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Prestudy: Efficient and Safe Battery Operation – Aspects of Pressure and Utilization

Efficient and safe operation of Li-ion batteries is a main consideration for their application in electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Recent observations of swelling of commercial cells during cycling pose a serious safety concern and motivate the study of pressure effects on cell performance and on local conditions and dynamics within cells. The introduction of mixed active material electrodes to commercial and near commercial Li-ion cells, some of which suffer from large volume expansion, further encourages this direction of research and also motivates investigation of material utilization. The mixing of different active materials is motivated by their complementary properties regarding for example capacity, power, safety, or stability. Their competing kinetics within one electrode can be expected to have effect on material utilization and local conditions within the cell during complex cycling, such as hybrid vehicle cycling. Using electrochemical models, the interior of batteries can be probed, with information of local conditions in relation to cell performance. The development of physics-based models in close communication with experimental observations serves to create diagnostic tools to increasing our understanding of Li-ion batteries and their continuous development for vehicle applications.

This project is a pre-study for a 5-month duration in 2016, January 1 – May 31, to specify experiments and tasks, and firmly establish industrial and academic collaborations and interactions for a following 1.6 year project with the working title “Safe and efficient battery operation – aspects of pressure and utilization”. The pre-study also includes setting up preliminary physics-based models for electrochemical investigation of material utilization and investigate feasibility of certain sets of data for further investigations. The project is lead from KTH Royal Institute of Technology who is the main applicant. The budget for the pre-study is SEK 400 000, and is part of SHC Energy storage.

The pre-study is finished, and has continued as the project ”Efficient and Safe Battery Operation – Aspects of Pressure and Utilization”.

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