Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

1 Publication

Liquid metal batteries: activities at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf

Weier, T.; Galindo, V.; Horstmann, G. M.; Landgraf, S.; Nimtz, M.; Salas, A.; Starace, M.; Stefani, F.; Weber, N.


The talk will provide an overview of the liquid metal battery (LMB) related activities at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf (HZDR) with a focus on magnetohydrodynamic aspects of future large scale LMBs. High current densities in the range of 4 up to 130 kA/m-2, as typical for LMBs, together with cells of large cross section will result in substantial currents accompanied by considerable magnetic fields. Thus electromagnetically driven flows and instabilities should be of concern for large enough installations, especially when the thin electrolyte layers necessitated by the limited open circuit voltages are taken into account. Beneficial effects of mild electromagnetically driven flows are to be expected for the cathodes were mixing should improve cell performance.

The Tayler instability (TI) can be understood as a generic case of a current driven instability under perfectly uniform current, i.e., ideal conditions. In this sense it constitutes sort of an upper bound for a current bearing fluid to remain at rest. Modifying the magnetic field distribution in the cell is an effective means to suppress the TI. Different field configurations to achieve TI suppression and their relative merits will be discussed and related to TI saturation mechanisms. Non-uniform current distributions are more typical for real settings. They give rise to rotational Lorentz force distributions and will thereby also generate electro-vortex flows (EVFs). In terms of LMBs the concrete shape of the current collectors plays a crucial role in whether EVFs exist and how they might interact with the TI. We will conclude with a discussion of electromagnetically exited interface instabilities quite similar to the sloshing modes known from aluminium reduction cells.

Keywords: liquid metal batteries; Tayler instability; electro-vortex flows; metal pad roll instability; sloshing

  • Lecture (Conference)
    International Workshop on Liquid Metal Battery Fluid Dynamics (LMBFD2017), 16.-17.05.2017, Dresden, Deutschland