The University of New South Wales and Fraunhofer ICT started their work on stack and system modeling and cost analysis for organic flow batteries, with one new PhD student at each of the two institutions. The system modeling will be carried out using a multiphysics approach, where first the hydraulic, electrochemical and thermal properties of a single cell, then a stack and finally a whole flow battery system are modeled and simulated. The results will lead to a better understanding of systems and thus to cheaper and more reliable systems, and also form the basis for the cost analysis.
In the cost analysis of flow battery systems, Fraunhofer ICT is concerned with linking technical parameters with costs using mathematical functions. The objective is to map a cost structure for the investment costs of flow batteries in order to determine cost proportions and for sensitivity analyses. Based on the calculated costs, batteries can be compared on the basis of investment costs (CAPEX). A much more substantiated comparison is possible based on levelized cost of storage (LCOS), where lifetime costs are calculated in relation to energy throughput. In the future, it will be possible to calculate the LCOS of a large number of new organic flow battery chemistries automatically, in order to be able to develop low-cost candidates for new, safe and environmentally friendly organic flow batteries for the storage of renewable energy.