Cleantech Canada published an article that looks at vanadium batteries. Though they’re much less well known than lithium-ion batteries (and generally have different applications), vanadium batteries have the potential to eventually “chip away at lithium’s dominance of the storage space.”
As quoted in the market news:
While its scalability is one of its distinguishing features, what truly sets a VRB apart from a lithium-ion battery is its ability to be recharged thousands upon thousands of times without becoming degraded. Hennessy noted that while traditional batteries will all eventually “kill themselves over time” as a result of the multiple elements they use becoming cross-contaminated, vanadium is able to cycle endlessly. Skyllas-Kazacos pointed out that megawatt-scale VRBs have already been exposed to as many as 200,000 cycles without degradation. This is in stark contrast to lithium-ion batteries that generally last several thousands cycles at most. For this reason, VRBs are better-suited than traditional batteries for projects that require an immense amount of cycling, such as demand response power projects and microgrids.
Meanwhile, like other batteries, VRBs can be completely emissions-free—assuming the energy used to charge them is renewable.
Vanadium flow batteries do have limitations as well though—most significantly their relatively low energy density. Despite significant recent advancements, VRBs are not capable of packing as much energy into as small a space as lithium-ion batteries—meaning the technology is best used for projects where space is not a determining factor.