June 28, 2022

Let’s Talk About: Battery Cell Engineering Democratization

Battery development is of increasing importance as the world moves towards more green energy solutions. Simulation can help democratize the virtual testing and validation of batteries.
Katie Corey

Please welcome guest blogger and SIMULIA Industry Process Expert Specialist, Pratik Kanade, who talks to us about the importance of battery development as the world moves towards more green energy solutions. Simulation can help democratize the virtual testing and validation of batteries by accelerating early adoption and integrating all the business aspects to provide a unique value proposition.

Why does this workflow need to be analyzed?
Drastic climate changes are pushing the demands for greener solutions day by day. In the US, petroleum combustions in the transportation sector contribute approximately 43% of total CO2 emissions while CO2 contributes to approximately 79% of all the greenhouse gas emissions[1]. This highlights the importance of reducing the dependence on petroleum combustions for transportation. Promoting electric transportation is already showing a major impact on the comparison of emissions. Battery, being the most important component of all-electric mobility solutions today, needs extra attention to develop safe, secure, and lightweight designs with high energy outputs. Battery development involves multi-physics phenomenon to be simulated and tested for efficient performance for all-weather operations

Figure 1: 2020 CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion by Sector and Fuel Type in the United States

Describe the workflow.
At SIMULIA, all non-linear multi-physics phenomena are modeled and analyzed in great detail using state-of-art Abaqus technology. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps in democratizing the simulation technology by accelerating early adoption and integrating all the business aspects to provide a unique value proposition. In these workflows, the battery cell is analyzed for its thermal, electrical, structural, and safety characteristics. Let’s have a look at different simulations one by one.

  • Electrical Safety – A coupled electrical-displacement analysis is performed to simulate electrical circuit cut-off for preventing short-circuit events by modeling a circuit-interrupt-device (CID). A detailed parametric cell model is used in the analysis with mesh-associated CAD. This makes it easier for designers to simulate different cell variants in a single click.
  • Cyclic Swelling – During charging-discharging events, a cell undergoes permanent plastic deformation. This is calculated by simulating coupled electrical-displacement behavior for active electrode layers inside the cell. Evaluation of the displacement in thickness direction over charge-discharge cycles is carried out using SIMULIA Abaqus user subroutine UEXPAN. It considers the thickness change based on the measurement of each active layer during charging and discharging.
  • Heat generation – The simulation evaluates heat generation during electrical discharging of the Li-ion battery. The mathematical formulation takes into account joule heating and heat generation due to entropy change based on the direction of the current in active electrodes.
  • Strength, stiffness & durability – Set of standard simulations are performed on the battery cell to evaluate the structural integrity of the battery cell. These simulations include 3-point bending, axial and radial compression, and impact analysis. A structurally homogenized battery cell model is used to perform this analysis and evaluate stress-strain levels for specific boundary conditions.
Figure 2: Battery Cell Engineering Solutions

What are the key simulation goals? What are you trying to learn from the simulation?
Accelerating battery research to cater to the demands of fast charging and better range compared to IC engine vehicles is key to success. Democratizing the virtual testing and validation of batteries is what we are trying to achieve through our solutions. This will make the testing and validation processes easier without any active expert assistance. Further reducing the demand for highly skilled manpower in this niche area of battery research. This will ultimately save huge costs and reduce time to market with better and more efficient products

Which SIMULIA solutions (products, roles, etc.) did you use?
Following design and simulation roles are used to create the democratization solution on the 3DEXPERIENCE R2022x platform:

  • SSU – Structural Mechanics Engineer
  • MDO – Multi-disciplinary optimization Engineer

What were the advantages (benefits) of using simulation?
Li-ion battery is the most complex form of battery available today on the planet. It is also the most energy-dense battery that needs standard operating conditions for efficient and safe performance. Simulation technology is vital and plays a crucial role in thousands of design and testing iterations with negligible cost and time compared to physical testing. Advancements in simulation technologies today produce results with more than 90% accuracy as compared to physical testing. Limitations of physical testing restrict innovations, reducing ease of using technology and heavy dependence on skilled professionals. This is exactly what simulations achieve and propose greater value in today’s demanding world.

[1] Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2020 – Main Text (epa.gov)

SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including AbaqusIsightfe-safeToscaSimpoe-MoldSIMPACKCST Studio SuiteXFlowPowerFLOW, and more. The SIMULIA Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.

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