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Technical Paper

Li-Ion Battery Pack Characterization and Equivalent Electrical Circuit Model Development

This paper outlines the characterization of a Li-Ion Iron Phosphate battery pack with nominal voltage of 700V as well as the modeling of this pack as an equivalent electrical circuit (EEC) for the purpose of vehicle simulations. For a higher level of fidelity and accuracy, the equivalent circuit is initially modeled as an R-2RC circuit which consists of a voltage source with one resistor (R) and two resistor-capacitor (RC) branches. In this modeling effort, first, several open circuit voltage (OCV) determination methods in the literature are benchmarked and state-of-charge (SOC) dependent OCV curve which is used in the voltage source of the EEC model is derived. Then, two methods of parameter estimation of the EEC are developed for both step current and dynamic current profiles. The first estimation method is applicable to discharge or charge step currents and relies mostly on the relaxation portion of the battery response and involves some manual calibration.
Technical Paper

Reducing Temperature Gradients in High-Power, Large-Capacity Lithium-Ion Cells through Ultra-High Thermal Conductivity Heat Spreaders Embedded in Cooling Plates for Battery Systems with Indirect Liquid Cooling

For lithium-ion battery systems assembled with high-capacity, high-power pouch cells, the cells are commonly cooled with thin aluminum cooling plates in contact with the cells. The cooling plates extract the cell heat and dissipate it to a cooling medium (air or liquid). During the pack utilizations with high-pulse currents, large temperature gradients along the cell surfaces can be encountered as a result of non-uniform distributions of the ohmic heat generated in the cells. The non-uniform cell temperature distributions can be significant for large-size cells. Maximum cell temperatures typically occur near the cell terminal tabs as a result of the ohmic heat of the terminal tabs and connecting busbars and the high local current densities. In this study, a new cooling plate is proposed for improving the uniformity in temperature distributions for the cells with large capacities.
Technical Paper

Characterizing Thermal Behavior of an Air-Cooled Lithium-Ion Battery System for Hybrid Electrical Vehicle Applications Using Finite Element Analysis Approach

Thermal behavior of a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery module under a user-defined cycle corresponding to hybrid electrical vehicle (HEV) applications is analyzed. The module is stacked with 12 high-power 8Ah pouch Li-ion battery cells connected in series electrically. The cells are cooled indirectly with air through aluminum cooling plate sandwiched between each pair of cells. The cooling plate has extended cooling surfaces exposed in the cooling air flow channel. Thermal behavior of the battery system under a user specified electrical-load cycle for the target hybrid vehicle is characterized with the equivalent continuous load profile using a 3D finite element analysis (FEA) model for battery cooling. Analysis results are compared with measurements. Good agreement is observed between the simulated and measured cell temperatures. Improvement of the cooling system design is also studied with assistance of the battery cooling analyses.
Journal Article

Characterizing Thermal Runaway of Lithium-ion Cells in a Battery System Using Finite Element Analysis Approach

In this study, thermal runaway of a 3-cell Li-ion battery module is analyzed using a 3D finite-element-analysis (FEA) method. The module is stacked with three 70Ah lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) pouch cells and indirectly cooled with a liquid-cooled cold plate. Thermal runaway of the module is assumed to be triggered by the instantaneous increase of the middle cell temperature due to an abusive condition. The self-heating rate for the runaway cell is modeled on the basis of Accelerating Rate Calorimetry (ARC) test data. Thermal runaway of the battery module is simulated with and without cooling from the cold plate; with the latter representing a failed cooling system. Simulation results reveal that a minimum of 165°C for the middle cell is needed to trigger thermal runaway of the 3-cell module for cases with and without cold plate cooling.
Journal Article

Maneuver-Based Battery-in-the-Loop Testing - Bringing Reality to Lab

The increasing numbers of hybrid electric and full electric vehicle models currently in the market or in the pipeline of automotive OEMs require creative testing mechanisms to drive down development costs and optimize the efficiency of these vehicles. In this paper, such a testing mechanism that has been successfully implemented at the US Environmental Protection Agency National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (EPA NVFEL) is described. In this testing scheme, the units-under-test consist of a battery pack and its associated battery management system (BMS). The remaining subsystems, components, and environment of the vehicle are virtual and modeled in high fidelity.
Journal Article

