Reducing capacity fade in vanadium redox flow batteries by altering charging and discharging currents

Ertan Agar, A. Benjamin, C. R. Dennison, D. Chen, M. A. Hickner, E. C. Kumbur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, the operation of a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) under asymmetric current conditions (i.e., different current densities during charge and discharge) was investigated as a technique to reduce its capacity loss. Two different membrane types (a convection-dominated membrane and a diffusion-dominated membrane) were analyzed. In these analyses, the charging current density was varied while the discharging current was held constant. For both membranes, it was found that increasing the charging current decreases the net convective crossover of vanadium ions, which reduces the capacity loss of the battery. When the tested membranes were compared, the improvement in capacity retention was found to be larger for the diffusion-dominated membrane (12.4%) as compared to the convection-dominated membrane (7.1%). The higher capacity retention in the diffusion-dominated membrane was attributed to the reduction in the cycling time (and hence, suppressed contribution of diffusion) due to the increased charging current. While asymmetric current operation helps reduce capacity loss, it comes at the expense of a reduction in the voltage efficiencies. Increasing the charging current was found to increase the ohmic losses, which lead to a decrease of 6% and 4.3% in the voltage efficiencies of the convection-dominated and diffusion-dominated membranes, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-774
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume246
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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