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Open AccessArticle

Mass Transport Optimization for Redox Flow Battery Design

1
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
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School of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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School of Physics, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
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Design Next, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2801; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082801
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 9 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering)
The world is moving to the next phase of the energy transition with high penetrations of renewable energy. Flexible and scalable redox flow battery (RFB) technology is expected to play an important role in ensuring electricity network security and reliability. Innovations continue to enhance their value by reducing parasitic losses and maximizing available energy over broader operating conditions. Simulations of vanadium redox flow battery (VRB/VRFB) cells were conducted using a validated COMSOL Multiphysics model. Cell designs are developed to reduce losses from pump energy while improving the delivery of active species where required. The combination of wedge-shaped cells with static mixers is found to improve performance by reducing differential pressure and concentration overpotential. Higher electrode compression at the outlet optimises material properties through the cell, while the mixer mitigates concentration gradients across the cell. Simulations show a 12% lower pressure drop across the cell and a 2% lower charge voltage for improved energy efficiency. Wedge-shaped cells are shown to offer extended capacity during cycling. The prototype mixers are fabricated using additive manufacturing for further studies. Toroidal battery designs incorporating these innovations at the kW scale are developed through inter-disciplinary collaboration and rendered using computer aided design (CAD). View Full-Text
Keywords: vanadium redox flow battery; power density; limiting current; cell geometry; mass transfer; electrolyte mixing; static mixer; industrial design; multidisciplinary research; energy transitions vanadium redox flow battery; power density; limiting current; cell geometry; mass transfer; electrolyte mixing; static mixer; industrial design; multidisciplinary research; energy transitions
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Gurieff, N.; Keogh, D.F.; Baldry, M.; Timchenko, V.; Green, D.; Koskinen, I.; Menictas, C. Mass Transport Optimization for Redox Flow Battery Design. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 2801.

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