Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of the Resistivity and Power Density in Reverse Electrodialysis: A Parametric Study

Membranes (Basel). 2020 Aug 29;10(9):209. doi: 10.3390/membranes10090209.


Electrodialysis (ED) and reverse electrodialysis (RED) are enabling technologies which can facilitate renewable energy generation, dynamic energy storage, and hydrogen production from low-grade waste heat. This paper presents a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study for maximizing the net produced power density of RED by coupling the Navier-Stokes and Nernst-Planck equations, using the OpenFOAM software. The relative influences of several parameters, such as flow velocities, membrane topology (i.e., flat or spacer-filled channels with different surface corrugation geometries), and temperature, on the resistivity, electrical potential, and power density are addressed by applying a factorial design and a parametric study. The results demonstrate that temperature is the most influential parameter on the net produced power density, resulting in a 43% increase in the net peak power density compared to the base case, for cylindrical corrugated channels.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; factorial design; power density; reverse electrodialysis.