Flow batteries

A flowing-electrolyte battery, or flow battery is a cross between a conventional battery and a fuel cell. It has electrodes like a conventional battery where the electrochemical reaction responsible for electricity generation or storage takes place and an electrolyte. However the chemical reactants responsible for the electrochemical reaction and the product of that reaction

Electrolyte tank

Electrolyte

Electrode

Ion-selective membrane o

Pump

Regenerative fuel cell

Power source/load

Electrolyte tank

Electrolyte

Pump

Figure 10.3 Diagram of a typical flow battery are stored in tanks separate from the cell and pumped to and from the electrodes as required, much like a fuel cell.6

Two types of flow battery have been developed for utility applications, the polysulphide-bromide battery and the vanadium redox battery. Both designs have been developed to the demonstration stage. Capacities of up to 15 MW have been proposed. Response time from zero to full power is expected to be around 100 ms.

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