VFlowTech to power grids for EV charging stations in South Korea

In line with South Korea’s plans to have 1.13 million electric vehicles on the road with 500,000 EV charging stations by 2025, Singaporean energy storage solutions provider VFlowTech will be part of a tripartite project with Seoul National University of Science & Technology (SeoulTech) and South Korea-based CompanyWE Inc to install self-reliant green EV charging infrastructure at existing gas stations in the country.

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 500 kWh 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 150 kW 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: “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/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.” 

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