Computational design of flow fields for vanadium redox flow batteries via topology optimization

Chih Hsiang Chen, Kentaro Yaji*, Shintaro Yamasaki, Shohji Tsushima, Kikuo Fujita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) is a rechargeable battery, which has attracted attention as a next-generation electrochemical energy storage system. It is widely known that achieving high performance in terms of power density is critical for the commercialization of VRFBs. The aim of this paper is to propose a computational design approach for automatically generating an optimized flow field design of a VRFB to achieve high performance without relying on the designer's intuition. To realize this, we focus on generating a freeform configuration of the flow field in a VRFB via topology optimization, which is known as a powerful design tool that is based on numerical optimization. In this study, to improve the mass transfer effect in a VRFB, we formulate the topology optimization problem as a maximization problem of the electrode surface concentration in the negative electrode during the charging process. We demonstrate through numerical investigation that a topology-optimized flow field can be obtained. As a result, it is revealed that the interdigitated flow field is an optimal flow field of the VRFB under the investigated operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100990
JournalJournal of Energy Storage
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow field design
  • Mass transfer effect
  • Redox flow battery
  • Topology optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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