Ad-Mat: Adaptations of Mature Manufacturing Strategies for Accelerated Redox Flow Battery Deployment

K. Fink, B. Tremolet de Villers, K. Harrison, L. Robertson, V. Battaglia

Research output: NRELPresentation


The concept of the Ad-Mat approach is to leverage existing adjacent markets across a broad scope of technologies in order to reduce the manufacturing learning curve and ultimately accelerate redox flow battery (RFB) deployment at scale. Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are currently the dominant energy storage technology, and they came to technological maturity under unique market conditions when there was no meaningful competition in the consumer electronic and electric vehicle (EV) space. Today, alternative chemistries that may be technologically better-suited for long-duration storage applications are experiencing a high barrier to entry. This is in large part due to the substantial bias towards the scaled-up production and supply chain that now exists for LIBs. In the case of RFBs in particular, numerous analyses have suggested that RFBs should theoretically have a much lower system cost than LIBs - however, this relies on a mature and competitive manufacturing landscape, which has been extremely challenging to achieve for both flow batteries and other LIB competitors. At the moment, LIB alternatives tend to have isolated small-scale manufacturing pathways, which preclude the economies of scale that would be required to compete with the mature LIB industry. In the present state of the industry, niche manufacturing tools and approaches have evolved to support each alternative technology, such that there is substantial replication and duplication in effort. Continuing to pursue a strategy of isolated manufacturing processes/approaches for each LIB-alternative may never allow for at-scale deployment. In order for RFBs to meaningfully compete with LIBs in the realm of LDES, a new disruptive approach based on cross-industry learning and coordination is needed - and this is exactly what our Ad-Mat concept aims to tackle. In this re-envisioned manufacturing landscape, tools and processes from mature industries can be adapted and deployed across the range of alternative energy storage technologies. Adapting tools, equipment, processes, and industrial learning from mature industries to meet the technological requirements of RFBs would open new markets for existing OEMs in adjacent industries, would prevent unnecessary duplication and re-development, would improve efficiency across the manufacturing chain, and would ultimately support reduced costs and accelerated deployment of RFBs at scale.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NamePresented at the Inaugural LDES Council Summit, 8 April 2024, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5700-89505


  • adaptive manufacturing
  • long-duration energy storage
  • manufacturing
  • redox flow batteries


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