Hello! + introducing open-source battery project, Flow Battery Research Collective (FBRC)

Hi all,

Long-time lurker, first-time poster here on the GOSH forums. I’d like to introduce myself and a project I’m working on alongside others: the Flow Battery Research Collective

I’m Kirk, currently a postdoc engineer with experience in flow batteries and CO2 electrolysis, quickly nearing the end of my contract and fed up with the conventional academic approach to scaling hardware/technologies. With Daniel Fernandez Pinto, a chemist, we have been building flow battery prototypes in our respective apartments using consumer-grade chemicals and equipment, with the motivation of democratizing access to a useful energy storage technology. (note: this project has nothing to do with my current postdoc/employer, and has been performed outside of a academic laboratory setting!)

We quickly teamed up with Prof Sanli Faez / Josh Hauser and their FAIR Battery project, and with their support ran a trial workshop where we got a lot of useful feedback and confirmed interest in our approach. Shortly after this we heard back that we received a grant from NLnet, which will allow me to work on this project full-time for a few months, starting towards the end of this year.

I’m hoping we can meet some like-minded folks here on the GOSH forums. Right now we are working towards the first release of our benchtop development kit aimed at R&D and educational use - when that happens I will definitely post again here, since we really want to have interested folks worldwide try to repeat our results and contribute back to the project!

Looking forward to getting to know people here, and happy to answer any questions you might have about the project - thanks!

Kirk Smith

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My understanding is that the Open Science Shop is interested in collaborating with developers to support bringing open science hardware designs to market. Maybe your kits would be a fit for this collaboration, and potentially help you to self-fund in the future.

Scroll down to the last section in this post for more information.

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Hi Kirk,

Great to hear you got an NLNet grant! They have been really great for open hardware in recent years.

Really exited to see you are using GitBuilding for documentation :heart:. Let me know if you have any issues with it, or suggestions for new features.

Out of interest where are you post docing?

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I’ve subscribed to the updates on this project and have been reading the reports! Unfortunately haven’t had time to join a meeting yet but will do once things clear up on my end. We’re definitely interested in trying to self-fund future work through selling kits.

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Thanks! We’re really happy to have NLnet’s support. Ideally once we get to a useful-sized battery, we could use it in a demonstration to facilitate backup/off-grid power to a server running some of their (much more numerous) software projects.

GitBuilding has been great to work with so far! I haven’t yet finished my first round of documentation but it seems to be exactly the tool for the job. Once I get the first release out I will be in a better position to say where some improvements or new features might be had.

And I’m at the CEA/Université Paris-Saclay in France! I’m an engineer-in-residence of sorts within a molecular catalysis group.

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Please do report back here since I (and others) will watch this post. I might be interested in a benchtop development kit depending on the cost and whether I have time to work with it when it’s available.

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Awesome. Well currently a few of us (Me, @eric, @jmwright @drayde) have another NLNet project where we are improving GitBuilding and CadQuery, to allow an customisable nimble mesh network nodes to be documented on the fly from the hardware available. Would be super cool to have one with an open hardware battery!

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This is great to hear, will do. In the meantime all minor updates can be followed via RSS for the benchtop kit repo: https://codeberg.org/FBRC/RFB-dev-kit/ (codeberg currently down/in maintenance as I’m posting this)

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Wow, that is cool. I have been superficially aware of mesh network things and think they’re rad but hadn’t heard of nimble before. Glad that GitBuilding and CadQuery are getting some funding support!

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