Component-cost and performance based comparison of flow and static batteries

TitleComponent-cost and performance based comparison of flow and static batteries
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHopkins, BJ, Smith, KC, Slocum, AH, Chiang, YM
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Pagination1032 - 1038
Date Published2015/10/20/

Flow batteries are a promising grid-storage technology that is scalable, inherently flexible in power/energy ratio, and potentially low cost in comparison to conventional or "static" battery architectures. Recent advances in flow chemistries are enabling significantly higher energy density flow electrodes. When the same battery chemistry can arguably be used in either a flow or static electrode design, the relative merits of either design choice become of interest. Here, we analyze the costs of the electro-chemically active stack for both architectures under the constraint of constant energy efficiency and charge and discharge rates, using as case studies the aqueous-vanadium-redox chemistry, widely used in conventional flow batteries, and aqueous lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP)/lithium-titanium-phosphate (LTP) suspensions, an example of a higher energy density suspension-based electrode. It is found that although flow batteries always have a cost advantage ($ kWh(-1)) at the stack level modeled, the advantage is a strong function of flow electrode energy density. For the LFP/LTP case, the cost advantages decreases from similar to 50% to similar to 10% over experimentally reasonable ranges of suspension loading. Such results are important input for design choices when both battery architectures are viable options. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.