VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – One of the largest vanadium-flow batteries in the world has been commissioned in China, reveals TSX-V-listed Sparton Resources.
Sparton’s subsidiary VanSpar Mining played a critical role in raising finance for the Zhangbei project’s 8 MWh vanadium-flow battery that was successfully commissioned on Friday.
As part of commissioning activities, the battery operated continuously for ten days (240 hours) at full capacity and was shown to actually exceed design specifications by about 10%.
Sparton reported that the final commissioning phase involved State Grid North China Company’s smoothing test, using State Grid’s exclusive software program, which was also successfully completed.
The 240-hour test involved daily charging and discharging of the entire unit with 2 MW of power and 8 MWh of energy released in each cycle. The nearby Zhangbei project’s 200 km2 wind and solar renewable energy installations powered the battery.
Sparton’s 90.4%-owned subsidiary VanSpar raised C$205 000 in convertible debt that could reduce Sparton’s stake to 85%, should the debt be converted. Funds raised by VanSpar had been advanced to its 90%-owned subsidiary Jiujiang Sparton Vanadium Trade and Tech (JJSP), a Sino Foreign Chinese joint venture company, which held the commissioning contract with the builder of the battery. VanSpar was undertaking further financing initiatives.
JJSP was also responsible for a three-year maintenance contract of the battery.
Located about 180 km north of downtown Beijing near Zhangjiakou, in Hebei province, the Zhangbei project integrated wind power, solar power, energy storage and smart-grid transmission technologies and currently comprised 500 MW of wind power and 100 MW of solar power, as well as the world's largest chemical-energy storage station. Being a key component of China’s Golden Sun photovoltaic pilot project, the project had 25 MWh of energy storage capacity installed, with plans in the works to lift this to 100 MWh.