The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority says its novel redox flow battery stack offers better electrolyte distribution, which could result in higher power densities and lower manufacturing costs.

The Research and Development Centre of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has filed a patent for a redox flow battery stack. The utility claims it will lead to higher power densities and lower production costs.

“The new patent solves a major challenge in flow batteries,” DEWA said in a statement. “Conventional redox flow battery stack has inactive sites at the edges of the cell which restrict mass transport of the reactants at the electrode/electrolyte surface, leading to pressure drops which affect the overall efficiency and performance of a flow battery system.”

The novel technology could remove this hurdle due to its improved electrolyte distribution. The stack is reportedly able to modify the size of the cell at the inlet and outlet sections.

“This ensures a reduced pressure drop, better performance and efficiency of the battery flow system,” the scientists explained, without providing additional technical details.

DEWA’s R&D center is located at the massive 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The facility, which spans 4,400 square meters, is the biggest solar testing and certification facility in the United Arab Emirates.

DEWA is currently testing a 1.2 MW network-attached storage (NAS) system supplied by Japan’s NGK Insulators at the first section of the Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum Solar Park – a 13 MW array built by US thin-film manufacturer First Solar in late 2013. It also plans to use output from the plant to provide energy for a newly tendered 250 MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power station at Hatta, an inland exclave of the emirate of Dubai. It has also built a solar-powered hydrogen electrolysis facility at the solar park.