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Software and design for building an open-hardware redox-flow battery from the Center for Unusual Collaborations [CUCo]


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The FAIR-Battery project

Hardware, design, and a learning community for building an open-hardware redox-flow battery FAIR-Battery logo

In the FAIR-Battery project, we aim to create an open-source electrochemical battery (FAIR = Findable + Accessible + Interoperable + Reproducible). We seek to present an open-hardware platform for a versatile battery technology and make the platform radically accessible: 1- by deliberately using low-cost and locally available materials suitable for local user groups, and 2- by setting up the education communities on top of the open-hardware design.

On this route, we strive to not only provide the necessary technical details for engineering and production but also incorporate the local constraints for actually adopting and using the technology. These constraints relate to language, availability of materials and expertise, maintenance capacity, or other locally varying conditions, which must be identified as part of the project. Our envisioned FAIR-Battery platform will track and seek to remove these constraints in each stage of the development by direct consultation with the user groups.

We are closely collaborating with the Flow Battery Research Collective established in 2023 by chemist Dr. Daniel Fernandez and engineer Dr. Kirk Smith.

News and Updates

  • April 9th 2024 We hosted a workshop at the Flow4TUbattery conference at TU/e. The first functioning FAIR Battery cell design was debuted during workshops at the Technical University of Eindhoven in Eindhoven, NL. Here is a blogpost about our experience

A fully assembled cell with charged electrolyte was demonstrated and workshop attendees were able to assemble cells themselves.

Project pillars

In our vision, to create a truly accessible FAIR-Battery, we need to form a community, at the same time that we collect and share the technical knowledge necessary for making and maintaining an operational device. Therefore, we are building our activities on three pillars

1- Learning together

In this interdisciplinary project, we identify the barriers to developing a truly FAIR-battery and envision the first steps to removing some of these barriers.

In particular, we look for the answers to these questions:

  • What range of energy storage capacities are required for the development of typical user groups and at what cost?
  • Which battery technologies can potentially address these demands?
  • Are the materials and technologies required for adopting the identified technologies available in the identified user groups? If not, which adjustments are needed?
  • What is the missing know-how and expertise for kick-starting the local development of pilot projects?
  • How to set up a distributed manufacturing and maintenance infrastructure for electricity storage?

2- Battery Hardware

As of April 2024, we have produced and tested an initial battery design with a geometric cell area of 1cm^2 with the possibility to scale up to 10 cm^2.

More detailed documentation and files can be found here

The current battery design has been tested using a MYSTAT, a small open-source potentiostat.

3- Coordination and Maintenance

A standard procedure for testing FAIR-Batteries is currently being developed. The main purpose of this standardization is to make results from different contributing groups easy to compare. In order to achieve this, both software and hardware has been developed to fit the testing needs of redox-flow batteries.


Project lead: Sanli Faez (Utrecht University)

Students and research assistants

  • The following students are currently contributing to the project:
    • Josh Hauser - Utrecht University
  • Past students
    • Catherine Doherty - University College Utrecht
    • Nicolas Barker - Delft University of Technology
    • Emre Burak Boz - Technical University of Eindhoven


Founding members

This project was initiated by the support from the Center for Unusual Collaborations. The initial team composed of:

Get involved

🚧 This repository is a work in progress aiming at collecting the minimal requirements for running the battery test with one of our kits 🚧

We are currently setting up the onboarding instructions for persistent contributors.

The GitHub issues and pull-request functions are currently not actively used for updates. These will be incorporated into the development procedures at a later stage

This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind are welcome!

Get in touch

If you wish to learn more about the project and/or join our learning community, drop an email to Sanli Faez


The FAIR-Battery original hardware and documentation is released under CERN-OHL-S-2.0. The project dependencies have separate licenses.

(How to cite:)


This project has recieved financial support from the Center for Unusual Collaborations and the nlnet Foundation.

This project is also supported by the Open Science Hacker program from the Lili's Proto Lab

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Software and design for building an open-hardware redox-flow battery from the Center for Unusual Collaborations [CUCo]







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