A continuous multiphase model for liquid metal batteries

A continuous multiphase model for liquid metal batteries

Godinez-Brizuela, O. E.; Duczek, C.; Weber, N.; Nash, W.; Sarma, M.; Einarsrud, K. E.

Liquid metal batteries (LMBs) are a promising candidate for large-scale stationary storage of renewably generated energy. Their Earth-abundant electrode materials and highly conductive molten salt electrolytes confer the low costs and high power densities required for grid-scale storage. LMB operation involves a complex interplay between mass transport mechanisms, and as a result their performance potential and operational limits are not fully understood. In this study, a multiphase numerical model is presented that simulates the charge and discharge processes of an LMB based on the Na-Zn couple. The model computes the changes in electrode and electrolyte volume, and resolves the spatial variations in the chemistry of the electrolyte that accompany the interfacial reactions. Volume change and species redistribution were found to be important in predicting the maximum theoretical capacity of the cell when neglecting other transport mechanisms.

Keywords: liquid metal battery; energy storage; multiphase flow; Na-Zn

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