Most people are aware of the dramatic and fast-paced trend towards electrification within the automotive industry which has led to the increased use of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for energy storage in electrified vehicles. Here at Gamma Technologies, we work with many modeling, simulation, and controls engineers in the automotive industry, and one thing I have noticed is that this trend towards electrification is not only a shift in the products that OEMs sell, but also a personal shift for many automotive engineers. I’ve spoken to many engineers who have historically worked on conventional vehicles and are now being asked to focus more on electrified vehicles. Because of this, I decided to write a blog introducing the basics of Li-ion technology and popular modeling techniques for these automotive engineers trying to keep up with this major trend in the industry.
There are many ways to model a battery, but the two most commonly-used are electrical-equivalent behavioral models and electrochemical physical models. Both methods provide value for engineers, and each one takes a different approach to modeling the behavior of batteries. In this blog, you’ll learn about the basic operation of Li-ion batteries, how these different approaches model the behavior of a battery, and the benefits and tradeoffs associated with each.
Wait, how exactly does a Li-ion battery work?
Before I go into detail about different modeling methods, let’s make sure we understand how a Li-ion battery operates. Figure 1 shows a cross-sectional view of a Li-ion cell.