A generalized reduced fluid dynamic model for flow fields and electrodes in redox flow batteries

Schematic (a) half-cell domain including membrane, electrode and flow field channels. Planar computational domain (b) reduced from (c) via depth averaging.

Scientific Achievement

Depth-averaged fluid dynamics dramatically reduce the computation time involved in screening flow fields and porous electrodes (3D à 2D), while retaining accuracy through a correction to the governing equations.

Significance and Impact

The ability to quickly and efficiently perform simulations in diverse computational domains enables the prediction of electrode and flow fields fluid dynamic behavior within redox flow batteries (RFBs). This, in turn, informs subsequent optimization of geometric structures and operating conditions.

Research Details

  • Discrepancies between 2D and 3D simulations of fluid dynamics in a RFB half-cell are effectively captured through a correction factor.
  • Optimization is performed across different flow field and electrode formats, and an empirical relationship between the electrode thickness and the rib width is identified.
  • A generic equivalent channel width quantity for ill-defined geometries is proposed, which yields good agreement with computationally-intensive 3D simulations.

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