Energy Storage Systems / Portland State University


Project Title:
Improved Redox Flow Battery Power Density

Principal Investigator:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Portland State University

Company Contact:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), CEO, Energy Storage Systems, Inc.

Energy Storage Systems, Inc. (ESS), an Oregon-based business located at Portland State Business Accelerator (PSBA), has identified that the low power density of Vanadium Redox flow Battery (VRB) systems predominantly results from high ohmic and kinetic losses at the electrodes in conventional designs. As a result, ESS has invented an innovative multi-layer electrode and cell design that maximizes active electrode surface area while minimizing system pressure drops. Based on the current intellectual property, ESS has demonstrated VRB cell performance with a 5-fold improvement in comparison to that of conventional VRB technology.

ESS is currently working to further improve the cell performance to a total of 10-fold through material and design optimizations. This ONAMI ‘GAP Grant’ will be instrumental for ESS to finalize components’ selection and scale up this innovative cell design to a 1kW demonstration unit in order to validate the target performance and reliability at the system level. This validation will be a critical milestone to enable ESS to secure investor financing so commercialization of the 50kW system (300 kWh+ range) may proceed.

In August 2012, ESS was awarded a $1.75M ARPA-E Grant to fund flow battery development. (Link: ARPA-E Announces $43M Transformational Energy Storage Projects Advance Electric Vehicle and Grid Technologies.)

Company Website:


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