Batteries - A Generic Approach to Simulating Temperature Distributions within Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery Systems

The current trend in the seagoing vessels sector involves replacing conventional sources of energy with greener alternatives.

The NAUTILUS project is developing and testing a novel energy system for large passenger ships based on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) hybridized with a battery. A core technology of the project is the solid oxide fuel cell provided by company SolydEra, coupled with commercial lithium-ion battery for marine application.

While considering the propulsion system of the ship, the large-scale battery system is evaluated. Investigations on laboratory scale and the experience obtained from the field have shown that thermal behaviour of batteries is crucial over their entire life span. A crucial aspect of the novel system’s design, control, and operation was determining both the average temperature and the underlying temperature distribution within the battery system. In large-scale battery systems, which comprise multiple cells connected in series and parallel, in addition to the average temperature, the temperature distribution between the individual cells must also be considered. Therefore, thermal battery system models that enable the calculation of these distributions are necessary.

In the recently published article, a generic thermal equivalent circuit model for commercial battery modules with passive cooling was introduced. This model approach can be easily adapted to various system designs and sizes and is supported by a corresponding low-effort characterization process. The validation of the model was conducted using both synthetic and measured load profiles from stationary and marine applications.

The results demonstrated that the model accurately represents both the average temperature and the occurring temperature spread (from maximum to minimum temperature) with deviations below 1 K. Additionally, further simplifying assumptions were tested to reduce the computational effort required by the model. By comparing the resulting simplified models with the original full-scale model, it was observed that reducing the number of simulated cells and assuming electrical homogeneity between the cells in the module significantly reduced computation time by one order of magnitude while maintaining a high level of model accuracy.

Read more details in the article in Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2023) of Batteries 2023, the article has open access.

The article was written by Alexander Reiter, Susanne Lehner, Oliver Bohlen and Dirk Uwe Sauer

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 861647.

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NAUTILUS is a short for Nautical Integrated Hybrid Energy System for Long-haul Cruise Ships.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 861647.