Types of Battery Simulations for Electric Vehicles

The battery cell is an individual unit of a battery module used for generating current to drive the motor in an Electric Vehicle.

The battery cell consists of a Cathode, an Anode and an Electrolytic Media. We can easily correlate the battery cell to an everyday battery cell used in a remote control or an optical mouse. The shape of battery cell can be a cylinder or rectangular/ prismatic/ pouch cell.

To have enough magnitude of current, battery cells are stacked together to form a battery module and depending on overall power requirement of the EV, there can be multiple battery modules. The assembly of battery modules along with cooling jacket, sensors and the wiring harness forms a battery pack.

 

The performance of the battery depends greatly upon the dissipation of heat generated inside the battery during operating conditions. The amount of heat generated inside the battery depends upon the current flowing through the circuit, which in turn depends upon driving conditions based on the Duty Cycle (Current vs Time)

When we talk about simulating the temperature distribution in a cell, what we are referring to is the simulation of the Thermal Cycle and the analysis of the Electrochemistry of the cell.

 

Battery simulations can be of the following types:

1.       Battery Cell Thermal Simulation
Heat generated within the battery depends upon the duty cycle. This simulation can predict temperatures in a single battery cell for different duty cycles. This simulation can be performed using 1D System or 3D Simulation.

 

2.       Battery Module Thermal Simulation
The Battery Module Thermal Simulation is principally the same as the Battery Cell Thermal Simulation except that it is carried out on a stack of battery cells in one module.

 

3.       Battery Pack Cooling/ Thermal Simulation
In Battery Pack Cooling/ Thermal Simulation multiple battery modules along with the cooling passages are modeled and thermal and coolant flow is simulated and optimized. The aim of the simulation is to achieve desired temperature distributions with minimal pressure drop in coolant flow. Again, 1D and 3D options are possible for this simulation, however 3D Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT) simulations are recommended.