Redox flow battery with fast charging capacity as the main source of energy in electric vehicles


1 NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR R&D IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING ICPE-CA ICPE-CA Based on its experience, ICPE-CA is one of the best R&D organizations able to design and implement a marketing strategy for the NRDI system.
2 THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR LASER, PLASMA & RADIATION PHYSICS INFLPR PPMS Group has extensive experience in the synthesis of carbon nanostructures, type nanowalls carbon (carbon-CNWs nanowalls) based on multilayer graphene. These materials have been obtained on different substrates, a set of radio frequency plasma, generated with a mixture of argon/hydrogen and acetylene.
UNIVERSITY POLITEHNICA OF BUCHAREST UPB It is obvious that such an organization, with a strong tradition and many achievements in fundamental and applied research, is able to answer the questions raised by this project proposal.
BEIA CONSULT INTERNATIONAL S.R.L. BEIA Involved in the project as a designer and supplier of a DC / DC battery management system, dynamic motoring, and battery performance communication.
EUROSERVICE NET PMA SRL P4 It is a small company operating on the market of services for vehicles. Performing service for all types of repairs on trucks, cars, and vans.


Abstract of project proposal

The project assesses the redox flow batteries potential as a power source for hybrid electric vehicles. 6kWh-EV-BAT product purposed by the present project is a NEW and performant product for the Romanian and European market, which will be produced in Romania for the first time. The EV-BAT system is designed as a hybrid concept between Vanadium Redox Flow Battery and Hydrogen Fuel Cell, for energy management in an electric vehicle, with zero emission. The kkWh-EV-BAT system will be installed on a light minibus and monitored in exploitation for 6 months, offering continuous functional data for further product development and certification, in order to be implemented on the Romanian and international market as a battery with fast charging capacity as the main source of energy in a light electric minibus.

The project is totally innovative and is built on few original approaches which are novel at both national and international level. The novelty and originality of the project are related to:

  • Electrode concept and improved electrode design of the RFC, compared with VRB system (fuel cell-derived electrodes, highly conductive, very thin and high surface area) (NEW approach at international level).
  • Activated electrodes with oxygen functional groups (e.g. C-O; C=O and C-O-H) in order to enhance the electrochemical performance of RFCs, by increasing the catalytic activity of the electrode toward vanadium oxidation/reduction. Materials used and the method for activation are NEW approach at international level.
  • Active EV-BAT unit with charge/discharge efficiency greater than 85%, improved physical characteristics (eg. size, weight) and reliable in exploitation, thereby providing a commercially viable electric power system for electric vehicles (NEW approaches at international level).

Technical and scientific barriers that will be lifted by carrying out the project

  • Lifting technical limitations of classical storage systems based on lead-acid battery.

The primary advantage of the lead-acid batteries is their low capital cost and easy availability. The battery demonstrated the value of stored energy in the grid, but its limited cycling capability, along with high maintenance, made its life-cycle cost unacceptable.

The present project offers an international competitive EV-BAT product for energy storage, reliable and no limitation in exploitation comparing with classical battery systems. The main characteristics of the EV-BAT system, as opposed to other electrochemical storage batteries are: (1) simplicity of the electrode reactions, (2) no cycle life limitations, (3) electrochemically reversible reactions, (4) high overall energy efficiency (>85%), (5) no problems in deep discharge of the system and (6) no inversion of polarity if one cell of the system fails.

  • Lifting technical limitations in batteries performances for electric vehicles. One of the main demands of electric vehicles is to meet the proper battery which allows fast charging (less than 5 minutes) and a high number of charge/discharge cycles. Li-ion may support up to 1000 charge/discharge cycles, while the time of charging last up to 8-12 hours. The project offers a solution which allows dual charging, by replacing the electrolyte (3-5 minute) or by grid connection (8-12 hours). Supplementary, the EV-BAT model has not limitation in charge/discharge number of cycles, supporting up to 15000 – 20000 cycles, The battery is environmentally friendly, 98% recyclable.

EV-BAT project Phases and Activities

Phase I (Started December 2014)

  • Activity I.1. Designing the experimental redox battery model with vanadium electrolyte
  • Activity I.2. Research on the development of new nanocarbon materials based on graphene to improve the electrochemical performance of electrodes

Phase II (Started December 2015)

  • Activity II.1.  The realization of the experimental model 100Wh redox flow (RF) battery
  • Activity II.2. Experimentation of the prototype RF battery model of 100 Wh
  • Activity II.3. Achieving an experimental model of electrodes with improved electrochemical performance based on carbon nanostructures with a specific surface area up to 1000 m2/g
  • Activity II.4. Developing an experimental electrolyte to provide a power density in the RF battery more than 25Wh / L
  • Activity II.5. Development of new nano-carbon materials based on graphene to improve the electrochemical performance of electrodes
  • Activity II.6. Designing a DC-DC bidirectional power management system between the battery and the extra power system (bank supercapacitors)
  • Activity II.7. Designing the dynamic monitoring system and real-time communication of the technical parameters of the vehicle to be equipped with the 6kWh RF battery.

 Phase III (Started June 2016)

  • Activity III.1. Designing the 6 kWh RF functional model
  • Activity III.2. Achieving an experimental RF battery model using functionalized electrodes
  • Activity III.3. Researching (Experimenting) the prototype RF battery model with functionalized electrodes
  • Activity III.4 Development of an experimental model of functionalization by plasma treatment of nanocarbon materials based on graphene structures
  • Activity III.5. Modeling the energy transfer in the RF battery
  • Activity III.6. Designing the structure of an easy electric vehicle to include an RF battery with auxiliary components as the main energy source
  • Activity III.7 Achieving the DC-DC bidirectional power management system between the battery and the extra power system (bank supercapacitors) – Experimental model