Accurate simulations of batteries will enable battery makers to improve designs and performance without creating expensive prototypes to test every new material, or new type and configuration of the cells. The project considers a range of length scales, from the nanoscale – where atoms interact – up to the macroscale of a complete pack and its electronic control mechanisms and even the system-wide costs and environmental impacts of battery technologies used in the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. A variety of timescales are also being considered to assess atomic processes at the nanosecond, through to long-term degradation occurring over years. Battery simulations and design tools exist at each length and timescale, but they have previously often lacked the accuracy required for understanding the phenomena occurring within batteries.
The project’s world-leading research bridges science and engineering, working innovatively alongside UK industry to deliver impact. Its internationally recognised experts are developing new digital and experimental techniques for understanding battery behaviour at the atomistic, continuum and system scales. Fast, accurate models, incorporating the most complete physics and advanced mathematical techniques, are being developed to be directly usable for industry, enabling digital twinning of whole cells and packs. Atomistic accuracy will parameterise higher level models and tackle key challenges, such as the complex interactions and activity at the electrolyte-electrode interface. Rapid experimental parameterisation methods are being developed, greatly reducing the time and cost of customising models for particular applications.
Case Study: The Multi-Scale Modelling Project is helping create global collaborative communities:
- PyBaMM (Python Battery Mathematical Modelling)
PyBaMM solves physics-based electrochemical DAE models by using state-of-the-art automatic differentiation and numerical solvers.
DandeLiion is an ultra-fast solver for electrochemical models of planar lithium-ion cells and thermal-electrochemical models of three-dimensional composite pouch cells.
ONETEP is a leading UK-developed code for first principles quantum atomistic simulations. ONETEP is available to UK academics for free.
- Validate new, more complete battery physics: including coupled degradation mechanisms, to develop degradation diagnostic tools and predict end-of-life.
- Exploit novel multiscale/multi-physics methods to design better devices: including designing new cells and establishing new standards for thermal characterisation.
- Integrate research communities across scales and approaches, enabling them to work together to bring atomistic accuracy into battery simulations.
- Develop a common modelling framework: the project’s software, including PyBaMM, DandeLiion and ONETEP, is creating a global community of collaborators enabling the team to tackle the biggest problems in modelling.
- Make trusted models, usable by industry: companies are eager to use the project’s software, showing that its work is industrially competitive and reflects a world-leading body of knowledge and understanding.
A new thermal standard, the cell cooling coefficient, has been released and published with the potential to revolutionise the global battery industry’s understanding and exploitation of thermal management.
In two example of Faraday Institution research moving to the next stage of commercialisation, the Power-Up and GENESIS projects, selected as two of the Faraday Battery Challenge Round 4 projects in what was a highly competitive bidding process, leverage the knowledge, capabilities and know-how of the team at Imperial College London and the wider Multi-scale Modelling team.
About:Energy, a joint spin out from Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham has been set up to help commercialise the battery modelling capability developed by the Faraday Institution’s Multi-scale Modelling Project. The company aims to facilitate the use of battery modelling by UK industry, increasing the speed of battery prototype development and giving the organisations it works with a competitive advantage. Read the press release.
In December 2022, the Battery Parameter eXchange (BPX), an open standard for physics-based lithium-ion battery models, was launched. The standard defines the battery parameters, the equations that use the parameters, and the reporting of experimental measurements used to validate the reported parameters. The initiative aims to provide a common language to enable accurate battery modelling and reduce costs and time-to-market for industry.
Read the news release. Visit the BPX website:
Technical managers, whether working in automakers or SMEs, involved or interested in battery modelling, are encouraged to engage with the BPX standard to understand how it can benefit their business by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
1 March 2018 - 31 March 2023
Professor Gregory Offer,
Imperial College London
Dr Jacqueline Edge
Imperial College London
Imperial College London (Lead)
University of Birmingham
University of Bath
University College London
University of Oxford
University of Portsmouth
University of Southampton
University of Warwick
Research Organisations, Facilities and Institutes
UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)
+ 14 Industrial Partners
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