Advertisement

Obstructed flow field designs for improved performance in vanadium redox flow batteries

  • Bilen Akuzum
  • Yigit Can Alparslan
  • Nicholas C. Robinson
  • Ertan Agar
  • E. Caglan KumburEmail author
Research Article
  • 85 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Batteries

Abstract

In this study, we have investigated the effects of varying flow channel depths and addition of various channel obstructions on the electrochemical performance and pumping power requirements of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). Specifically, 3D-printed ramps and prismatic obstructions were inserted into the channels of interdigitated flow field (IDFF) and parallel flow field (PFF) designs to observe the effect of non-uniform channel depth on the mass transport properties of open- and closed-ended flow channels. Results were compared with conventional flow field geometries. Integration of ramps into the closed-ended (i.e., IDFF) flow channels resulted in 15% improvement in peak power density (PPD) at a flow rate of 50 mL min−1. Addition of ramps to IDFF has also resulted in a significant 40% drop in required pumping pressure due to guided and gradual delivery of the electrolyte to the electrode plane. In addition, the effects of varying channel depths in open-ended (i.e., PFF) channels were found to be much more drastic with improvements in PPD up to 150%. Overall, findings of this study highlight the significance of varying channel depths on improving the mass transport characteristics of VRFBs and offer an alternative approach for design of high-performance flow cells.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords

Flow field design Mass transport Non-uniform channel depth Vanadium redox flow battery 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the National Science Foundation (Grant #1351161) for supporting this work. The authors would also like to acknowledge AvCarb Material Solutions for supplying the electrode materials.

