Thesis – Cost analyses and experimental validations of organic redox flow batteries

Due to the progressive development of renewable energy, the need for energy storage to avoid supply shortages is increasing. One promising technology is redox flow batteries (RFB), in which the energy is stored in flowable media. At present, there is an almost unmanageable number of inorganic and organic active materials for RFBs. Especially organic active materials have the potential to be used for new, safe and inexpensive RFBs due to their variety and their manifold properties. The physical and chemical battery properties have a complex interaction with the properties and costs of the components. Due to the large possible variety it is therefore useful to perform modelling and simulation to find new organic active materials.
Within the EU project SONAR, models of RFBs in different size scales are developed in cooperation with different European institutions and the Australian UNSW. The aim is to optimise, verify and finally couple the individual scale models for a high throughput screening process to find new organic active materials for RFBs with high speed and suitable criteria. The Fraunhofer ICT is engaged in cost analysis and experimental validation of cell simulations.

Task definition
The focus of the work is on the investigation of the techno-economic properties of novel organic RFBs, the performance of cost analyses and the performance of experiments with cell assemblies of RFBs:

  • Optimisation of an existing techno-economic model by integrating further variables and properties
  • Determination of physical, chemical and electrochemical properties of organic RFB cells for validation of cell models and optimisation of techno-economic models
  • Integration of an optimised battery system model
  • Integration of cost functions for the production of organic active materials
  • Implementation of techno-economic sensitivity analyses with organic active materials
  • Investigation of the techno-economic properties and relationships of organic RFBs
  • Integration of the techno-economic model into a microgrid model
  • Implementation and optimisation of cost analyses on the basis of energy storage costs
  • Investigation of the properties of RFB systems on a network basis
  • Optimisation of cost analysis for high-throughput screening

Requirements and general conditions
Degree program chemistry, physics, chemical or physical engineering or comparable. Programming skills (Python, Matlab or other)


Fraunhofer ICT – Pfinztal/Germany

For further information please contact Adj. Assoc. Prof. (UNSW) Jens Noack (Tel.: +49 (721) 4640870. E-mail: or Prof. Dr. Karsten Pinkwart (Tel.: +49 (721) 4640322. E-mail: