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Conference: Microfluidics Applied to Redox Flow Batteries

Speaker: Beatriz Oraa (Predoctoral Researcher of the Electrochemical Processes Unit)

Short Bio
Beatriz Oraá Poblete completed a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Castilla La Mancha, Ciudad Real, in 2014, whose Final Project was titled "Regeneration of treated wastewater by photo-electrocoagulation". During these studies, she spent a nine-month stay at the Università degli Studi di Genova, in Italy. Afterwards, she attended the Official Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Univerity of Castilla La Mancha, ending in 2015 with the Master's Thesis "Study of the influence of the plant balance on the behavior of an alkaline electrolyser", which she carried out at the National Center of the Hydrogen.

Professionally, she did an internship at the National Center of the Hydrogen and has worked at Energy Storage Solutions (Gransolar Group) since November 2015, firstly as a Project Engineer and subsequently as Head of Engineering. In April 2018, she joined the company Microelectrochemical Technologies S.L (B5Tec) and then started her PhD at the Electrochemical Process Unit of IMDEA Energy with an Industrial PhD fellowship from Comunidad de Madrid.

Flow batteries are considered an alternative to Lithium-­ion batteries for stationary applications due to their longer lifetime, better cycle life and larger potential of cost reduction. So far the trend in this type of batteries has been to scale them up to reach power and capacities adequate for providing services to renewable generation plants, i.e., in the range of MW and MWh. In this research work the main challenge is to move backwards by downscaling the technology so that to take advantage of the performance improvements expect from microfluidics and of the tremendous potential of industrial manufacturing of microelectronic devices.

This is an industrial research project aimed at obtaining a flow battery with power and capacity able to be coupled to photovoltaic panels through a micro inverter. The device is called micro battery not for the rated power or energy but for the technologies involved: micromechanics, microfluidics, microelectronics and micromachining.

The outcomes of this work are expected to have a big impact, not only because of the novelty of the technological proposal and the scientific alternatives to evaluated, but also because of it complete alignment with the core business activities of B5Tec. Additionally, there is a pull from a growing market demanding for such type of products for behind-­the-­meter applications associated to residential power generation systems combining photovoltaic panels and energy storage.

First steps of this research are presented in this seminar, such us chemical compatibility and manufacturing assessment of different components of the battery and the preliminary evaluation of micro hydraulic and electrochemical behavior.

Event Date: 
Friday, May 31, 2019



Beatriz Oraa

Event Location: 

Auditorium, IMDEA Energy Institute