VRLA batteries were first invented way back in 1934 with the modern VRLA battery invented in 1957. Since then they have been widely used in a range of uses, particularly Uninterruptible Power Supplies for power protection. With regards to Energy Storage Systems, there are a many that use VRLA batteries due to their cost and availability.
VRLA batteries have the following Pros and Cons for Energy Storage:
Virtually maintenance free
Well documented / known performance of battery technology
Inability to fully discharge (100%) without affecting long term battery capacity
Degradation if not kept at optimum temperature
Limited number of discharge cycles during typical lifetime
VRLA Battery Developments
There are a number of battery manufacturers who are looking at VRLA batteries and developing new and improved versions, which are better suited to Energy Storage Systems. For example, the Ultrabattery is a VRLA hybrid comprising both standard VRLA architecture as well as an ultracapacitor. This produces a battery that can handle significantly more partial discharge cycles than traditional VRLA batteries.
UltraBattery® combines the advantages of two energy storage technologies in a single cell.
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