About Quino Energy

About Us

Why We Do What We Do

Renewables and electrical storage are essential for the deep decarbonization of the global economy. Quino Energy is developing a redox flow battery targeted for 8 – 24 hours of energy storage, a segment for which no suitable battery technology has yet been commercialized.

Grid-scale energy storage has been largely served by lithium-ion batteries, but that is changing. Rapid adoption of renewables has created a massive long-term and unmet need for battery storage to even out times of excess generation and excess consumption. At the same time, surging demand from electric vehicles has caused sharp increases in the price of critical raw materials for lithium-ion batteries, such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt.

As more renewables come online on the electrical grid, needs have been shifting to longer and longer durations of energy storage. Flow batteries are well-suited to longer durations of storage greater than 4 hours. Beyond 4 hours, the cost of lithium-ion batteries does not change much, but flow batteries become cheaper as the storage duration increases, and can undercut lithium-ion batteries in cost.

A good way to think about it is to compare batteries to cars. If a standard car can be driven for four hours on a full tank, then to drive for eight hours without refueling, you either need to buy two cars or get one car with a bigger fuel tank. With flow batteries, the electrolyte (fuel) tanks can be made any size regardless of the power of the battery stack (the car engine), whereas the ratio is fixed for lithium-ion batteries.

Graphical depiction of a flow battery

Quino’s flow battery chemistry uses materials made from abundant sources – coal tar chemicals – and can be easily supplied through fully domestic (US) supply chains. Compared to many other battery chemistries, our flow batteries offer true fire safety because all the battery reactants are dissolved in water. Moreover, Quino’s system does not produce any hydrogen gas during charging, unlike most other kinds of flow batteries – especially hybrid flow batteries that deposit solid metal during the charging process. 

Learn more about how a flow battery works

(Animation courtesy Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)