2016 Archived Content

R&D Symposium 2

Battery Engineering for Automotive Applications

June 14-15, 2016 | Cobo Center | Detroit, Michigan

Part of the 16th Annual Advanced Automotive Battery Conference


Battery engineering amounts to: i) Designing electrodes and cells that will take maximum advantage of the active materials; ii) Designing packs that will guarantee reliable cell performance; and iii) Integrating battery packs into vehicles (or other machines) and meeting vehicle constraints while ensuring safety, reliability, and durability.


Cell design, including the choice of non-active components (such as, for example, the current collection matrix, the binders, and cell packaging), has a considerable impact on battery performance and reliability. Battery pack design and integration presents thermal, mechanical, and electrical engineering challenges, almost independent of cell chemistry. Optimizing cell and pack design according to the duty cycle of the application requires a careful balance between cell and pack energy, power, manufacturability, abuse tolerance, thermal characteristics, and cost.


Considering the automotive applications’ requirements for high voltage, long life, and high reliability on the one hand, and the volatility of the Li-Ion chemistry on the other, current battery packs include multiple electrical and mechanical components to ensure system reliability. Safety of the xEVs and abuse tolerance of the battery will have the greatest impact on market acceptance for the technology in automotive and related applications

Final Agenda


Arrive Early and Attend a Tutorial

Monday Tutorials


8:30am – 10:30am

Rechargeable Battery Market (TUT1)

11:00am – 1:00pm

Solid State Electrolytes (TUT2)

3:00pm – 5:00pm

Battery Safety (TUT4)


8:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee


9:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Oliver Gross, Technical Fellow – Energy Storage Systems, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

9:05 How to Design a Battery Cell and a Battery Module with CAE Tools

Gaetan Damblanc, Technical Lead, CD Adapco

With an ever-increasing demand for higher energy density and power density on the cell, without compromising on weight, volume, aging and safety all the way through the pack, it makes designing cells and packs a highly complex multi-parameters challenge. This presentation will show how today’s CAE can help in the design process and contribute to optimised design for better cost and turnaround time.

9:25 Battery Pack Thermal Design

Ahmad Pesaran, Ph.D., Energy-Storage Group Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Battery temperature in xEVs should be controlled to meet performance, durability, safety, and cost requirements. A battery thermal management system must be designed to meet thermal requirements, such as maximum temperature and cell-to-cell temperature difference, and integrate with other components seamlessly. We will discuss tools needed to build battery thermal management systems and provide examples of the latest designs.

9:45 Progress and Challenges Associated with Determining the State of Charge, Power, and Health of Battery Systems

Charles Wampler, Project Leader, Global Battery Systems Engineering, General Motors

Determining the SOC, SOP, and SOH for conventional lithium-ion batteries is challenging at lower temperatures, where the system behavior is highly nonlinear. Accuracy of state estimation at lower temperature is particularly important in that cold-temperature performance often determines the size of the battery needed. We propose a solution to this problem and we discuss challenges relative to emerging traction batteries employing silicon negative electrodes.

Toyo System10:05 Grand Opening Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

11:30 Comparing a Physics-Based to an Equivalent Circuit-Based Method for Battery SOC/SOH Determination

Gregory Plett, Ph.D., Professor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Battery-management systems require sets of equations (i.e., models) that describe battery-cell behaviors in order to estimate SOC, SOH, and to predict available power. Historically, equivalent-circuit models have been used because of their simplicity, but recent advances in reduced-order modeling have made physics-based models computationally feasible as an alternative. This presentation will discuss some tradeoffs between the two approaches.

11:50 An Open Systems Architecture Approach to BMS HIL Testing

Peter Blume, President and Founder, Bloomy

Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) testing is the standard approach to validating xEV systems including the battery management system (BMS). There exist vendor-defined or “closed”, as well as user-defined or “open” approaches to the implementation of HIL test equipment. In this presentation, Peter Blume presents an open systems architecture approach to HIL test systems using commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software and case studies.

12:10 pm Novel SOC/SOH Sensor for Improving Li-Ion Life and Predictions

Joe Steiber, Principal Engineer, Energy Storage Technology Group, Engine, Emissions, and Vehicle Research Division, Southwest Research Institute

The estimation of the state-of-charge (SOC) and the state-of-health (SOH) of a lithium-ion battery are topics of great importance and interest to battery-management-system (BMS) developers and vehicle integrators. Although considerable progress has been made in terms of estimation algorithms by utilizing signals such as voltage, current, temperature, and physics models of the cell in various applications, SwRI’s research demonstrated a more direct and practical in situ detection of degradation.

