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Electrification: Developing the Batteries of the Future

Electrification of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) is a growing trend in the automotive industry. However, to make electric vehicles commonplace and profitable, vehicle and battery manufacturers face challenges such as cost, range, charging speed, reliability and safety. In this article, we explore how integrated lithium-ion battery design and multidisciplinary simulation are key in this context. We'll cover everything from optimized battery design to battery management system (BMS) development and optimization of the vehicle's thermal and electrical systems.

Figure 1. Global stock of electric passenger cars by region between 2010 and 2019.

Battery Design for Optimal Performance

Improving the design of lithium-ion batteries is vital to meet the demands of Battery Electric Vehicles. This process involves not only vehicle development, but also detailed electrochemical analyses, as well as the precise design of cells, modules and packaging. Furthermore, it is crucial to control unwanted heat propagation and ensure the functional safety of the battery.

Figure 2. Commonly used Li-ion cell types in automotive batteries.

Using the Digital Twin to Improve Lithium Battery Manufacturing

Battery design is intricate and requires constant collaboration between experts from diverse disciplines. The application of the digital twin, combined with physical testing, is essential to meet engineering challenges and ensure an optimized design. Additionally, engineers specializing in multiphysics CAE/CFD simulations investigate strategies to mitigate the unwanted effects of thermal propagation.

Figure 3. Simcenter for battery design workflow.

Simcenter Battery Design Studio - Designing Improved Battery Cell Packages with Geometric Precision and Performance Simulations

Simcenter Battery Design Studio supports engineers in digitally validating the design of lithium-ion cells. The tool provides accurate geometric details of cells and simulations of cell performance. With an extensive database of battery cell materials and components, this tool facilitates the development of advanced models.

Figure 4. Ragone plot, showing the power capacity and energy capacity potential of current commercial capacitor and battery cell type technologies.

Decisions Optimized Through Digital Validation

Applying accurate simulations in Simcenter Battery Design Studio enables digital validation of lithium-ion cell designs. Performance models, such as macrohomogeneous and RCR-equivalent circuit, provide crucial insights into cell behavior. This allows engineers to make informed and optimized decisions throughout the design process.

Development of the Battery Management System (BMS)

Software and control engineers play a key role when developing the Battery Management System (BMS). This system optimizes the use of remaining energy, balances the load between cells and monitors battery health. Using sensors that measure voltage, current, temperature and other data, the BMS calculates the state of charge, integrity and function of the battery. Intelligent algorithms improve battery performance, lifespan and functional safety.

Figure 5. The powertrain architect sizes the battery (capacity, power, voltage) to reach the desired vehicle performance.

Harmony in the Vehicle's Thermal and Electrical Systems

Integration of the battery into the vehicle's thermal and electrical systems is critical. The battery thermal systems engineer ensures the balance between thermal comfort in the cabin and optimal battery operating conditions, considering different environments. At the same time, the power electronics engineer designs the vehicle's electrical architecture, including inverters, converters and chargers that interact directly with the battery.

Figure 6. Studying thermal runaway propagation and safety using 3D simulation.

Systemic Integration and Vehicle Coordination

The vehicle integrator plays a crucial role in coordinating the development of vehicle and battery subsystems. It ensures that performance requirements are met in all respects. Through model-based system simulations, a complete vehicle concept is refined throughout the development cycle, optimizing both the battery and other components.

Figure 8. Vehicle level simulation using reduced order models.

Powering the Electric Future with Lithium Batteries

Designing a lithium-ion battery for a BEV requires extensive collaboration across multiple engineering disciplines. The simulation emerges as an indispensable tool to improve the performance, safety and integration of the battery in the vehicle system. Solutions provided by Siemens Digital Industries Software's Simcenter Battery Design Studio enable automotive OEMs and suppliers to successfully transition to electrified fleets, driving the electric mobility revolution.

Figure 9. The vehicle energy management testing facilities

To explore how CAEXPERTS' innovative solutions can revolutionize the electric mobility industry and drive the next generation of batteries, schedule a meeting with us now. Together, we will shape the future of sustainable mobility. Don't waste time and get in touch today!We can become your technology innovation partner!

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