Simulating Performance and Species Crossover in a Vanadium Redox Flow Battery using COMSOL Multiphysics

E. Agar, K. Knehr, C. Dennison, and E. Kumbur
Electrochemical Energy Systems Lab.
Dept. of Mechanical Eng. and Mechanics
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA
Published in 2011

Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) are a promising new energy storage technology designed for use in long term applications such as uninterruptible power supply and coupling with renewable energy sources (i.e. wind and solar). Crossover is the undesired transport of vanadium ions through the ion exchange membrane during operation and is a major factor limiting the overall efficiency and charge/discharge cycle life of the system.

To better understand how crossover effects its performance, an electrochemical model has been developed to simulate the transient operation of a VRB in an isothermal condition.