12:30 Q&A

12:50 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

1:05 Networking Lunch

2:00 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


3:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Robert Spotnitz, Ph.D., President, Battery Design LLC

3:05 Rate-Limiting Steps in Porous Electrodes

Robert Spotnitz, Ph.D., President, Battery Design LLC

A number of studies have used porous electrode models to optimize coating properties for some metrics such as discharge rate. Very early on, modeling predicted an optimum coating thickness for a given rate. Later, the effects of porosity and particle size were considered, as well as type of active material. More recently, some benefits of multi-layer coatings have been explored. This presentation will review past work and present new results on the use of different multilayer coatings.

3:25 Atomic-Scale Modeling: A Path to Innovation

Roman Tarnovsky, Global Marketing Director, Materials Design, Inc.

Atomic-scale modeling opens new opportunities in exploring and optimizing of structural, dynamic and electrochemical properties of materials and interfaces in batteries. This is now possible thanks to a modeling environment MedeA®, integrating best simulation methods with structural databases and efficient computing. Illustrative examples will include the design of zero-strain cathode materials, understanding the diffusion in solid state electrolytes as a function of nano-topology, and the simulation of anode materials.

3:45 From Packs to Pores: Characterizing Li-Ion Batteries in 2D, 3D, and 4D

Jeff Gelb, Senior Applications Development Engineer, Carl Zeiss X-Ray Microscopy

In recent years, much attention has been paid to the proliferation of Li-ion batteries, supported by the developments made by engineers worldwide. Here, we will present new advancements in microstructure-based characterization of LIBs with 3D X-Ray Microscopy (XRM), as a unique pathway for studying performance characteristics and failure mechanisms. This information sheds new light on both how and why failures may be occurring.

4:05 Ceramic-Coated Separator, Li-Ion Safety and Performance

John Zhang, Ph.D., CTO, Celgard

4:25 Q&A

4:45 Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

5:45 Close of Day


8:30 am Morning Coffee


9:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Ted Miller, Senior Manager of Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ford Motor Company

9:05 Virtually Proving a Battery is Safe

Ted Miller, Senior Manager of Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ford Motor Company

Dr. Jim Marcicki, Ford Motor Company

The use of Li-ion batteries is ubiquitous throughout the world, from consumer devices such as smart phones, tablets, and handheld games/players to transportation, including aircraft, drones, bikes, hoverboards, trucks and cars. The technology offers significant advantages – high energy density, high efficiency, low self-discharge, and the prospect of lower cost. However, Li-Ion battery implementation requires a detailed understanding of its safety and response to adverse conditions. The Ford Energy Storage Research Team has been focused on this challenge and is now developing battery safety performance simulation capability.

9:25 Safety Issues for Lithium-Ion Batteries: From Materials to Complete Cells

Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist & Project Leader, ZSW

Safety is a key factor for the application of lithium-ion batteries. Exothermal decomposition, initial thermal runaway reactions and resulting gas formation have been studied for various anode/cathode combinations. Lithium plating has a strong impact on safety. The presentation includes studies on detection and characterization of lithium plating in lab cells, commercial 18650 cells and 40 Ah pouch cells. Standardized safety tests are performed for cells with and without lithium plating. A nondestructive method for prediction of lithium plating will be discussed.

9:45 Diagnostic Tool Set Development to Determine Safety Stability and Health of an Isolated Li-Ion Battery Pack

Phil Gorney, Vehicle Safety Research Engineer, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

In this presentation, the ongoing projects of the National Laboratories to develop a diagnostic tool set capable of determining the Safety Stability and Health of an isolated Li-ion Battery Pack is discussed. These technologies such as an INL a Rapid Impedance Box technology are validated with laboratory methods such as Complex Impedance Spectroscopy. The long-term objective of these projects is to identify and develop methods and technology which can be integrated into a RESS.

10:05 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

11:00 Safety Modeling and Evaluation during Pack Development Process

Uwe Wiedemann, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager, Global Competence Team, AVL List GmbH

Dr. Berhard Brunnsteiner, Analysis Engineer, Engineering and Technology Powertrain Systems, AVL List GmbH

11:20 Overcharge Battery Response

Al Masias, Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company

The overcharge behavior of various automotive-sized lithium-ion batteries will be presented. This presentation will review the overcharge response for a variety of different cell chemistries, case designs and hardware levels under a large range of currents. This work was performed as part of a US DOT NHTSA supported research project into Battery Safety Test Procedure development.

11:40 Understanding Mechanical Abuse of Batteries

John Turner, Ph.D., Group Leader, Computational Engineering & Energy Sciences, Oak Ridge National Lab & UT-Battelle

An integrated program including manufacturing, experiments, and simulation is under way at Oak Ridge National Lab. We report on progress understanding phenomenological effects of mechanical abuse of batteries leading to short-circuits and thermal runaway. Results using the Virtual Integrated Battery Environment (VIBE), a high-fidelity simulation environment for batteries, will be used to illustrate insights gained based on analysis of benchmark and experimental test data.

12:00 pm Q&A

12:20 Networking Lunch

1:05 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

2:00 Close of Symposium

Battery Packs

Battery Safety