References

  1. 1.
    Weber AZ, Mench MM, Meyers JP, Ross PN, Gostick JT, Liu Q (2011) Redox flow batteries: a review. J Appl Electrochem 41(10):1137.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-011-0348-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Soloveichik GL (2015) Flow batteries: current status and trends. Chem Rev 115(20):11533–11558.  https://doi.org/10.1021/cr500720t CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arenas LF, Ponce de León C, Walsh FC (2017) Engineering aspects of the design, construction and performance of modular redox flow batteries for energy storage. J Energy Storage 11:119–153.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2017.02.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Boettcher PA, Agar E, Dennison CR, Kumbur EC (2016) Modeling of ion crossover in vanadium redox flow batteries: a computationally-efficient lumped parameter approach for extended cycling. J Electrochem Soc 163(1):A5244–A5252.  https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0311601jes CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Knehr KW, Agar E, Dennison CR, Kalidindi AR, Kumbur EC (2012) A transient vanadium flow battery model incorporating vanadium crossover and water transport through the membrane. J Electrochem Soc 159(9):A1446–A1459.  https://doi.org/10.1149/2.017209jes CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Darling RM, Gallagher KG, Kowalski JA, Ha S, Brushett FR (2014) Pathways to low-cost electrochemical energy storage: a comparison of aqueous and nonaqueous flow batteries. Energy Environ Sci 7(11):3459–3477.  https://doi.org/10.1039/c4ee02158d CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Viswanathan V, Crawford A, Stephenson D, Kim S, Wang W, Li B, Coffey G, Thomsen E, Graff G, Balducci P, Kintner-Meyer M, Sprenkle V (2014) Cost and performance model for redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 247:1040–1051.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.12.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ke X, Prahl JM, Alexander JID, Wainright JS, Zawodzinski TA, Savinell RF (2018) Rechargeable redox flow batteries: flow fields, stacks and design considerations. Chem Soc Rev 47(23):8721–8743.  https://doi.org/10.1039/c8cs00072g CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dennison CR, Agar E, Akuzum B, Kumbur EC (2016) Enhancing mass transport in redox flow batteries by tailoring flow field and electrode design. J Electrochem Soc 163(1):A5163–A5169.  https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0231601jes CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Aaron DS, Liu Q, Tang Z, Grim GM, Papandrew AB, Turhan A, Zawodzinski TA, Mench MM (2012) Dramatic performance gains in vanadium redox flow batteries through modified cell architecture. J Power Sources 206:450–453.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2011.12.026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pezeshki AM, Clement JT, Veith GM, Zawodzinski TA, Mench MM (2015) High performance electrodes in vanadium redox flow batteries through oxygen-enriched thermal activation. J Power Sources 294:333–338.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2015.05.118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Aaron D, Yeom S, Kihm KD, Ashraf Gandomi Y, Ertugrul T, Mench MM (2017) Kinetic enhancement via passive deposition of carbon-based nanomaterials in vanadium redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 366:241–248.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.08.108 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kim KJ, Park M-S, Kim Y-J, Kim JH, Dou SX, Skyllas-Kazacos M (2015) A technology review of electrodes and reaction mechanisms in vanadium redox flow batteries. J Mater Chem A 3(33):16913–16933.  https://doi.org/10.1039/c5ta02613j CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wang W, Luo Q, Li B, Wei X, Li L, Yang Z (2013) Recent progress in redox flow battery research and development. Adv Funct Mater 23(8):970–986.  https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201200694 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Agar E, Dennison CR, Knehr KW, Kumbur EC (2013) Identification of performance limiting electrode using asymmetric cell configuration in vanadium redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 225:89–94.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.10.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Milshtein JD, Tenny KM, Barton JL, Drake J, Darling RM, Brushett FR (2017) Quantifying mass transfer rates in redox flow batteries. J Electrochem Soc 164(11):E3265–E3275.  https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0201711jes CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhou XL, Zhao TS, An L, Zeng YK, Wei L (2017) Critical transport issues for improving the performance of aqueous redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 339:1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.11.040 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Darling RM, Perry ML (2014) The influence of electrode and channel configurations on flow battery performance. J Electrochem Soc 161(9):A1381–A1387.  https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0941409jes CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rudolph S, Schröder U, Bayanov RI, Blenke K, Bayanov IM (2015) Optimal electrolyte flow distribution in hydrodynamic circuit of vanadium redox flow battery. J Electroanal Chem 736:117–126.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelechem.2014.11.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kumar S, Jayanti S (2017) Effect of electrode intrusion on pressure drop and electrochemical performance of an all-vanadium redox flow battery. J Power Sources 360:548–558.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.06.045 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Houser J, Pezeshki A, Clement JT, Aaron D, Mench MM (2017) Architecture for improved mass transport and system performance in redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 351:96–105.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.03.083 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lisboa KM, Marschewski J, Ebejer N, Ruch P, Cotta RM, Michel B, Poulikakos D (2017) Mass transport enhancement in redox flow batteries with corrugated fluidic networks. J Power Sources 359:322–331.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.05.038 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cervantes-Alcalá R, Miranda-Hernández M (2018) Flow distribution and mass transport analysis in cell geometries for redox flow batteries through computational fluid dynamics. J Appl Electrochem 48(11):1243–1254.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-018-1246-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mögelin H, Barascu A, Krenkel S, Enke D, Turek T, Kunz U (2018) Effect of the pore size and surface modification of porous glass membranes on vanadium redox-flow battery performance. J Appl Electrochem 48(6):651–662.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-018-1201-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schafner K, Becker M, Turek T (2018) Capacity balancing for vanadium redox flow batteries through electrolyte overflow. J Appl Electrochem 48(6):639–649.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-018-1187-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kim Y, Choi YY, Yun N, Yang M, Jeon Y, Kim KJ, Choi J-I (2018) Activity gradient carbon felt electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 408:128–135.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.09.066 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Xu Q, Zhao TS, Leung PK (2013) Numerical investigations of flow field designs for vanadium redox flow batteries. Appl Energy 105:47–56.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.12.041 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jyothi Latha T, Jayanti S (2014) Hydrodynamic analysis of flow fields for redox flow battery applications. J Appl Electrochem 44(9):995–1006.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-014-0720-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zeng Y, Li F, Lu F, Zhou X, Yuan Y, Cao X, Xiang B (2019) A hierarchical interdigitated flow field design for scale-up of high-performance redox flow batteries. Appl Energy 238:435–441.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.01.107 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ke X, Prahl JM, Alexander JID, Savinell RF (2018) Redox flow batteries with serpentine flow fields: distributions of electrolyte flow reactant penetration into the porous carbon electrodes and effects on performance. J Power Sources 384:295–302.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.03.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    MacDonald M, Darling RM (2018) Modeling flow distribution and pressure drop in redox flow batteries. AIChE J 64(10):3746–3755.  https://doi.org/10.1002/aic.16330 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mayrhuber I, Dennison CR, Kalra V, Kumbur EC (2014) Laser-perforated carbon paper electrodes for improved mass-transport in high power density vanadium redox flow batteries. J Power Sources 260:251–258.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.03.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Al-Yasiri M, Park J (2017) Study on channel geometry of all-vanadium redox flow batteries. J Electrochem Soc 164(9):A1970–A1982.  https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0861709jes CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Agar E, Benjamin A, Dennison CR, Chen D, Hickner MA, Kumbur EC (2014) Reducing capacity fade in vanadium redox flow batteries by altering charging and discharging currents. J Power Sources 246:767–774.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.08.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bilen Akuzum
    • 1
  • Yigit Can Alparslan
    • 1
  • Nicholas C. Robinson
    • 1
  • Ertan Agar
    • 2
  • E. Caglan Kumbur
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering MechanicsDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

Personalised recommendations