Zikanov, Oleg University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Energy storage is required to reconcile the Nation's demand for uninterrupted energy supply, when utilizing wind or solar energy that are supplied intermittently. A liquid metal battery is a device that can be a promising solution to this problem. The decisive factor, however, for transitioning this technology to the marketplace is the development of a flow instability that shorts the circuit in the battery. The objective of this proposal is to control this instability by advancing understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for it. The broader impact of this proposal, therefore, is quite important. The proposal also offers a strong education plan, including an international component. The proposed work will contribute to establishing a competitive research environment at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, an institution focused on serving the metropolitan Detroit community. A graduate and several undergraduate students will be involved in the research and results of the project will be incorporated in teaching.
This is a proposal with a very fundamental objective that can eventually have an impact in energy storage and in manufacturing. It is focused on hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic instabilities that develop in a liquid metal battery, and it proposes a theoretical and computational analysis leveraged with experiments that will be carried out with an international collaborator. The project advances understanding of complex instabilities in multi-layer fluid systems with electromagnetic effects. The instability mechanisms, some of which are poorly understood, will be analyzed as fully coupled phenomena in the framework of a realistic and practically important system. Advanced techniques of numerical stability analysis will be developed.