Using a computer model that simulates battery design, the US Department of Energy has found a way to create energy storage devices in a cost-effective way. It identifies the most cost effective solution for a specific application to expand the use of redox flow batteries in large-scale renewable energy systems.
The tool allows determination of the most cost-effective chemistries and the optimum operating conditions for power or energy intensive applications, providing a strategy for a redox flow battery management system.
The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed the model for DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
“This model will enable researchers to determine how changes or improvements in the components will affect the overall cost of a flow battery,” said Imre Gyuk, Manager of the DOE’s Energy Storage Programme. “Developers will save time and money, while consumers will receive a lower-cost battery.”
The modeling software allows battery developers to enter their requirements such as the preferred energy storage capacity, electrolyte chemistry, depth of discharge and state of discharge. Using this information the model determines a battery’s efficiency, how much each kilowatt-hour of energy will cost to produce and more.
The model offers the first reliable way to estimate the capital cost of redox flow battery systems. It works across iron vanadium, all vanadium and lithium organic chemistries with plans to expand into more chemistries.
The tool became open source in October. Its source code can be downloaded at https://github.com/PNNL-OE-Redox-Flow-Battery-Cost-Tool/PNNL-OE-Redox-Flow-Battery-Cost-Tool.