Battery Modelling for Application

Posted by Mei-Chin Pang on 01 November 2017

Spark of interest

I am currently studying Battery Modelling at Imperial College London. I was inspired to work on modelling and simulation during my final year project of the undergraduate studies, where I worked on the high-pressure hydrogen storage in metal hydrides. It was a challenging project because the storage of hydrogen in the metal hydrides required a pressure range of up to 50 bar in the laboratory. Perhaps due to the influence of my professors, who had always challenged us to plan for the worst, I was concerned throughout the project if the reactors could operate reliably under these conditions. This concern had led me to choose modelling and simulations in materials and process design during my master's degree.

Viable solutions

To gain a better understanding of modelling theories that I’d learnt in lectures, I also worked as a student research assistant in different research institutes in modelling and simulations. I see renewable energy and energy storage as viable solutions to address crises such as geopolitical tension, energy poverty, climate change, the explosion of nuclear power plants (Chernobyl and Fukushima) and accumulation of nuclear waste. The passion for renewable energy and energy storage led me to continue with the PhD in Battery Modelling.

Advancing battery technologies

The utilisation of electric vehicles enables electrical energy from electric power grids to be used for the powertrains, thus increasing the diversification of automotive energy from the absolute dependence on fossil fuels towards renewable energy. The future development of electric vehicles relies on the advancement of battery technologies. Apart from meeting the performance requirements to power the electric powertrains, rigorous safety control is also required for the batteries to operate and respond to a wide range of demanding circumstances such as extreme ambient temperature environment, charge and discharge failures as well as physical damage in crash scenarios. An engineer is entrusted with the lives of many. Different parameters ought to be tested and understood before electric powertrains could be used for large-scale applications.

Powering Up Research Event

There are many different approaches in modelling and simulations to solve a problem. I attended the Powering Up Research Event in September which was an opportunity to understand further the capabilities of ‘Thomas’ – a UK National Tier 2 High Performance Computing Hub in Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM Hub funded by EPSRC). The event provided an opportunity to understand the significance of Multiscale and Multiphysics Modelling as illustrated by Professor Mark Miodownik. Supercomputers such as Thomas could have the ability to speed up research in areas such as Modelling, for instance, when studying different parameters for a simulation model without compromising the accuracy of the model.

Author

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Mei-Chin Pang
Job title: Research Postgraduate
Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London

Mei-Chin would like to thank her supervisors for their support. They include Dr Gregory Offer, Dr Chen Mu, Dr Monica Marinescu and Professor John Dear

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