A comparative study of all-vanadium and iron-chromium redox flow batteries for large-scale energy storage

Y. K. Zeng, T. S. Zhao, Liang An, X. L. Zhou, L. Wei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)


The promise of redox flow batteries (RFBs) utilizing soluble redox couples, such as all vanadium ions as well as iron and chromium ions, is becoming increasingly recognized for large-scale energy storage of renewables such as wind and solar, owing to their unique advantages including scalability, intrinsic safety, and long cycle life. An ongoing question associated with these two RFBs is determining whether the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) or iron-chromium redox flow battery (ICRFB) is more suitable and competitive for large-scale energy storage. To address this concern, a comparative study has been conducted for the two types of battery based on their charge-discharge performance, cycle performance, and capital cost. It is found that: i) the two batteries have similar energy efficiencies at high current densities; ii) the ICRFB exhibits a higher capacity decay rate than does the VRFB; and iii) the ICRFB is much less expensive in capital costs when operated at high power densities or at large capacities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Capital cost
  • Comparative study
  • Iron-chromium redox flow battery
  • Large-scale energy storage
  • Vanadium redox flow battery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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