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Safety modelling and testing of lithium-ion batteries in electrified vehicles

Abstract

To optimize the safety of batteries, it is important to understand their behaviours when subjected to abuse conditions. Most early efforts in battery safety modelling focused on either one battery cell or a single field of interest such as mechanical or thermal failure. These efforts may not completely reflect the failure of batteries in automotive applications, where various physical processes can take place in a large number of cells simultaneously. In this Perspective, we review modelling and testing approaches for battery safety under abuse conditions. We then propose a general framework for large-scale multi-physics modelling and experimental work to address safety issues of automotive batteries in real-world applications. In particular, we consider modelling coupled mechanical, electrical, electrochemical and thermal behaviours of batteries, and explore strategies to extend simulations to the battery module and pack level. Moreover, we evaluate safety test approaches for an entire range of automotive hardware sets from cell to pack. We also discuss challenges in building this framework and directions for its future development.

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Fig. 1: Summary of the coupling scheme in the proposed multi-physics model.
Fig. 2: Simulated response of a pouch cell under mechanical impact induced by a cylindrical indenter.
Fig. 3: Example results of battery overcharge abuse tests.

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Acknowledgements

This work is supported by US Department of Transportation National High Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under contract DTNH22-11-C-00214 and by the Vehicle Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy under DOE Agreement DE-EE0007288.

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Correspondence to Jie Deng.

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Deng, J., Bae, C., Marcicki, J. et al. Safety modelling and testing of lithium-ion batteries in electrified vehicles. Nat Energy 3, 261–266 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-018-0122-3

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