Li-ion Battery Thermal Characterization for Thermal Management Design: Article No. 136

Aron Saxon, Chuanbo Yang, Shriram Santhanagopalan, Matthew Keyser, Andrew Colclasure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Battery design efforts often prioritize enhancing the energy density of the active materials and their utilization. However, optimizing thermal management systems at both the cell and pack levels is also key to achieving mission-relevant battery design. Battery thermal management systems, responsible for managing the thermal profile of battery cells, are crucial for balancing the trade-offs between battery performance and lifetime. Designing such systems requires accounting for the multitude of heat sources within battery cells and packs. This paper provides a summary of heat generation characterizations observed in several commercial Li-ion battery cells using isothermal battery calorimetry. The primary focus is on assessing the impact of temperatures, C-rates, and formation cycles. Moreover, a module-level characterization demonstrated the significant additional heat generated by module interconnects. Characterizing heat signatures at each level helps inform manufacturing at the design, production, and characterization phases that might otherwise go unaccounted for at the full pack level. Further testing of a 5 kWh battery pack revealed that a considerable temperature non-uniformity may arise due to inefficient cooling arrangements. To mitigate this type of challenge, a combined thermal characterization and multi-domain modeling approach is proposed, offering a solution without the need for constructing a costly module prototype.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-89032


  • battery thermal efficiency
  • battery thermal management
  • battery thermal management design
  • battery thermal model
  • lithium-ion battery


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