREKA, an intergovernmental organisation for market-driven industrial research and development to support the development of innovative products and applications with strong market potential. This announcement continues VFlowTech’s upward trajectory after announcing a $3 million pre-Series A funding round last month.

Eureka is the world’s biggest intergovernmental network for international cooperation in R&D and innovation.With presence in 45 countries, the European Union, Canada, Chile, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea are all part of the network. EUREKA facilitates the coordination of national funding on Research, Development and Innovation, aiming to boost the productivity and competitiveness of industries. Supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) as a key research center from 2019 till 2028, SeoulTech’s Research Center for Electrical and Information Technology (RC-EIT) will collaborate with private sector companies CompanyWE (South Korea) and VFlowTech (Singapore) under the EUREKA initiative to develop cleantech solutions to accelerate the energy transition.

VFlowTech will deploy its 500kWh Vanadium redox flow energy storage system for renewable energy, through its partnership with RC-EIT and CompanyWE. The storage system for the smart technology (“intelligent”) electric car fast-charging infrastructure will use VFlowTech’s 150kW modular PowerCube batteries that will be installed in a pilot implementation to meet the electrification needs of South Korea’s rapidly expanding EV market.

Young Il Lee, Director of RC-EIT from SeoulTech said: “Korea plans to have 1.13 million electric vehicles on the road with 500,000 EV charging stations by 2025. Our collaboration with VFlow-Tech to install green EV charging stations at gas stations ensures we are ready to meet future energy needs for a fully sustainable energy supply. Our self-reliant green EV charging infrastructure will have a continuous energy supply powered by VFlowTech’s energy storage systems to mitigate the irregular source of electricity from intermittent renewables like solar or wind energy.

Jae Woo, CEO of CompanyWE said: “Globally, there is a need for energy storage solutions that can accommodate larger capacities of renewable energy. Vanadium flow batteries store their energy in tanks which means they have much larger capacity for energy storage and are also cost efficient as they can last for up to twenty-five years. We are excited to develop a pilot implementation of a virtual power plant system for nationwide distributed hybrid gas and EV stations that are self-reliant with VflowTech’s batteries. With VFlowTech’s unique technology, we have a truly innovative solution with utility scale batteries that can operate at much wider temperatures and mitigate risks of fire, which is extremely important since our systems will be built underground at gas stations.”

Urban locations can leverage existing gas station infrastructure to provide DC fast charging and net zero energy balancing where the electrolyte can be recharged at nearby renewable energy power plants (i.e Hydrogen Fuel Cells). In rural regions, VFlowTech battery based EV charging stations are co-located with renewable energy microgrids which suffer from intermittency and curtailment, and can provide 24/7 stable energy supply to the power grid.

Dr Avishek Kumar, Co-founder and CEO of VFlowTech said: “Energy storage and management is a key enabler for the energy transition to renewables, due to the intermittent nature of solar or wind power generation. Governments around the world are seeking solutions for renewable energy storage to help them transition from a fossil fuel-reliant grid to a 100% renewable-powered grid. Our proprietary IP on Vanadium redox flow technology provide an alternative storage solution to store renewable energy for long periods of time in a cost-effective way. The electrolyte — the fluid that transfers charges inside a battery flow from one tank through the system back to the same tank. As a result, it’s much easier to adapt flow batteries to industrial-scale applications without adding extra costs.”

The project in South Korea follows a successful deployment of a test-bed project in Singapore, supported by Temasek Foundation to demonstrate the efficacy of its scalable long-duration energy storage technology. Green EV charging stations have been installed at JTC CleanTech One’s carpark, located in Jurong Innovation District. Connected to a solar-powered renewable grid, CleanTech One powers its EV charging system using solar energy. This project is in line with JTC’s vision to test-bed new innovations to make its buildings smart and sustainable, while pushing new boundaries in greening its portfolio.

Tan Kaixin, General Manager of SEEDS Capital (the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore), said: “VFlowTech is one of SEEDS Capital’s first investments into storage solutions for renewable energy. VFlowTech’s technology will contribute to Singapore and the region’s renewable energy needs, as a viable solution to address the intermittency of renewables.”

###

About VFlowTech Pte Ltd

VFlowTech is a Singapore-based energy storage solutions provider manufacturing low-cost and efficient modular vanadium redox flow batteries. VFlowTech’s long-term vision is to drive the world towards energy equity where everyone can access clean energy at affordable pricing. With an energy storage solution that has an expected life span of 25 years, VFlowTech has one of the safest and most environmentally friendly battery technologies. VFlowTech was incubated in the CleanTech lab of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, and benefits from unique IP arising from many years of intensive research at the university. VFlowTech batteries can store renewable energy over long-duration and are designed to address issues of performance degradation, thermal runaway, and product reliability on safety. www.vflowtech.com

About Seoul National University Of Science & Technology

Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) is one of Korea’s national universities. The university originated from a Vocational Supplementary School established in 1910 by Emperor Gojong’s Royal Decree. As the only national university in Seoul and the leading provider of engineering education, SeoulTech has a sustainable learning cycle that brings the educational and research capabilities of its students and faculty, its state-of-the-art educational environment and practical research results back into education. SeoulTech received the Best University Award in the Construction and Mechanical (Automobile) fields of the 2020 Industry University Review hosted by the Korea University Education Committee. SeoulTech has an industry-university co-operation partnership program that develops innovation capabilities that plans for the future of humanity and supports development for South Korea and its communities.

In 2019, SeoulTech’s Research Center for Electrical and Information Technology (RC-EIT) was designated as a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) key research center on smart energy town technology. RC-EIT is cooperating with VFlow-Tech on the EV gas station project. http://www.rceit.seoultech.ac.kr

About CompanyWE Inc.

CompanyWe is a systems integrator specialist that will perform the pilot implementation to develop a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to collect energy from small-scale distributed power sources. By harnessing renewable energy from distributed sources such as solar power and long-duration energy storage systems, CompanyWE is able to provide a future-proof business model for gas stations to have a fully sustainable energy supply 24/7 without any limitations.

CompanyWE has partnered with SeoulTech’s Research Center for Electrical and Information Technology and VFlowTech, to integrate its Power Management System (PMS) and Energy Management System (EMS) with VFlowTech’s Battery Management System (BMS) to build South Korea’s first smart technology EV charging infrastructure which can support the integration of unpredictable energy sources into the grid. https://www.companywe.co.kr/

Most popular

View all news

Industry Spotlight

View all

Feature Series

View all
Asia Pacific's Hub For Collaboration On Sustainable Development
An Eco-Business initiative
The SDG Co