Research Papers

High Energy Efficiency With Low-Pressure Drop Configuration for an All-Vanadium Redox Flow Battery

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Kumar

Department of Chemical Engineering,
IIT Madras,
Chennai 600036, India

S. Jayanti

Department of Chemical Engineering,
IIT Madras,
Chennai 600036, India
e-mail: sjayanti@iitm.ac.in

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 30, 2016; final manuscript received January 23, 2017; published online February 23, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Matthew Mench.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 13(4), 041005 (Feb 23, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: JEECS-16-1103; doi: 10.1115/1.4035847 History: Received July 30, 2016; Revised January 23, 2017

In this paper, we present experimental studies of electrochemical performance of an all-vanadium redox flow battery cell employing an active area of 103 cm2, activated carbon felt, and a novel flow field, which ensures good electrolyte circulation at low pressure drops. Extended testing over 151 consecutive charge/discharge cycles has shown steady performance with an energy efficiency of 84% and capacity fade of only 0.26% per cycle. Peak power density of 193 mW cm−2 has been obtained at an electrolyte circulation rate of 114 ml min−1, which corresponds to stoichiometric factor of 4.6. The present configuration of the cell shows 20% improved in peak power and 30% reduction in pressure drop when compared to a similar cell with a different electrode and a serpentine flow field.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the enhanced cross-flow split-serpentine flow field (ECSSFF)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Predicted contours of (a) pressure at midheight of the channels in the graphite plate and (b) velocity at midheight of the carbon electrode for an electrolyte inlet Reynolds number of 720 in the enhanced cross-flow split-serpentine flow field

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Pressure drop between the inlet and the outlet of a 100 cm2 active area cell as a function of inlet Reynolds number for serpentine, interdigitated, conventional, and enhanced cross-flow split-serpentine flow field

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Electrochemical characterization of the cell: (a) voltage versus current density and (b) power density versus current density at different electrolyte flow rates listed in ml min−1

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Electrochemical characterization of the cell during charge–discharge cycling: (a) Coulombic, voltage, and overall energy efficiency and (b) charge–discharge capacity versus cycle number. The electrolyte circulation rate was maintained at 58 ml min−1 during the first 50 cycles, at 88 ml min−1 over the next 50 cycles, and at 114 ml min−1 over the last 51 cycles.



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