The role of cell geometry when selecting tab or surface cooling to minimise cell degradation

Oskar Dondelewski, Teddy Szemberg O'Connor, Yan Zhao, Ian A. Hunt, Alexander Holland, Alastair Hales, Gregory J. Offer, Yatish Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

22 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal management of lithium ion batteries is critical to maintain cells at their optimum temperature and balance performance with degradation. Previous work has shown tab cooling to be better for performance and lifetime, but only if sufficient heat removal can be achieved, which depends in part on cell geometry. In this paper, a large form-factor pouch cell is shown to suffer from faster degradation when tab-cooled although still benefitting from higher useable energy. This paper introduces the ratio of surface-to-tab cell cooling coefficient, CCCratio, as a qualitative measure to assess a cell's suitability for tab cooling. For low CCCratio cells, tab cooling results in more useable energy and lower degradation rates than surface cooling. However, the large pouch cell used in this study has a high CCCratio, indicating that it is difficult to remove sufficient heat through tab cooling. At beginning of life, tab cooling allows access to more usable energy in the cell, but the rate of high temperature-induced degradation is greater, compared to the surface cooled cell. As a result, the useable energy from the tab cooled cell diminishes more rapidly, and after a certain cycle count, the useable energy from the surface cooled cell is superior. The optimum cooling approach will therefore be dependent on the desired lifetime of the system. This research should be of particular interest to cell and battery pack designers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100073
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Battery degradation
  • Battery pack design
  • Cell cooling coefficient
  • Pouch cell
  • Tab cooling
  • Thermal management system


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