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Including Batteries in Electric or Hybrid Car Crash Simulations

Safety is an important functional requirement in the development of large-format, energy-dense, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used in electrified vehicles. Many automakers have dealt with this issue by enclosing the batteries into protective cases to prevent any penetration and deformation during the car crash. But with the range of electric vehicle increasing and thus the size of the batteries, a more detailed understanding of a battery behavior under abuse becomes necessary.

Computer aided engineering (CAE) tools that predict the response of a Li-ion battery pack to various abusive conditions can support analysis during the design phase and reduce the need for physical testing. In particular, simulations of the multi-physics response of external or internal short circuits can lead to optimized system designs for automotive crash scenarios.

The physics under such simulations is quite complex, through coupling structural, thermal, electrical and electrochemical. Moreover, it spans length scales with orders of magnitude differences between critical events such as internal shorts happening at the millimeter level, triggering catastrophic events like the thermal runaway of the full battery. The time scales also are quite different between the car crash happening in milliseconds and the discharge of the battery and temperature surge taking minutes to hours.

A so called “distributed Randles circuit” model was introduced in LS-DYNA® in order to mimic the complex electrochemistry happening in the electrodes and separator of lithium-ion batteries. The Randles circuit model also is coupled with the mechanical solver of LS-DYNA where the deformations due to a battery crush allow the definition of criteria to initiate internal shorts.

In this webinar, the BatMac model will be presented along with the test setup and model development. Additionally, capabilities, limitations and future improvement of the battery safety modeling are discussed.



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