2017 Archived Content

R&D Symposium 2

Battery Engineering for Automotive Applications

June 19-20, 2017 | Marriott Marquis Hotel | San Francisco, CA

Part of the 17th Annual Advanced Automotive Battery Conference


The Engineering Symposium at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference will bring together high-level battery technologists to discuss advancements in the design, control, and integration of electric vehicle batteries. This symposium will encompass both cell and pack engineering and how advances in these areas allow implementation of safe and reliable high energy density and power density batteries. Improvements in automotive battery management systems, battery architectures, and safety will be discussed. 

Final Agenda

Monday, June 19

12:30 pm Symposium Registration Open


1:30 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

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

1:35 International Transport Agencies Preparing to Raise the Bar on Lithium Battery Safety

George Kerchner, Executive Director, PRBA - The Rechargeable Battery Association

The United Nations Transport Committee on Dangerous Goods and the International Civil Aviation Organization have begun exploring a new regulatory structure for classifying and shipping lithium batteries. A complete restructuring of the current regulatory requirements can be expected, which will have immediate and long-term implications for any company that plans to ship lithium batteries. An overview will be presented on the current regulatory requirements for shipping lithium batteries, what is currently being developed and considered at the international level, and what are the implications of the UN’s and ICAO’s activities for the industry.

1:55 A Method of Evaluating Battery Test Lab Safety

Jason Tam, Account Executive, TÜV SÜD America

TUV SUD has developed a measurement system that can determine an overall safety readiness score for a battery test lab that performs life and performance testing. This method captures all of the known hazards that may be encountered, during all of the phases of life and performance testing, including handling, transport and storage of samples, test preparation, battery disassembly and post-mortem analyses. Each hazard is then addressed by a risk containment measure that will deal with that hazard in a predetermined way. The method is flexible enough to add or remove additional risks, for any particular operation.

2:15 Towards Understanding Mechanical Abuse and Failure of Batteries

Sergiy Kalnaus, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

2:35 Power Electronics Based Active Battery Energy Management Solutions for E-transportation and Autonomous E-mobility

Sheldon Williamson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Ontario

More recently, the trend is to move towards electric modes of transport as well as autonomous e-mobility (self-powered cars and urban mass transit). Hence, it has become imperative to find a solution, to manage energy production and usage accurately, especially within the context of future electric energy storage systems. Enhancing the life of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs has been the topic of much interest in the auto industry. In this framework, the role of on-board cell voltage balancing of Li-ion batteries will be highlighted in this talk. This is a very important topic in the context of battery energy storage cost and life/state-of-charge, SOC/state-of-health, SOH monitoring. Li-ion batteries, although popularly proposed for electric transport, have been highly uneconomic for energy storage, overshooting cost requirements by a large margin. Li-ion batteries provide a reasonable solution; however, the main issues include: Cycle life (range anxiety), calendar life, energy density, power density, and safety. These issues can be addressed effectively by using a simple practical approach: a power electronics based dynamic cell voltage equalizer. The design and implementation of inductor-based as well as switched capacitor DC/DC converters for Li-ion battery cell-equalization will be discussed. Fundamental topologies of power electronic converters, specifically utilized for bidirectional current flow in cell balancing applications, will be discussed. The design, implementation, and testing/validation of an active cell equalization circuit for a traction Li-ion battery pack will also be presented.

2:55 Refreshment Break

3:15 Single Cell Thermal Runaway Calorimetry

Eric Darcy, Ph.D., Battery Technical Discipline Lead, Propulsion and Power Division, NASA-JSC/EP5

Previous attempts to obtain the total heat output response during thermal runaway (TR) by accelerated rate calorimetry have left us wondering if the results were relevant to field incidents. There’s a suspicion that the total heat output is less than if thermal runaway had been induced quickly. We at JSC have designed a single 18650 TR calorimeter that provides total heat output and discerns those heat fractions. Various cell designs with and without bottom vents are compared.

