Flow batteries

Flow batteries

Flow batteries are a type of rechargeable battery where energy storage and power generation occur through the flow of electrolyte solutions across a membrane within the cell.

Unlike traditional batteries, where the energy is stored in solid electrodes, flow batteries store energy in liquid electrolytes contained in external tanks, allowing for scalable energy capacity and rapid response to varying power demands. This unique design makes them ideal for large-scale energy storage applications, such as stabilizing renewable energy sources and providing backup power for grid systems.

DTU Energy is at the forefront of developing advanced energy storage solutions to meet the growing demands of renewable energy integration and grid stabilization. Our dedicated team of researchers focuses on innovating and optimizing flow battery systems, which are pivotal for enhancing the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of energy storage.

What Are Flow Batteries?
Flow batteries are a type of rechargeable battery where energy is stored in liquid electrolyte solutions. These batteries are distinguished by their separation of energy storage and power generation functions, allowing for independent scaling of energy capacity and power output.
This unique feature makes FBs highly adaptable to a wide range of energy storage applications, from small-scale renewable integration to large-scale grid support.

Our Research Focus
Our technology track emphasizes the following key areas:

  • Electrolyte Innovation: Developing novel electrolyte chemistries that offer higher energy densities, wider temperature operation ranges, and improved stability.
  • Membrane Development: Engineering selective and durable membrane materials that reduce cross-over, enhance ionic conductivity, and prolong system life.
  • System Design and Optimization: Crafting advanced battery designs that maximize efficiency, minimize costs, and ensure scalability and ease of maintenance.
  • Sustainability and Lifecycle Analysis: Assessing the environmental impact of FB materials and processes to ensure that our solutions are sustainable and eco-friendly.

Our Dual Approach

  • Experimental Studies: At the core of our experimental research are the development and optimization of novel electrolyte formulations, electrode materials, and membrane technologies. Through rigorous testing and characterization, we aim to enhance the efficiency, durability, and scalability of flow battery systems. Our state-of-the-art laboratories are equipped to explore various chemistries, with an emphasis on emerging organic-based electrolytes, pushing the boundaries of energy density and cycle life.
  • Computational Modeling: Complementing our experimental endeavors, we harness the power of computational modeling to gain insights into the atomistic mechanisms governing flow battery performance. By leveraging first-principles calculations, molecular dynamics simulations, and machine learning techniques, we are able to predict the electrochemical behavior of new materials, optimize battery design, and identify novel strategies for mitigating degradation mechanisms.
    This computational prowess not only accelerates the pace of material discovery but also deeply informs our experimental practices, ensuring a synergistic progression from theoretical models to practical applications.

Why Flow Batteries?
Flow batteries offer several advantages over traditional solid-state battery technologies, including:

  • Scalability and Flexibility: The decoupled design allows for easy scaling of energy capacity and power output to meet specific application needs.
  • Long Lifespan: FBs can undergo thousands of charge-discharge cycles with minimal degradation, making them ideal for long-term energy storage.
  • Safety: The aqueous nature of many FB electrolytes reduces the risk of fire and chemical hazards associated with some battery technologies.

Looking Forward
As part of our commitment to advancing energy storage technologies, the Flow Battery Technology Track aims to address the challenges of cost, performance, and lifetime, bringing FBs closer to widespread commercial adoption. Through collaboration with industry partners and continuous innovation, we are dedicated to unlocking the full potential of flow batteries for a sustainable energy future.


Piotr de Silva

Piotr de Silva Professor Department of Energy Conversion and Storage Mobile: +45 93510819