Accelerating Development of EV Batteries Through Computer-Aided Engineering

Developing low cost, high energy, safe, and long lasting batteries is crucial for the wide adoption of electric vehicles (EV) - and ultimately reduce petroleum consumption and polluting emissions. Computer aided engineering (CAE) tools could accelerate the development, design, and prototyping of batteries. The Vehicle Technology Program in the Department of Energy has launched the Computer Aided Engineering of Automotive Batteries (CAEBAT) to work with national labs, industry and software venders to develop sophisticated software. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the coordinator of the CAEBAT activity and are working with a number of companies including ANSYS to develop these models and tools to help improve and accelerate battery design and production. We will present an overview of CAEBAT. At the outset of the CAEBAT project, NREL unveiled a development crucial to filling the gap in existing tools: a predictive computer simulation of Li-ion batteries known as the Multi-Scale Multi-Dimensional (MSMD) model framework. MSMD’s modular, flexible architecture connects the physics of battery charge/discharge processes, thermal control, safety and reliability in a computationally efficient manner. This allows independent development of submodels at the cell and pack levels. In addition to a quick overview of the CAEBAT project, this paper will provide an overview of the MSMD model and its results showing the utility of the model by the impact of design parameters on performance.