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Schaeffler Cooperates With CMBlu In The Field Of Organic Energy Storage
Jan 21, 2019

Schaeffler Group and CMBlu have formally signed a cooperative development agreement on the production of large-scale energy storage systems. In the past five years, CMBlu has successfully developed a new renewable organic liquid flow energy storage technology for power grid through cooperation with research teams of German universities, and has reached the scale of sample trial production. On this basis, Schaeffler and CMBlu will work together to develop and industrialize the commercial products, and CMBlu will be responsible for the marketing of the products. The goal of both sides is to make a great contribution to building reliable, efficient and sustainable energy supply worldwide.

Organic liquid flow batteries can be flexibly used as fixed energy storage devices in power grids, which helps to achieve a balance between energy production and consumption. This technology is widely used, such as in the intermediate storage of renewable energy or peak regulation of power consumption in industrial plants, as well as in charging facilities of electric vehicles. As a buffer energy storage method, organic liquid flow batteries can relieve the pressure of medium voltage power grid, and do not need to upgrade the grid when additional load is needed. Ultimately, to build a decentralized charging network for electric vehicles, only through large capacity and scalable energy storage systems, such as organic liquid flow batteries, can it be realized.

The technology behind this product is similar to that of conventional redox flow batteries. Electric energy is stored in compounds and dissolved in aqueous solutions to form electrolytes. Unlike the traditional metal-based compound system, organic molecules separated from lignin are used for energy storage in organic flow cell. Lignin is widely found in nature, including factories, such as trees and grass. It is a kind of natural renewable energy, and it is a kind of waste separated from pulp and paper making, with a scale of millions of tons. This ensures that lignin, as a raw material for large-scale energy storage system production, will never have a supply problem.

At present, all the electromechanical components of energy converter have been adjusted to adapt to the new electrolyte and optimize the cost of batch production. The whole supply chain of batteries can also be realized locally, without relying on imports. In addition, the organic liquid flow battery system does not use rare earth elements or heavy metals, and is not flammable, so it is very safe in production operation. Thanks to its working principle, the energy storage capacity of organic liquid flow system can be improved without power limitation, and only the size of storage tank and the amount of electrolyte have an impact on it.

Dr. Peter Geigle, CEO of CMBlu, said: "Nature has produced many very efficient and safe ways of energy storage over the course of billions of years. We are very proud to be able to use this technology in large-scale energy storage systems. In order to achieve this goal, we have adopted inexhaustible renewable energy sources. Therefore, we have achieved a large-scale, economic energy storage system. Working with Schaeffler means that we have joined hands with an international and experienced partner in the industrialization and production of the system to address the challenges facing energy conversion worldwide.

Professor Peter Guzmer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer of Schaeffler Group, said: "We are pleased to be able to contribute our technical expertise in the field of coating technology and to work with CMBlu to achieve mass production of this very attractive future fixed energy storage technology. Through cooperation, Schaeffler has entered a new field of innovative technology. The production planning of large-scale energy storage system is fully in line with our strategy of "efficient driving, galloping the future". In this strategy, we start from the whole energy chain and provide innovative solutions.

In order to achieve industrialization, Schaeffler and CMBlu have established a long-term cooperative relationship to jointly develop large-scale energy storage systems and provide products that can be put into the market. Next, CMBlu will improve the entire supply chain, including all pre-production products with other partners. In addition, a sample preparation plant has been set up in Alzenau. At present, CMBlu has signed supply contracts with some customers, and will apply the products to some pilot projects in the next two years. The first commercial energy storage system is scheduled to be launched in 2021.

About CMBlu Company

CMBlu Projekt AG is one of the world's leading manufacturers of organic liquid flow batteries, whose products are used in energy storage systems in power grids. In collaboration with leading university research teams and industrial partners, CMBlu has mastered key technologies for renewable energy conversion and helped to achieve charging facilities for electric vehicles throughout Germany. At present, CMBlu has 70 employees, headquartered in Alzenau, Germany, near the Mein River in Frankfurt. The world's largest research and Development Center for organic liquid flow systems is also located here.