CFD & AMP Center
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
West Virginia University

Continuum Modeling of Sodium Sulfur Cells

Continuum Modeling of Sodium Sulfur Cells
CFD & AMP - Ismail Celik, Fan Wu, Engin Baran; CEES - Greg Collins, James Lewis, Xingbo Liu, Xueyan Song, et. el.

Executive Summary

This purpose of this research area is to develop a computer model which simulates transport phenomena of mass, heat and current within sodium-sulfur batteries. A continuum approach is applied to discretize the appropriate transport equations, which are solved over the domain of a three-dimensional grid. The objective of this model is to uncover details of the relationships between the various transport processes, which occur during the cycling of a battery. This model can then be used in the design process by aiding in the identification of failure causes in addition to issues that may arise when scaling batteries to functional sizes. A furl cell model, previously developed at the CFD & AMP center, was used as a starting point as the general charge and mass transport models are considered appropriate for a general electrochemical cell. Thus far, the model has been generalized in terms of mesh generation and volume fractions along with Cell IDs have been applied for the purpose of multi-specie property calculations. The mass transport model has also been updated to accomodate electrode liquids with free surfaces with gaseous phases above this surface. Currently work is being done to verify and calibrate the model with past numerical and experimental results from the literature.