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John O | August 2017

Article describes importance of numerical modeling and simulations in designing batteries

a recent article published by ieee spectrum and written by ed fontes and henrik ekstrom of comsol, inc. and andreas nyman of intertek outlined the importance of mathematical modeling and computer simulations in the design of lithium-ion batteries.


comsol released a white paper explaining the importance of mathematical modeling
and computer simulations in battery design. (comsol, inc.)


there has been a significant push across the electronic industry to produce smaller, more efficient, and safer rechargeable batteries for commercial use and the authors of this article stress that modeling and simulations “allow for the analysis of an almost unlimited number of design parameters and operating conditions at a relatively small cost.”


they added, “experimental tests are used to provide the necessary validation of the models.”


mathematical models can be used by engineers to predict cell voltage and current density during discharge and the effect of different materials and design parameters. the authors highlighted one model in particular: the newman model.


according to the article, “the model is based on the maxwell-stefan equations for the transport of ions in concentrated binary electrolytes, which are developed and formulated in a very compact form for the lithium-ion electrolytes…this theory results in homogeneous electrode models, where the electrode material and the pore electrolyte are treated as one homogenous ‘slab’.”


one of the areas of importance for battery designers (and particularly of interest to coolingzone readers and consumers alike) is thermal management. as headlines about thermal runaway and battery failures have demonstrated, thermal management is a critical component of battery design to ensure safety for the system in which it operates and the users.


“heating and cooling design for normal operation and for regular startup is focused on minimizing weight and power consumption,” the article explained. “the shape of the cooling channels and the flow rate of the cooling fluid at different operating conditions are usually the factors that are optimized.”


new simulations and mathematical models have been created to enhance the geometry of the battery design and they continue to be enhanced as developments in battery technology improve.


the authors concluded, “modeling and simulations, in combination with experimental verification and validation, allow for the study of an almost unlimited number of designs covering a very broad range of operating conditions at a comparably low cost.”


to read more, visit https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/multiphysics-simulation-for-the-design-of-lithium-ion-batteries.


for the full white paper from comsol, inc., click https://www.comsol.com/offers/battery?utm_source=ieee+spectrum&utm_campaign=us_ieeenativecampaign2_aug17&utm_medium=e-news&utm_content=7.

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