Battery Engineering for Automotive Applications

Building Better Batteries

June 24-25, 2019

Battery engineering involved the important aspects of designing electrodes and cells that will take maximum advantage of the active materials, designing packs that will guarantee reliable cell performance, and 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, 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.

Final Agenda


Monday, June 24  

12:30 pm Symposia Registration


1:30 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

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

1:35 Combining Fractional Calorimetry with Statistical Methods to Characterize Thermal Runaway

walker_williamWilliam Q. Walker, PhD, Aerospace Technologist, Engineering Directorate (EA), Structural Engineering Division (ES), Thermal Design Branch (ES3), NASA Johnson Space Center

Fractional thermal runaway calorimetry (FTRC) techniques were introduced to examine thermal runaway (TR) behavior of lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells. Specifically, FTRC considers the total energy released vs. the fraction of the total energy that is released through the cell casing vs. through the ejecta material. This device has been expanded to universally support FTRC testing of additional cell types including 21700-format, D-Cell format, and large prismatic format Li-ion cells. The TR behavior as influenced by cell format, manufacturer, chemistry, capacity, and in situ safety features are described in this presentation.

1:55 Anode Improvements for Better Fast Charge Tolerance in Cells of High Energy and Powder Density

Karulkar_MohanMohan Karulkar, PhD, Principal Staff Member, Power Sources R&D, Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories has implemented diagnostics across multiple time and resolution scales to identify safe and effective battery operating conditions. Methods like high precision cycling, advanced EIS, and differential coulometry will be linked to more traditional current/voltage/temperature measurements to assess applications like fast charge, cell abuse, and second use. The impact of charge rate, SOC window, and cell capacity on safety and performance will be discussed.

2:15 Failure Propagation Work and Abuse Testing

Lamb_JoshuaJoshua Lamb, PhD, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Advanced Power Sources R&D, Sandia National Laboratories

The increasing energy and power demands from various applications drive the need for higher energy density batteries, which typically means an increased reliance on lithium-ion batteries. Because of this, complex and high energy density systems composed of lithium-ion cells are becoming more prevalent. This talk shows how Sandia National Laboratories uses abusive battery testing to better understand the potential risks surrounding high energy batteries.

2:35 Test as a Competitive Advantage: Approaches to Overcome EV Battery Test Challenges

Ty Prather, EV Validation Solution Manager, Automotive Strategy, National Instruments

Battery test challenges include managing a massive heterogeneous mix of concurrent testing. Using a flexible, platform-based approach increases the operational efficiency of doing so. See how this approach provides advantages in control and sequencing, measurements, and systems and data management.

2:55 A Challenge of Reliable Circuit Protection in Automotive Applications

Michael Roach, North American & European Sales Manager, Sales & Marketing, AEM Components USA, Inc.

This presentation highlights some potential safety concerns in circuit protection associated with EV applications. It demonstrates how advanced “Wire-in-Air” fuse technology could yield much more consistent and reliable performance. The newly developed solid, robust structure of CMF fuses assures the best safe power density in higher power applications.

3:15 Refreshment Break

3:35 Enabling Battery Safety While Also Improving Performance With Atomic Layer Deposition

Lichty_PaulPaul Lichty, PhD, Founder, CEO, Forge Nano

This talk will discuss the various safety and performance benefits that atomic layer deposition (ALD) has been demonstrated to provide when properly applied to battery materials. ALD can improve the energy density, charge rate of battery materials while concurrently improving safety. In this talk we will discuss how ALD has been demonstrated to increase battery safety such as reduced gassing, higher thermal stability, improved handling of sensitive materials.

3:55 Safety Benefit of Plastic Current Collectors in Li-Ion Cell Designs

Darcy__EricEric Darcy, PhD, Battery Technical Discipline Lead, Propulsion and Power Division, NASA-JSC/EP5

Our first cell builds with metallized polymer current collectors in the 18650 format demonstrates great promise in preventing a thermal runaway response to certain cell internal short events. Through a collaboration with SoteriaBIG, NREL, Coulometrics, and University College of London, the cell response with and without the new collector while instigated with nail penetration or our internal short circuit device was studied with our thermal runaway calorimeter, high speed X-ray videography and post-test computed tomography. The fusible phenomena of the plastic collector was captured isolating active material involved in certain internal short conditions (like nail penetration) and preventing what would certainly have been a catastrophic hazard. Implementation yields a small mass savings vs solid metal collectors and negligible capacity cycling performance differences at medium and low rates.

4:15 Functional Safety for Electric Vehicles Under the ISO 26262 Standard

Ferguson_KenKen Ferguson, PhD, Senior Scientific Consultant, Vehicle Practice, Exponent

With increasing complexity pervading the automotive industry, increased efforts have been focused on providing safety-compliant electrical and electronic systems. ISO 26262 utilizes a system of steps to manage functional safety and reduce risk to acceptable levels for road-vehicles, motorcycles, and heavy trucks. In this presentation we will discuss how the newly published second-edition of ISO 26262 applies to the battery pack and battery management system in electric vehicles.

4:35 NTSB Investigations of EV Crashes and Incidents with Battery Fires

Barth_ThomasThomas Barth, PhD, Senior Accident Investigator and Biomechanics Engineer, Office of Highway Safety Board, National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board has conducted several investigations of electric vehicle crashes and incidents that involved fires and stranded energy of the high voltage battery. The investigations focused on the emergency response, secondary response, and stranded energy. This presentation will summarize the investigations and current issues being developed for an NTSB Special Report on Electric Vehicle Battery Fire Safety.

