Principle and characteristics of vanadium redox flow battery (VRB), a novel energy storage system, was introduced. A research and development united laboratory of VRB was founded in Central South University in 2002 with the financial support of Panzhihua Steel Corporation. The laboratory focused their research mainly on the selection and preparation of electrode materials, membrane material and modification, stable concentrated electrolyte producing approach, test cell configuration design and optimization. Some relevant foundation problems, such as state of vanadium in sulfurous acid with various additives, the difference of electrochemical reaction rate in anode and in cathode, the crossover of vanadium ions and so on, have been emphasized. The details of these studies have been given and discussed. A 5 kW VRB stack was fabricated in the laboratory and its performances, especially electrochemical performance such as voltage efficiencies, energy efficiencies, and durability, were fully tested. The results will be shown in the talk. The key technologies of developing VRB, such as to improve the activity of its electrode materials, the stability of electrolyte and selectivity of separator, were also discussed. In addition, the research progresses in other laboratories in China were briefly introduced. ©2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.