Vanadium flow battery holds great promise for use in large scale energy storage applications. However, the power density is relatively low, leading to significant increase in the system cost. Apart from the kinetic and electronic conductivity improvement, the mass transport enhancement is also necessary to further increase the power density and reduce the system cost. To better understand the mass transport limitations, in the research, the space-varying and time-varying characteristic of the mass transport polarization is investigated based on the analysis of the flow velocity and reactant concentration in the bulk electrolyte by modeling. The result demonstrates that the varying characteristic of mass transport polarization is more obvious at high SoC or high current densities. To soften the adverse impact of the mass transport polarization, a new rectangular plug flow battery with a plug flow and short flow path is designed and optimized based on the mass transport polarization regulation (reducing the mass transport polarization and improving its uniformity of distribution). The regulation strategy of mass transport polarization is practical for the performance improvement in VFBs, especially for high power density VFBs. The findings in the research are also applicable for other flow batteries and instructive for practical use.
Journal of Power Sources – Elsevier
Published: Aug 30, 2016
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