Temperature Distribution in Li-ion Batteries

Objective: To develop a numerical tool for lithium-ion batteries validated using experimental data


Summary: Owing to their large gravimetric and volumetric energy densities, large-format prismatic Li-ion cells are becoming ubiquitous in civilian vehicle applications and are also under consideration for heavy military vehicle hybridization and robotic platforms. In prismatic cells, electro-thermal coupling of the in-plane distributions of temperature and current density have also been shown to cause self-heating, which can lead to the onset of thermal instability. Two-dimensional simulations have also shown that instabilities occur under specific local perturbations or boundary conditions. Temperature within a cell can increase due to poor heat transfer at cell edges, or because heat transfer is slowed by local changes in properties such as electric conductivity, reaction rate constants, or thermal conductivity that occur as the distributions of temperature or electrolyte content vary. Under certain conditions (say, if electric conductivity rises with temperature as thermal conductivity stays constant) constructive feedback can develop, causing a potentially catastrophic "thermal runaway" situation where temperature rises without bound. For this research, we derived an analytic solution using porous electrode theory (Newman & Tobias model) and global thermal energy balance with thermodynamic analysis in 1-D geometry. After that, we compared the analytic solution with numerical result from COMSOL (PDE solver).

We have designed an experimental setup inside a thermal chamber to control ambient temperature to measure temperature profiles when cycling the battery. Using an IR camera to track surface temperature we should be able to determine the physical properties of the system using our numerical tool generated in 3-D in COMSOL.

An A123 20 Ah cell and IR Camera used for the experiment.

Upcoming Talks

September, 2018

Saber will be giving a talk, "A Complete Characterization of Transport and Thermodynamic Properties for LiPF6 in PC Solutions," at the ISE Conference in Bologna, Italy.

September, 2018

Priyam will be giving a talk, "Non-Isobaric Electrochemical Transport Modelling: Case Study for Nafion," at the ISE Conference in Bologna, Italy.

September, 2018

Howie will be giving a talk, "Parameterizing Large-Format Prismatic Lithium-Ion Cells with Lock-In Thermography" at the ISE Conference in Bologna, Italy.

Recent News

June, 2018

Guanchen was invited to give a talk, "Electrochemomechanics and the Critical Current in LLZO," at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, California.

May, 2018

Guanchen gave a talk, "Electrochemomechanics in Doped Garnet Lithium-Ion Conductors," at the ECS Conference in Seattle, Washington.
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May, 2018

Priyam gave a talk, "Mechanical Basis of Nafion's High-Frequency Inductive Impedance," at the ECS Conference in Seattle, Washington.
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April, 2018

Guanchen gave a talk, "Electrochemomechanics of space-charge layers in LLZO near lithium metal," at the MRS Spring Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
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April, 2018

Guanchen gave a talk, "Modelling Space Charging in Multi-carrier Solid Electrolytes," at the ModVal Conference in Aarau, Switzerland.
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Recent Publications