Flow Batteries for Grid-Scale Energy Storage
The primary objective of this research project is to understand the coupled transport of ions, electrons, and mass species and the electrochemical reactions in the flow battery electrodes. Increased understanding of the transport behavior will not only enable new creative approaches to optimizing the state-of-the-art electrode design, but will also lead to new classes of electrodes with a controlled structure that would drastically boost the cell performance.
We believe that revolutionary improvements in the flow battery performance can be facilitated by advancing understanding of the coupling of charge and mass transport through the electrodes and the resulting design of both materials and porous structures. Advances in this exciting energy storage technology will benefit the whole world, including Hong Kong.
The most striking feature of flow batteries is that for a given power pack with a rated power, the energy capacity can be increased by increasing the volume of the energy-storage tanks to meet the requirements of particular applications without a change in the cell.
This system scalability, along with other unique characteristics, makes flow batteries a promising solution to the energy storage challenge of many types of renewable energy systems with intermittent sources, such as wind and solar power.
Tianshou Zhao, Chair Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering