The Cell Cooling Coefficient as a design tool to optimise thermal management of lithium-ion cells in battery packs

Alastair Hales, Ryan Prosser, Laura Bravo Diaz, Gavin White, Yatish Patel, Gregory Offer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Lithium-ion cells and battery packs are not typically designed for optimised thermal management. As a result, almost every cell in use worldwide is performing below optimum levels and degrading needlessly fast. The root cause of the problem is the lack of information surrounding the thermal performance of cells. Cell Cooling Coefficients (CCCs) have been developed to define a cell's heat rejection capability. Here, CCCs indicate how thermal performance varies with geometric change in five different pouch cells. Surface cooling performance is reduced dramatically by increasing the electrode-stack thickness. Tab cooling performance is unaffected by electrode-stack thickness, but tab cross-sectional area is a significant thermal bottleneck. In this study, increasing tab thickness by 34% yields a tab cooling performance enhancement of 20%, with a specific energy reduction of just 0.7%. The evidence highlights that cell designers have fallen into the ‘sub-system optimisation trap’, whilst trying to optimise cell specific energy. Simple redesign could drastically improve tab cooling capability for most cells. Tab cooling is known to benefit the performance and lifetime of cells, when the thermal bottleneck is not a limiting factor. The battery industry must embrace innovation and implement tab cooling in the automotive market, grid storage and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100089
JournaleTransportation
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Faraday Institution (grant number EP/S003053/1 , FIRG003 ), the Innovate UK THT project (grant number 105297 ), the Innovate UK BATMAN project (grant number 104180 ) and the EPSRC iCase (voucher 18000166 ).

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Faraday Institution (grant number EP/S003053/1, FIRG003), the Innovate UK THT project (grant number 105297), the Innovate UK BATMAN project (grant number 104180) and the EPSRC iCase (voucher 18000166).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Battery heat generation
  • Battery thermal management
  • Cell cooling coefficient
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Lithium-ion cell
  • Lithium-ion cell design optimisation

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