Microtech 2011

Numerical Simulation of Ion Transport in Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) Cell for Electrical Power Generation

Y. Yang, S. Kim, S.O. Lee, G.Y. Chung, W. Ryoo
Hongik University, KR

Keywords: salinity-gradient energy, reverse electrodialysis (RED), power generation, numerical simulaion, ion exchange membrane (IEM)


Reverse electrodialysis (RED) process may convert the free energy of mixing of sea water and fresh water directly into electricity, and it can be considered as a reverse operation of electrodialysis (ED) which increases the concentration difference between two electrolyte solutions by consuming electricity. In this research, we first prepared RED cells by using commercial CEM and AEM, then evaluated the power density under conditions that emulate mixing of seawater (35 g/L) and brackish water (0.5~3.0 g/L). The evaluation was based on current-voltage characteristics, and power outputs were measured as functions of flowrates, geometry of flow channels, and the number of stacks. Numerical simulations were conducted on the ion transport in various RED cells to develop a proper model describing RED cell behaviors. Power generation depending on flow conditions of sea and brackish water was analyzed from both experimental and numerical simulation results. The optimum design of RED cell was also proposed based on numerical simulations by quantitatively examining the performance of RED cells of various constructions.

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