All-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) are potential energy storage systems for renewable power sources because of their flexible design, deep discharge capacity, quick response time, and long cycle life. To minimize the energy loss due to the shunt current, in a traditional design, a flow field is machined on two electrically insulated frames with a graphite plate in between. A traditional bipolar plate (BP) of a VRB consists of many components, and thus, the assembly process is time consuming. In this study, an integrally molded BP is designed and fabricated to minimize the manufacturing cost. First, the effects of the mold design and injection parameters on frame formability were analyzed by simulation. Second, a new graphite plate design for integral molding was proposed, and finally, two integrally molded BPs were fabricated and compared. Results show that gate position significantly affects air traps and the maximum volume shrinkage occurs at the corners of a BP. The volume shrinkage can be reduced using a large graphite plate embedded within the frame.
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