Our People » Robert Lynch



Office: Room C0-064,
University of Limerick.

+ 353 61 234705

robert.lynch@ul.ie

Qualifications

Ph.D. in Electrochemistry,
BSc in Applied Physics,
Department of Physics,
(University of Limerick).

Research and Teaching Interests

Energy Storage and Grid Stabilisation
Optical Monitoring of Vanadium Flow Batteries (VFBs)
High Energy Density Electrolyte for VFBs
Specialist Reference Electrode for Hostile Environments
Anodisation of Semiconductors and Metals (e. Porous InP and TiO2nanotubes)
In-situ Stress Analysis during Metal Deposition

Robert Lynch

All-Vanadium Flow Battery (VFB) Research

Due to the intermittency of non-dispatchable power sources, such as solar and wind, their use is restricted to times of availability. Therefore, unless there is a means of storing the energy they produce in periods of high availability for utilisation in periods of limited availability these sources of energy can cause significant reliability issues resulting in the burning of fossil fuels so as to ensure stability of electrical grids.  Vanadium flow batteries (VFBs), also known as vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs or VRBs), are particularly attractive because, in addition to having long cycle life, they use the same chemicals in both halves of the battery (see Fig. 1). Therefore, they are essentially immune to cross-contamination problems due to mass transfer across the membrane that can limit the service life of the electrolyte in other systems.

We are currently performing research on several aspects of VFBs. This research includes research into increasing the energy density and power of VFBs, investigating the kinetics of reactions at carbon electrodes, investigation of production methods of electrolytes for VFBs, fundamental investigation of stability and equilibria of vanadium electrolytes, monitoring of the state of charge (SoC) and development of novel electrodes and designs for VFBs.

Currently, we have four PhD students working on this area of research. Three working on the kinetics of reactions at carbon electrodes and one working on the development of flow-past electrodes for VFBs. Furthermore, in collaboration with Prof. Noel Buckley, we have three post-doctoral researchers working on electrochemistry at carbon electrodes and state-of-charge monitoring of VFBs. The funding for these research projects comes from sponsored research funding from Renewable Energy Dynamics Technology Ltd. (RedT), PhD funding from the Irish Research Council.

Other Research:

We also have an interest in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and conducting in-situ electron, atomic-force and optical microscopy. Furthermore, we have significant research in the area of in-situ stress measurement during electrodeposition of metals used in the semiconductor industry.

Additional Links


Lynch, R; O’Dwyer, C; Clancy, I; Corcoran, D; Buckley, DN (2004) ‘Numerical Simulation of the Anodic Formation of Nanoporous InP‘. ECS TRANSACTIONS, 6
• View Journal Article


Buckley, DN; O’Dwyer, C; Lynch, R; Sutton, D; Newcomb, SB (2004) ‘Formation of Nanoporous InP by Electrochemical Anodization‘. ECS TRANSACTIONS, 6
• View Journal Article