Modelling the fluid mechanics in single-flow batteries with an adjacent channel for improved reactant transport

Sofia Kuperman, Rona Ronen, Yoav Matia, Anna Zigelman, Matthew E. Suss, Amir D. Gat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are an emerging electrochemical technology envisioned towards storage of renewable energy. A promising sub-class of RFBs utilizes single-flow membraneless architectures in an effort to minimize system cost and complexity. To support multiple functions, including reactant separation and fast reactant transport to electrode surfaces, electrolyte flow must be carefully designed and optimized. In this work, we propose adding a secondary channel adjacent to a permeable battery electrode, solving for the flow field and analysing the effects on the reactant concentration boundary layer at the electrode. We find that an adjacent channel with gradually changing thickness leads to a desired nearly uniform flow through the electrode to the adjacent channel. Consequently, the thickness of the concentration boundary layer is significantly reduced, increasing reactant transport to the electrode surface to 140% of the rate of a battery with a constant width adjacent channel, and 350% of the rate with no adjacent channel. Overall, this theory provides insight into the important role of flow physics for this promising sub-class of flow batteries, and can pave the way to improved energy efficiency of such flow batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE11
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 19 May 2022


  • Cell design
  • Flow batteries
  • Flow-field design
  • Single-phase RFB

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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