Will Your Battery Survive a World With Fast Chargers? 2015-01-1196
Fast charging is attractive to battery electric vehicle (BEV) drivers for its ability to enable long-distance travel and to quickly recharge depleted batteries on short notice. However, such aggressive charging and the sustained vehicle operation that results could lead to excessive battery temperatures and degradation. Properly assessing the consequences of fast charging requires accounting for disparate cycling, heating, and aging of individual cells in large BEV packs when subjected to realistic travel patterns, usage of fast chargers, and climates over long durations (i.e., years). The U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office has supported the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's development of BLAST-V-the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool for Vehicles-to create a tool capable of accounting for all of these factors. We present on the findings of applying this tool to realistic fast charge scenarios. The effects of different travel patterns, climates, battery sizes, battery thermal management systems, and other factors on battery performance and degradation are presented. We find that the impact of realistic fast charging on battery degradation is minimal for most drivers, due to the low frequency of use. However, in the absence of active battery cooling systems, a driver's desired utilization of a BEV and fast charging infrastructure can result in unsafe peak battery temperatures. We find that active battery cooling systems can control peak battery temperatures to safe limits while allowing the desired use of the vehicle.