The need for renewable sources of electricity, such as solar and wind, continues to grow each year. The intermittency of renewable sources hinders their grid penetration beyond a certain point. Large-scale energy storage is required to buffer the intermittency at scale. Promising technologies like redox-flow batteries (RFBs) can be integrated with wind and solar power plants to resolve grid-scale intermittency. However, these batteries currently suffer from a relatively high levelized cost of storage.
In the July AIChE Journal article, “A Computationally-Cost Effective Model for Fluid Flow in Redox Flow Batteries,” Erfan Asadipour and Vijay Ramani (Washington Univ. in St. Louis) studied the effect of flow-field design on the fluid flow in RFBs to help improve their cost-effectiveness. They developed a semi-analytical fluid flow model for single-channel serpentine, multi-channel serpentine, and interdigitated flow fields to study the effect of geometrical parameters and electrode properties on the pump power loss, electrolyte flow distribution, and electrolyte flow penetration into the electrodes.
RFBs use reversible oxidation and reduction of electrolyte fluids...
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