3:35 Experiences and Evaluations of Thermal Propagation Testing

Scott Lananna, Technical Specialist, High Voltage Battery Safety, General Motors Company

A robust understanding of the impacts and interactions of test and battery design variables is critical for industry to converge on effective methods to evaluate the risks of thermal runaway propagation. With an emphasis on battery level outcome, this presentation will review test results characterizing some of these impacts and interactions. The implications of these results on test methods appropriate for engineering standards and regulations will be discussed.

3:55 Safe Core Technology

Speaker to be Announced, Aminox Inc.

Amionx has pioneered and patented a transformative technology called Safe Core that acts like a circuit-breaker to prevent lithium-ion batteries from being the source of a fire or explosion. Amionx Safe Core is focused on safety from the core of the battery outward and works even when other safety measures fail or are not activated.

4:15 Automotive Lithium-ion Battery (LIB) Supply Chain and U.S. Competitiveness Considerations

Shriram Santhanagopalan, Ph.D., Engineer, Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

We provide an objective analysis regarding the regional competitiveness contexts of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries (LIB) for the automotive industry by identifying key trends, cost considerations, and other market and policy developments that inform current competitiveness considerations for LIB production. We present findings from a detailed bottom-up cost modeling of regional production scenarios and an overview of qualitative factors that can influence factory location decisions. The NREL cost model includes a detailed, bottom-up accounting of the total costs that a manufacturer incurs in the high-volume production of LIB cells. Preliminary results indicate that Competitive locations and opportunities for automotive lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturing are mostly created, as opposed to being tied to factors that are inherent to specific regions. LIB pack production may remain proximal to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) end-product manufacturing, but materials and cell production could locate globally, in areas where competitive opportunities are strong.

4:35 Q&A

5:00 Close of Day

Tuesday, June 20

8:30 am Symposium Registration Open and Morning Coffee


9:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Oliver Gross, Technical Fellow, Energy Storage System, FCA US LLC

9:05 Field Study Results from 500e (Life Validation Testing and Real-World Correlation, for EV Batteries)

Oliver Gross, Technical Fellow, Energy Storage System, FCA US LLC

While battery modeling and simulation have both progressed considerably in recent years, verification of life model predictability remains an area which is viewed with lower confidence, given the maturity of actual vehicle field data. The Fiat 500e field data will be presented, against the original life model predictions for the battery. Data analysis, performed jointly with Bosch Battery Systems, will be compared with component tests, and predictive models, in order to identify the most relevant environmental and operations stress factors for the battery.

9:25 Glimpses into xEV Batteries on the Market – AVL Series Battery Benchmarking

Wenzel Prochazka, Ph.D., Product Manager, Global Battery Management Team, AVL List GmbH

The AVL battery benchmarking activity provides a database for objective comparison in technical attributes as well as in engineering methodology with market competitors for clear system target definition of high performing, reliable, and safe batteries. More than 240 different criteria are evaluated through AVL benchmarking metrics displayed in 8 high-level attributes. In this presentation some of the battery system performance criteria are compared using different vehicles as examples, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, Tesla Model S, Renault Zoe and Chevrolet Bolt.

9:45 Computational Design of Batteries from Materials to Systems

Kandler Smith, Senior Engineer, Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center, NREL

Computer models are helping to accelerate the design and validation of next generation batteries and provide valuable insights not possible through experimental testing alone. Validated 3-D physics based models exist for predicting electrochemical performance, thermal and mechanical response of cells and packs under normal and abuse scenarios. The talk describes present efforts to make the models better suited for engineering design, including improving their computation speed, developing faster processes for model parameter identification including under aging, and predicting the performance of a proposed electrode material recipe a priori using microstructure models.

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

11:00 BMS Testing Throughout the BMS Development Lifecycle

Peter Blume, President, Bloomy

Battery management system (BMS) testing has different challenges at different phases of the development lifecycle, from hardware prototype, embedded software development, regression testing, validation, to PCBA manufacturing test. A common requirement is simulating the battery in a safe, efficient, and repeatable manner, including charging, discharging, cell balancing, SOx, as well as simulating common battery faults such as over-voltage, over-current, over-temperature, short-circuit, and open circuit. Specialized commercial hardware exists for simulating battery cells for safe, efficient, and repeatable testing of a BMS. Additionally, commercial automated test equipment (ATE) platforms exist for BMS hardware-in-the-loop (HIL), validation, and PCBA manufacturing test. Peter will provide a tutorial on battery simulation, fault simulation, and other techniques used for safe, efficient and repeatable BMS testing. Additionally, Peter will provide an overview of some standard ATE platforms for BMS testing throughout the BMS development lifecycle.

