A comparative study of the electrochemical energy conversion performance of a single-cell all-vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) fitted with three flow fields has been carried out experimentally. The charge-discharge, polarization curve, Coulombic, voltage and round-trip efficiencies of a 100 cm2 active area VRFB fitted with serpentine, interdigitated and conventional flow fields have been obtained under nearly identical experimental conditions. The effect of electrolyte circulation rate has also been investigated for each flow field. Stable performance has been obtained for each flow field for at least 40 charge/discharge cycles. Ex-situ measurements of pressure drop have been carried out using water over a range of Reynolds numbers. Together, the results show that the cell fitted with the serpentine flow field gives the highest energy efficiency, primarily due to high voltaic efficiency and also the lowest pressure drop. The electrolyte flow rate is seen to have considerable effect on the performance; a high round-trip energy efficiency of about 80% has been obtained at the highest flow rate with the serpentine flow field. The data offer interesting insights into the effect of electrolyte circulation on the performance of VRFB. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.