Standards for flow batteries

Standards for flow batteries

The organising committee for the first IFBF identified the need to develop standards to support the growing flow battery industry, and following successful discussions at the following year’s meeting it was agreed to develop a Workshop Agreement to cover the flow battery industry. Working with the staff of CENELEC we were able to form the CENELEC Workshop on Flow Batteries (CLC WS 5) in November 2011 with the intention to develop a CWA ‘Flow batteries – Guidance on the specification, installation and operation.’. A number of companies participated in the Workshop, and were supported by several individuals with a keen interest in the topic. The Osterreichischer Verband fur Elektrotechnik (OVE) provided the Secretariat, and the Chairman was provided by Swanbarton Limited acting on behalf of the IFBF. The Workshop ran from November 2011 and the CWA 50611: ‘Flow batteries – Guidance on the specification, installation and operation’ was published in April 2013.  It is available through CENELEC national members or from OVE.  Note that the CWA is a CNELEC published document and must be purchased through the OVE. The IFBF is unable to supply copies. 

This document may be used by industry pending the development of full standards published by national or international standardisation bodies.  

All those working in the flow battery industry should be aware of the relevant national and international standards that cover batteries and energy storage systems, as well as the specific work covering flow batteries.  Some international standards include: 

  • CWA 50611: Flow batteries – Guidance on the specification, installation and operation 
  • IEC 61427-2: Secondary cells and batteries for renewable energy storage – General requirements and methods of test – Part 2: on-grid applications 

Those interested in standards for large scale energy storage should also be aware of the IEC TC 120 on Electrical Energy Storage Systems.

There is ongoing work between IEC TC/21 and IEC TC 105 in a joint working group (JWG 7).  The JWG has developed a suite of standards which are in the final stages of consultation and approval.  These are 

  • IEC TC21/TC105 JWG 7 “Flow Batteries” 
  • IEC 62932-1 ED1 “Flow Battery Systems for Stationary applications – Part 1:Terminology”
  • IEC 62932-2-1 ED1 “Flow Battery Energy System for Stationary applications–Part 2-1: Performance general requirements and test methods”
  • IEC 62932-2-2 ED1 “Flow Battery Systems for Stationary applications – Part 2-2 Safety requirements”

There is also the possibility of JWG 7 developing a standard for vanadium electrolyte in flow batteries, based on the example of : IEC 62877 “Electrolyte and water for vented lead acid accumulators”.

The IEC TC/120 is developing standards for Electrical Energy Storage Systems. Many members of the CENELEC workshop are now also participants in the IEC TC 21 / TC 105 Joint Working Group on Flow Batteries, and there are several members of IEC TC 120 who have knowledge and experience of flow batteries.

If you wish to join the JWG or participate at national or international levels, you should contact your national committee for standards for further information. The IFBF encourages all those in the industry to take an active interest in the development of standards, not only for flow batteries, but also those relating to other forms of electrical energy storage and associated equipment. 

(Information updated July 2019)