11:20 Strain-Enabled Multi-Physical Models of Li-Ion Battery Cells for Control and State Estimation

Bogdan Epureanu, Ph.D., Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

This presentation focuses on recent results of creating multiphysical models that enable the use of strain to enhance control and state estimation of battery cells. This model can capture electrical, thermal, and mechanical behaviors of battery cells.

11:40 Physics-Based Models and Model Predictive Control: Perspectives on Advanced Battery Management

Scott Trimboli, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Physics-based models (PBM) of lithium-ion batteries can describe internal cell behavior with remarkable accuracy. Recent advances in model-order reduction enable these often highly complex electrochemical models to be rendered into forms no more demanding than familiar equivalent circuit models, and therefore candidates for embedded battery management schemes. Model predictive control (MPC) has emerged as an effective real-time control strategy that employs a ‘look-ahead’ approach to foresee dynamic changes before they happen. This approach – coupled with an ability to enforce hard constraints on internal electrochemical variables that are precursors to degradation – makes MPC particularly appealing for advanced battery management, where safety, lifetime and improved performance are key. This presentation will highlight potential improvements in battery management made possible by combining reduced-order PBM’s of lithium-ion cells with an MPC control strategy.

12:00 Materials Processing and Stability Challenges of Anodes and Cathodes for High-Energy-Density Lithium-Ion Batteries

David Wood, III, Ph.D., Team Lead, Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Manager, Fuel Cell Technologies Program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

Lithium-ion battery pack costs have dropped significantly over the past several years from about $500-600/kWh down to $275-325/kWh due to economies of scale, improvements in electrode and cell quality control, and more efficient production methods. However, much more development on electrode processing cost reduction, coating deposition quality control, and cell assembly methods needs to occur in order to meet the DOE ultimate pack cost of $125/kWh for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

12:20 Q&A

12:40 Networking Lunch

1:35 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


2:35 Chairperson’s Remarks

Robert Spotniz, President, Battery Design LLC

2:40 New and Pragmatic Methods to Model the Thermodynamics of Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes

Mark Verbrugge, Ph.D., Director, Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory, General Motors

We derive and implement a method to describe the thermodynamics of electrode materials based on a substitutional lattice model. To assess the utility and generality of the method, we compare model results with experimental data for a variety of electrode materials: lithiated graphite, silicon, NMC (nickel manganese cobalt oxide), manganese oxide, and iron phosphate. The model enables one to quantitatively represent experimental data from these different electrode materials with a small number of parameters, and, in this sense, the approach is both general and efficient. An open question is the utility of controlled-potential vs. controlled-current experiments for the elucidation of the system thermodynamics.

3:00 High Throughput Atomic Layer Deposition: Interfacial Engineering at Scale

Paul Lichty, Ph.D., CEO, Forge Nano

The bulk materials designed for today’s leading batteries suffer from degradation that results in poor performance and short lifetime. By applying Forge Nano’s patented high-throughput atomic layer deposition process, current bulk materials can be upgraded to perform beyond industry established performance metrics. The benefits of ALD have been widely demonstrated over the past few decades; however, the technology has been considered dead among the industry due to its lack of scale and prohibitive costs.

3:20 Virtual Electrode Engineering: From Mesoscale Underpinnings to System Characteristics

Partha P. Mukherjee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Morris E. Foster Faculty Fellow II, Texas A&M University

Aashutosh Mistry, Scientist, Texas A&M University

In recent years, lithium-ion batteries (LIB) have emerged as a leading candidate for vehicle electrification. Porous electrodes, with underlying coupled physicochemical processes, play a critical role in the performance, life, and safety of LIBs. This talk will seek to demonstrate the role of virtual electrode engineering, relying on mesoscale physics-based modeling and analysis, in discerning the lithium-ion battery system characteristics.

3:40 Q&A

4:00 Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

5:05 Close of Symposium