Dr. Tom Weier
Phone: +49 351 260 2226

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Mass transfer in liquid metal batteries

A perfect mass transfer is mandatory for an efficient operation of liquid metal batteries. Especially the positive electrode of the cell should always be well mixed. Mass transfer in liquid metal batteries determines

  • the cell voltage
  • possible discharge currents
  • the cell capacity

In order to achieve an optimal efficiency, the mass transfer in liquid metal batteries needs to be optimised. For this purpose a large number of flow phenomena may be used, as e.g.

These phenomena are studied at HZDR experimentally, but also numerically using the open source CFD software OpenFOAM.

Flow phenomena

Foto: Rayleigh-Benard convection LMB ©Copyright: Dr. Norbert Weber

Thermal Effects in Liquid Metal Batteries

Thermal convection appears in liquid metal batteries mainly in the anode, but also in the electrolyte of the cell.
Foto: EVF lateral wire ©Copyright: Dr. Tom Weier

Electro-Vortex Flow

Electro-vortex flow may appear when an electric current di­verges or con­verges inside a liquid conductor.
Foto: Sloshing intability ©Copyright: Dr. Norbert Weber

Interfacial instabilities

The metal pad roll instability limits the possible electrolyte layer thickness as well as the electric current for aluminium reduction cells as well as liquid metal batteries.
Foto: Tayler instability ©Copyright: Dr. Norbert Weber

The Tayler Instability

The Tayler instability limits the up-scalability of liquid metal batteries and plays a major role in astrophysics.
Foto: Solutal convection LiBi ©Copyright: Paolo Personnettaz

Solutal convection

Solutal convection appears when charging a liquid metal battery, and improves mass transfer substantially.



Dr. Tom Weier
Phone: +49 351 260 2226