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  • Writer's pictureMichael Pratt

🎓Expert study: Qnetic 38% cheaper than Li-ion batteries🪫

A recently published academic report from Imperial College London’s researchers predicts that the ‘levelised cost of storage’ (LCOS) of Qnetic’s flywheel energy storage will be significantly cheaper than today’s leading technology—lithium-ion batteries—for the key grid-scale application.

This is especially impressive considering it is a 2030 projection than includes the expected cost declines of lithium-ion batteries.

Imperial's Dr Oliver Schmidt and Dr Iain Staffell are world experts on energy storage economics. They are co-authors of the upcoming book Monetising Energy Storage, as well as various academic papers on the same topic, which are referenced by the US Department of Energy’s own reports. Schmidt also founded Storage Lab which is a research hub for electrical energy storage.

The analysis compared the following grid energy storage technologies:

  • Qnetic’s new flywheel energy storage

  • Lithium-ion batteries

  • Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB)

  • Compressed air energy storage (above-ground tank-based CAES)

Extract from the report

The modelling was based on a typical 200MWh grid energy storage facility focused on a 4-hour discharge ‘energy arbitrage’ application that supports the transition to solar and wind and the end of fossil fuels. Technologies that do not easily scale were excluded: pumped storage hydropower and any cavern-based gas-storage system that requires special geographies.

The input data for the competing technologies was taken from prominent peer-reviewed reports from independent authors and government bodies and the input data for Qnetic was provided by the company. If Qnetic can successfully realise the product’s cost and performance targets, then according to Schmidt and Staffell:

“…the modelling results suggest that Qnetic flywheels will provide energy arbitrage significantly more cost-efficiently than lithium-ion batteries and vanadium redox-flow batteries.”

They add:

“…Qnetic’s cost advantage could extend from applications of 0.5 up to 16 hours of duration when above 100 cycles per year.”

Their analysis method can be considered the ‘gold standard’ for LCOS calculations. Qnetic is focused on delivering a product that meets or exceeds the projected cost and performance targets, in which case, Qnetic expects to have an extremely compelling energy storage solution to bring to the world.

You can read the full publication here:

Imperial College London’s researchers worked independently via Imperial Consultants (ICON). We are very grateful to the work of Oliver and Iain. About the authors:

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