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A One-Dimensional Stack Model for Redox Flow Battery Analysis and Operation

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, Lemont, IL 60439, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Batteries 2019, 5(1), 25;
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vanadium Redox Flow Battery and Its Applications)
PDF [3837 KB, uploaded 27 February 2019]


Current redox flow battery (RFB) stack models are not particularly conducive to accurate yet high-throughput studies of stack operation and design. To facilitate system-level analysis, we have developed a one-dimensional RFB stack model through the combination of a one-dimensional Newman-type cell model and a resistor-network to evaluate contributions from shunt currents within the stack. Inclusion of hydraulic losses and membrane crossover enables constrained optimization of system performance and allows users to make recommendations for operating flow rate, current densities, and cell design given a subset of electrolyte and electrode properties. Over the range of experimental conditions explored, shunt current losses remain small, but mass-transfer losses quickly become prohibitive at high current densities. Attempting to offset mass-transfer losses with high flow rates reduces system efficiency due to the increase in pressure drop through the porous electrode. The development of this stack model application, along with the availability of the source MATLAB code, allows for facile approximation of the upper limits of performance with limited empiricism. This work primarily presents a readily adaptable tool to enable researchers to perform either front-end performance estimates based on fundamental material properties or to benchmark their experimental results. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow battery; stack model; vanadium; performance; analysis; model; crossover; shunt current flow battery; stack model; vanadium; performance; analysis; model; crossover; shunt current

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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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Barton, J.L.; Brushett, F.R. A One-Dimensional Stack Model for Redox Flow Battery Analysis and Operation. Batteries 2019, 5, 25.

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