Top Challenges in EV Battery Simulation

Battery system is one of the most critical sub-systems in E-Powertrain assembly. All OEMs and Battery Suppliers are working on innovative designs of Battery systems for delivering more power and durable battery systems. Simulations are getting more significant while simulating battery systems for determining and optimizing battery performances much in advance before testing.

Few typical simulations are

  • Battery Thermal (Cell/ Module/ Pack)
  • Battery Packaging
  • Battery Pack Crash Simulations
  • Ion Flow Simulations

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However, battery simulations have their own set of challenges as well. Here is the brief overview about various challenges an engineer can face while working on battery simulations.

Challenge 1: Getting an accurate Duty cycle data in the concept phase

It is usually difficult for designers to have accurate Duty cycle test data in the concept phase. Duty cycle is current requirements at different operating conditions (Road Profile). This data can be derived based on 1D System Simulations however, it requires very good technical knowledge of how to model the battery system along with drivetrain in the 1D system simulations.

Challenge 2: Accurately predicting current and/ or heat

The current inside the battery depends greatly upon the chemical composition of the electrolyte, the Ion Flow and the anode/cathode materials. Most commercial CFD solvers are coming up with Electrochemical physics modules to simulate chemistry and Ion flow inside the battery. The evaluation of CFD results need prior experience and a solid understanding of electrochemistry. The output of this simulation will be the primary inputs to the battery thermal simulations.

Challenge 3: Building the model for CFD Simulations

Even though the geometry of individual battery cell may not be very complex when it comes to the battery module/pack the number of cells become very large. And the cooling passages available are significantly narrow because of space constraints. So, the CFD simulations need good amount of time, high end graphical hardware and modeling expertise to capture fluid cavities and model fluid with boundary layers in narrow gaps. A Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT) model size of a battery pack may easily cross a cell count of 100Million.

Challenge 4: Requirement of HPC Cluster & Multi CPU licenses for Computation

The models for battery packs can be very large and need the best computational hardware to simulate CHT analysis. High end workstations are usually insufficient for the purpose and an HPC cluster with a minimum 96 cores is desire which needs multi-cpu CFD software licenses. The investment costs for HPC cluster & multi- CPU licenses are significantly higher compared to high end workstation.

Challenge 5: Interpreting simulation results and providing engineering proposals to the designer based on the simulation

Unavailability of test data for correlation of simulation results might be one of the biggest hindrances as many of EVs are still in development phase compare to IC Engine databases. This makes it necessary to have very good domain knowledge & engineering know- how to be able to interpret the results of the simulation.

We at ESPL have developed good expertise in battery simulation. If your team is looking for any kind of CAE/CFD support in this area, kindly get in touch with us.

Contact details are as below.

Equilibrium Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Phone: +91-20-25420085
Contact Point: Mr. Adwait Gokhale

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