An Approach to Lithium Battery Modeling That Can Also Simulate Thermal Buildup

We’ve covered the Boeing 787 Lithium ION battery issue here, starting back in January with our post, “Lithium Ion Battery Overheating Seen in Boeing 787: Why and Solutions”    In that post we covered aspects of the analysis of lithiuim ion batteries and some methods to design for the thermal challenges they present.  And there has been some great discussions on this topic too on the Linked In/Thermal Management Group:  Lithium Ion Battery and 787.     Then we asked ourselves, “what about modeling” and we came up with something we think our readers will find helpful through the collaboration between Mathworks and the Department of Energy and Systems Engineering at the University of Pisa.

Mathworks has worked with the University of Pisa to develop a “High Fidelity Electrical Model with Thermal Dependence for Characterization and Simulation of High Power Lithium Battery Cells”.  The research presents an intuitive method for developing a non-isothermal lithium cell model using an equivalent circuit model (ECM).  The researchers write in their abstract, “reducing the general ECM with n RC blocks to an ECM with just a single RC block was sufficient to account for all dynamic characteristics of the cell, including nonlinear open-circuit voltage, average discharge current and inner cell temperature.”   As we’ve noted before, sometimes a simpler, analytical approach can be just as effective as using a full modeling software with its accompanying CPU overhead.

Readers can download the paper from Mathworks at this link: High Fidelity Lithium Battery Model with Thermal Effect.   You don’t necessarily need MATLAB to build this kind of simple but helpful model, but, you can see the 30 minute presentation from Mathworks on how they used MATLAB to build the model by clicking the video below. You can learn more about MATLAB and MathWorks at this link: MathWorks Web Site