4:55 Q&A

5:20 Close of Day

Tuesday, June 25

8:30 am Morning Coffee


9:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

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


9:05 Bridging Modeling Scales via Multiphysics Numerical Methods: Successes and Challenges

Victor Oancea, PhD, Director of Technology, Chief Scientific Officer, Dassault Systemes

9:25 “Life Balancing”: Active Balancing to Extend Automotive Battery Life Without a Cost Penalty

Plett_GregoryGregory Plett, PhD, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

It is a natural tendency for cells in a battery pack to become out of balance over time due to small differences in their coulombic efficiencies, temperatures, self-discharge currents, and so forth. Therefore, it is necessary for a battery-management system to incorporate balancing circuitry and algorithms to maintain balance of all cells within an acceptable range. Historically, passive-balancing methods have been used since they are able to enforce balance using circuitry of moderate cost. However, using active-balancing circuitry it is possible to eke more energy out of a battery pack than with passive-balancing circuitry, and there is also the promise of the possibility of extending pack lifetime by differentially placing higher loads on stronger cells and lower loads on weaker cells. This talk presents an active-balancing approach that has been tested continuously for nearly two years in a hardware implementation and validates the assumption of life extension; moreover, the proposed method can attain cost parity with passive-balancing solutions in an automotive implementation.

9:45 A Glance at Next-Generation Battery Management System Requirements: Safety and Security

Goede_StephenStefan Goede, Managing Director, Systems Development, Munich Electrification GmbH

This presentation will detail the importance of cyber security of vehicles and how to prevent safety events using vehicle software.

10:05 Grand Opening Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

11:00 Accelerating EV System Qualification while Ensuring Battery Safety, Performance and Reliability

Sholklapper_TalTal Sholklapper, PhD, CEO, Voltaiq

Rapid, strategic shifts in electrification and vehicle usage models are putting enormous pressure on automotive OEMs to accelerate time-to-market through advanced modelling and validation of battery vendors and pack designs. This presentation will discuss how OEMs are using data analytics to accelerate qualification while ensuring safety, performance and reliability.

11:20 Technical Excerpts from the Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety Consortium

Surampudi_BapiBapi Surampudi, PhD, Staff Engineer, Electric Powertrain , Southwest Research Institute

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.

11:40 Approaches to Evaluating Battery Cell Components for Automotive Applications II

Zhou_ZoeZoe Zhou, PhD, Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company

Vehicle electrification requires the use of advanced energy storage devices, including Lithium-ion cells. Battery cell internal components and materials can impact a variety of battery performance and abuse response characteristics of individual cells and associated battery pack systems. Therefore, robust methods must be developed to effectively characterize these impacts to cells in exposure to varied conditions. In this presentation, a number of alternative methods for characterization and analysis will be discussed and related example findings reviewed.

12:00 pm Battery Modules & Packs: Digital Performance Assessment

Letailleur_FabienFabien Letailleur, Director, SIMULIA, Transportation & Mobility Initiative, Dassault Systemes

The audience can learn about ways to predict many aspects of the performance of battery modules and packs before the first prototype is ever built. A combination of 3D and homogenized 0D/1D modeling strategies are discussed spanning structural integrity, thermal management and electrical performance of batteries at the module and at the pack level. Examples include fatigue and crash analysis, thermal analysis, assembly related constraints, charging-discharging cycles.

12:20 Q&A

12:40 Networking Lunch

1:35 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)


2:35 Chairperson’s Remarks

Mark Verbrugge, PhD, Director, Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory, General Motors

2:40 pm Modeling of Porous Insertion Electrodes: The Utility of Cyclic Voltammetry and Differential Voltage Spectroscopy

Verbrugge_MarkMark Verbrugge, PhD, Director, Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory, General Motors

After a brief update on GM’s electrification initiatives, we develop and compare methods to determine when electrochemical reactions take place within intercalation electrodes used in lithium-ion cells. Second, we (1) formulate a porous electrode model including multiple lithium-insertion species and associated electrochemical and homogenous reactions, (2) simulate linear-sweep voltammetry data at different scan rates, and (3) describe a method to obtain values for transport, kinetic, and thermodynamic parameters.

3:00 Next Generation of Primed Al/Cu Foils to Support the Battery Market Evolution

Dagron_ThierryThierry Dagron, Business Development Director, ARMOR Films for Batteries, ARMOR

In order to increase the energy density and cope with supply chain and safety regulations, most of the battery manufacturers look to develop nickel-rich cathodes, silicone-based anodes, higher voltages, water-based processes, etc. With such changes, new technical issues may occur at the interface between the electrode and the current collector. We demonstrate how primed current collectors (Al/Cu foils with a protective and conductive coating) solve these problems. ARMOR has developed specific primed Al/Cu foils for these new electro-chemistries. Benefits are longer cycle life, increased safety, fast charging, high power and energy density.

3:20 Grinding and Dispersing Technology for the Battery Industry

Dagen_JakeJake Dagen, Processing Specialist, NETZSCH Premier Technologies

This talk will focus on the topic of how grinding and dispersing equipment can help battery manufactures improve their product.

3:40 Comparing Thermal Pads and Gap Fillers for Thermal Management in EV Battery Packs

Ledbetter_SarahSarah Ledbetter, Global Market Specialist – Electrification, LORD Corporation

An overview of thermal interface materials used in EV systems with focus on comparing gaps pad versus liquid-dispensed, gap fillers. Thermal transfer properties will be reviewed as well as real-world application data obtained via a representative battery module. Conclusions will be drawn that include trade-offs on cost, manufacturability and performance.

4:00 Q&A

Clarios 4:20 Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

5:25 Close of Symposium

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