Mechanical-Electrochemical-Thermal Simulation of Lithium-Ion Cells: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Shriram Santhanagopalan, Michael Sprague, Ahmad Pesaran, Chao Zhang

Research output: NRELPresentation


Models capture the force response for single-cell and cell-string levels to within 15%-20% accuracy and predict the location for the origin of failure based on the deformation data from the experiments. At the module level, there is some discrepancy due to poor mechanical characterization of the packaging material between the cells. The thermal response (location and value of maximum temperature) agrees qualitatively with experimental data. In general, the X-plane results agree with model predictions to within 20% (pending faulty thermocouples, etc.); the Z-plane results show a bigger variability both between the models and test-results, as well as among multiple repeats of the tests. The models are able to capture the timing and sequence in voltage drop observed in the multi-cell experiments; the shapes of the current and temperature profiles need more work to better characterize propagation. The cells within packaging experience about 60% less force under identical impact test conditions, so the packaging on the test articles is robust. However, under slow-crush simulations, the maximum deformation of the cell strings with packaging is about twice that of cell strings without packaging.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePresented at the 229th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2016, San Diego, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-66957


  • battery
  • impact test
  • lithium ion
  • thermal response


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