Industry Sprints – Details

The Faraday Institution builds closer industry relationships where specific short-term research needs have been identified, which lie within the broad scope of our research projects and which are of wider interest to industry.

TOPBAT – Optimising pack design for thermal management

This project will design a battery pack that is optimised for thermal management, which has the potential for significantly increased battery pack energy density, reduced pack cost and complexity and increased pack lifetime compared to the battery packs on the market today. The project aims to demonstrate that the current practice of optimising cell-level energy density, without due consideration of thermal management, has a highly detrimental effect. TOPBAT is an example of the commercial application of the Faraday Institution’s Multi-scale Modelling project.

In Phase 1, currently being funded by the Faraday Institution, the team will validate its redesign concepts through a cell redesign project on AMTE's "Ultra Power" cell. If it proceeds to Phase 2, the methodology will be applied to a second cell type, and more radical enhancements to the redesign of AMTE’s cell will be considered and validated. At the end of the project, the UK battery industry could have two new enhanced products to offer to the marketplace.

Further information.

Timeframe: 6 months

Projects involved:  Multi-scale Modelling

Cell abuse, off gas species and detonation behaviour

Under cell failure conditions, the collection of off gases within a pack potentially poses a risk to aerospace applications where venting is undesirable. The aim of this sprint is to characterise the composition of these gases under various failure conditions, and to determine the danger they present across a range of environmental limits. This is expected to be an exploratory study into what is potentially a larger piece of work, where modelling could predict any flammability or detonation limits, and then be used to inform pack design during early development phases.

Timeframe: 4 months

Projects involved: Battery Degradation

Read a case study about the project: Improving battery safety for aerospace applications

The continuation of this project is now part of an integrated project on the science of battery safety - SafeBatt - launched in April 2021.

Cell degradation

A Faraday Institution partner highlighted an issue whereby some battery chemistries have been shown to suffer from increased capacity fade when stored at a specific state of charge. Aligned with both the Degradation and Multi-scale Modelling projects, researchers will be analysing commercial cells after 20, 40 and 60 weeks of temperature-controlled storage, using local and national scale facilities. The outcome of this work will indicate if the issue can be solved by modification to the cell chemistry, or whether battery management system strategies need to be employed to minimise residence time at these conditions.

Timeframe: 15 months

Projects involved: Battery Degradation, Multi-scale Modelling

Materials for thermal transfer and module manufacture

Thermal control of a battery pack is vitally important to its performance and longevity. Higher performance thermal materials could usefully improve both, by transferring heat efficiently from the cells to the cooling system, and by isolating cells from their neighbours in cases where an individual cell is going into thermal runaway. This sprint will look into the development of nanomaterials composites, phase change materials and functional scaffold materials to meet these aims, then both model and experimentally validate them.

Timeframe: 6 months

Projects involved: Multi-scale Modelling


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