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Home Groups Introduction to the Modeling of Rechargeable Batteries
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  • Created 08 Jan 2011

About the Group

Introduction to the Modeling of Rechargeable Batteries

David R. Ely and R. Edwin Garcia

Contact Information:

David Ely (

R. Edwin Garcia (


Electrochemical materials and its application to energy storage and conversion devices, such as batteries and fuel cells are a rapidly growing field, particularly for portable technologies and electric and hybrid vehicles. This course will deliver an introduction to the modeling and simulation of rechargeable batteries by starting from basic electrochemistry principles. Applications to currently existing and emerging rechargeable batteries (lithium-ion batteries in particular) will be reviewed. Theoretical and practical aspects of battery operation will be conveyed, while placing an emphasis on the integration of electrochemical principles and materials science for rechargeable battery technology. An introduction of the simulation methods being used by the battery industry will be presented. Current trends and directions of the field of battery technology will also be outlined.

3dbattery.001.pngFigure 1: Today’s typical rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are fabricated by processing powder formulations of materials such as lithium manganese oxide, lithium iron phosphate, and graphite into composite structures whose performance is tuned by adjusting particle size, the thickness of the anode, ha, the separator, hs, and the cathode, hc. The resulting porous structures are rolled-up into cylindrical canisters, and ultimately packaged into cans that we are all familiar with. The fabricated power sources deliver power and energy densities that are a strong function of the underlying microstructure. This class enables experimentalists to explore improved battery architectures and assess the impact of their design. (Image Courtesy of Mr. Bharath Vijayaraghavan)Figure 2: In this class, we deconstruct the most popular, published, and currently used coarse-grained models (right) to account for the position-dependent state-of-charge (a), overpotential (b), and electrolyte concentration and position-dependent reaction rate ( c ). In every battery, the location across the cathode thickness delivers a different power density; thus, particles closer to the anode (I) intercalate lithium first, while particles deeper inside the cathode (II and III) are electrically shielded from contributing to the discharge reactions. Engineering methodologies developed in class include the simulation of the electrical (ohmic losses), chemical (diffusion limitations), mechanical (stresses and fracture mechanics), and thermal effects (Joule heating) on battery performance (below).




syllabusMSE597RB.pdf (108 Kb), a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.