Thermal Analysis of a High-Power Lithium-Ion Battery System with Indirect Air Cooling

Thermal behavior of a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery module for hybrid electrical vehicle (HEV) applications is analyzed in this study. The module is stacked with 12 high-power pouch Li-ion battery cells. The cells are cooled indirectly with air through aluminum fins sandwiched between each two cells in the module, and each of the cooling fins has an extended cooling surface exposed in the cooling air flow channel. The cell temperatures are analyzed using a quasi-dimensional model under both the transient module load in a user-defined cycle for the battery system utilizations and an equivalent continuous load in the cycle. The cell thermal behavior is evaluated with the volume averaged cell temperature and the cell heat transfer is characterized with resistances for all thermal links in the heat transfer path from the cell to the cooling air. Simulations results are compared with measurements. Good agreement is observed between the simulated and measured cell temperatures.
Journal Article

Thermal Characterization of a Li-ion Battery Module Cooled through Aluminum Heat-Sink Plates

The temperature distribution is studied theoretically in a battery module stacked with 12 high-power Li-ion pouch cells. The module is cooled indirectly with ambient air through aluminum heat-sink plates or cooling plates sandwiched between each pair of cells in the module. Each of the cooling plates has an extended cooling fin exposed in the cooling air channel. The cell temperatures can be controlled by changing the air temperature and/or the heat transfer coefficient on the cooling fin surfaces by regulating the air flow rate. It is found that due to the high thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of the cooling plates, heat transfer of the cooling plate governs the cell temperature distribution by spreading the cell heat over the entire cell surface. Influence of thermal from the cooling fins is also simulated.
Journal Article

An Analysis of a Lithium-ion Battery System with Indirect Air Cooling and Warm-Up

Ideal operation temperatures for Li-ion batteries fall in a narrow range from 20°C to 40°C. If the cell operation temperatures are too high, active materials in the cells may become thermally unstable. If the temperatures are too low, the resistance to lithium-ion transport in the cells may become very high, limiting the electrochemical reactions. Good battery thermal management is crucial to both the battery performance and life. Characteristics of various battery thermal management systems are reviewed. Analyses show that the advantages of direct and indirect air cooling systems are their simplicity and capability of cooling the cells in a battery pack at ambient temperatures up to 40°C. However, the disadvantages are their poor control of the cell-to-cell differential temperatures in the pack and their capability to dissipate high cell generations.
Technical Paper

Comparative Study of Thermal Characteristics of Lithium-ion Batteries for Vehicle Applications

Lithium ion batteries can be developed for vehicle applications from high power specification to high energy specification. Thermal response of a battery cell is the main factor to be considered for battery selection in the design of an electrified vehicle because some materials in the cells have low thermal stability and they may become thermally unstable when their working temperature becomes higher than the upper limit of allowed operating range. In this paper the thermal characteristics of different sizes and forms of commercially available batteries is investigated through electro-thermal analysis. The relation between cell capacity and cell internal resistance is also studied. The authors find that certain criteria can be defined for battery selection for electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. These criteria can be served as design guidelines for battery development for vehicle applications.
Journal Article

Electro-Thermal Modeling of a Lithium-ion Battery System

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are becoming widely used high-energy sources and a replacement of the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries in electric vehicles (EV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Because of their light weight and high energy density, Li-ion cells can significantly reduce the weight and volume of the battery packs for EVs, HEVs and PHEVs. Some materials in the Li-ion cells have low thermal stabilities and they may become thermally unstable when their working temperature becomes higher than the upper limit of allowed operating temperature range. Thus, the cell working temperature has a significant impact on the life of Li-ion batteries. A proper control of the cell working temperature is crucial to the safety of the battery system and improving the battery life. This paper outlines an approach for the thermal analysis of Li-ion battery cells and modules.