A study has been conducted to develop advanced vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) for renewable energy storage applications using integrated computational and experimental framework. Analytical modeling has been performed to predict electrical outputs based on combined approach including fluid mechanics, electrochemistry, and electric circuit. A lab-scale experimental setup has been designed and built to validate the modeling results.
The VRFB project has been collaborated between Arkansas State University Jonesboro and University of Arkansas Fayetteville to focus on pin pointing the transient characteristics of the vanadium redox flow battery in terms of chemical reaction, fluid flow, and electric circuit by obtaining exact solutions from the associated governing differential equations using a numerical approach. To obtain comparable experimental data, a test bed made of two half cells is constructed and joined together by a permeable membrane designed to facilitate ion transfer between two separate vanadium electrolytes, and then the system will be scaled up to multiple cell stacks.
This research aims to better understand the transient characteristics of the VRFB in order to refine the system in hopes of improving efficiency. In turn alternative energy such as multi megawatt wind and solar farms should gain more support as the ability to store energy becomes more reliable and economically feasible. This paper will focus on the steps taken to validate the supporting mathematical models, and the preliminary results of the tests conducted using the VRFB test bed. Future work will be addressed to develop a pilot-scale VRFB with enhanced efficiency and temperature limits.