Scope of Simulation in Battery Cell Design and Development

Green energy is around the corner now. In the past decade drastic climate changes have been seen everywhere around the world. Greenhouse gas emissions are the major cause of global warming and carbon di oxide emissions are responsible for 75% of all greenhouse gas emissions. With the unprecedented increase in gas prices due to geopolitical uncertainty, the fossil fuel is not only undesirable but getting unaffordable as well. As a consequence, the electric car segment is here for good and will likely continue on a growth track. Battery design is critical to the efficient functioning of electric engine. However, the battery development is a multi physical subject that involves integration of mechanical, chemical and electrical domains of engineering. Let’s look at what needs to be addressed during a battery design:

Strength, stiffness and durability: The structural aspects of battery include stiffness while maintaining weight and dimensions. The overall battery module includes a collection of cells connected in series and parallel. Each cell should be able to withstand standard three point bending, compression and impact load tests.

Heat Generation: There are two sources of heat in a working battery. One is the Joule heating due to flow of current in a resistance medium. The other is change in entropy of the system that occurs because of chemical reactions in the battery. An efficient simulation workflow would require simulation of chemical kinetics and its electrical and thermal response on the battery. Once the chemical and thermal phenomenon are captured, next steps are to optimize the various cooling methods of battery using computational fluid dynamics simulations.

Electrical safety: All our home wirings have a centralized fuse box. The objective of fuse is to cut the electric supply to a socket during a short circuit to prevent fire. The batteries have a circuit interrupted device that serve the same purpose. Their simulation requires a coupled electrical and structural workflow that can model both flow of current in the circuit and mechanical cut off process in response to the electric flow.

Swelling: The cyclic charge and discharge of battery causes undesirable plastic deformation in the battery that should be captured and minimized. This process is also Multiphysics in nature and require electrical, thermal and structural responses to be taken into account at the same time.

Fortunately, our well known Abaqus solver is capable to simulate most of the aspects of battery at cell, module and pack levels. Thanks to the sister brand BIOVIA from Dassault Systemes that is equally competent to simulate the chemical reaction aspects of the battery. Combine both of them on the 3DExperience platform and we offer an end to end workflow for complete battery design.

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