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Batteries 2018, 4(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries4040048

Novel Approaches for Solving the Capacity Fade Problem during Operation of a Vanadium Redox Flow Battery

1
Energy Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Cleantech Loop, Singapore 637141, Singapore
2
Vflowtech Pte Ltd., 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911, Singapore
3
Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
4
Gildemeister Energy Storage GmbH, Wiener Neudorf A-2355, Austria
5
SGL Carbon GmbH, 86405 Meitingen, Germany
6
TUM Create, Singapore 138602, Singapore
7
School of Material Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141, Singapore
Current address: redT Energy plc., Wokingham RG 41 2QZ, UK.
Current address: 5607 Hägglingen, Switzerland; gga1@gmx.net.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vanadium Redox Flow Battery and Its Applications)
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Abstract

The vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) is one of the most mature and commercially available electrochemical technologies for large-scale energy storage applications. The VRFB has unique advantages, such as separation of power and energy capacity, long lifetime (>20 years), stable performance under deep discharge cycling, few safety issues and easy recyclability. Despite these benefits, practical VRFB operation suffers from electrolyte imbalance, which is primarily due to the transfer of water and vanadium ions through the ion-exchange membranes. This can cause a cumulative capacity loss if the electrolytes are not rebalanced. In commercial systems, periodic complete or partial remixing of electrolyte is performed using a by-pass line. However, frequent mixing impacts the usable energy and requires extra hardware. To address this problem, research has focused on developing new membranes with higher selectivity and minimal crossover. In contrast, this study presents two alternative concepts to minimize capacity fade that would be of great practical benefit and are easy to implement: (1) introducing a hydraulic shunt between the electrolyte tanks and (2) having stacks containing both anion and cation exchange membranes. It will be shown that the hydraulic shunt is effective in passively resolving the continuous capacity loss without detrimentally influencing the energy efficiency. Similarly, the combination of anion and cation exchange membranes reduced the net electrolyte flux, reducing capacity loss. Both approaches work efficiently and passively to reduce capacity fade during operation of a flow battery system. View Full-Text
Keywords: vanadium redox flow battery; electrolyte crossover; capacity loss; auto-rebalancing vanadium redox flow battery; electrolyte crossover; capacity loss; auto-rebalancing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bhattarai, A.; Ghimire, P.C.; Whitehead, A.; Schweiss, R.; Scherer, G.G.; Wai, N.; Hng, H.H. Novel Approaches for Solving the Capacity Fade Problem during Operation of a Vanadium Redox Flow Battery. Batteries 2018, 4, 48.

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