The insights gained by DEFACTO will expedite the transition towards a greener energy solution. – Interview with Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering
Dr. Vishank Kumar, from Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering (ABEE) speaks on this interview about the main role of ABEE in the DEFACTO project, their expectations and the work they will carry out in developing the multi-scale multi-physics model for monitoring cell performance, lifetime and optimizing the cell design.
Q: What is the main role of ABEE in DEFACTO?
A: Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering (ABEE) is a dynamic and specialized company in the field of battery and energy technologies for e-mobility and stationary applications. With the expertise in multi-scale modelling and testing from material to cell level, ABEE will be mainly participating in: i) Multi-scale multi-physics modelling, ii) Characterization and testing. The battery modeling division of ABEE will provide theoretical expertise in modeling from pack to cell and up to the atomistic level modeling of battery materials to optimize the cell design. Simultaneously, the electrochemical testing team will complement theoretical work by providing essential process parameters to test and validate theoretical models for improved cell manufacturing and usage conditions. Moreover, ABEE will also assist in defining industry standards for cell manufacturing and in designing a user-friendly software tool enabling research labs and cell manufacturers in rapid prototyping and testing new cell chemistry.
Q: What are your expectations from the project?
A: We have manifold expectations from the DEFACTO project. We believe that developing a fast, user-friendly and robust modeling tool will boost the market uptake of new cell technologies by rapid prototyping and process optimization. The diverse team of researchers from leading European research institutes, and experts from cell and material manufacturing, facilitates complementary learning for each consortium partner. The mix of competences will improve the understanding of processing-structure-properties relation in cell manufacturing at different length scales. The multi-scale multi-physics tool, on the one hand, will establish the foundation of a guided design of electrode and electrolyte, resulting in an improved cell performance and battery lifetime. On the other hand, the industrial cell manufacturers can use this knowledge in optimizing the processing parameters to obtain the desired performance, resulting in a faster production with a superior product quality. Moreover, we expect that the methods developed in the DEFACTO project will go beyond the specified battery technology and will also be useful in developing next generation batteries based on novel cell chemistries. In the long run these new insights will strengthen the technological platform of European battery business and will expedite the transition towards a greener energy solution.
Q: Can you describe the work ABEE is planning to do in this project?
A: A multi-scale multi-physics model relates different electrochemical and physical interactions in a battery at different length scales. Such a tool can be used for simulating lithium-ion battery’s characteristics and optimizing the cell design. As the name suggests, the accuracy and robustness of these models largely depend on the phenomena included in the model at multiple scales. This comes, however, at the expense of a higher computational time, which is often not cost-effective or in some cases not practical, e.g. in the battery management system that requires immediate prediction of the state of the battery.
In this project, ABEE will assist in tackling both these issues, precisely in: 1) performing accurate Density-Functional Theory (DFT)-based calculations to link macroscopic mechanical properties of electrodes to the atomic level, and 2) designing a user-friendly tool based on reduced order modeling for quicker and easier simulations. The mechanical properties obtained via DFT at the atomic level will be integrated in the macroscopic model and will be coupled with the electrochemical model to have an accurate description of electrochemical and ageing behavior for lifetime prediction. This computationally expensive multi-scale tool will be simplified to an efficient reduced order model (ROM) packed in an open-source software. ABEE will assist in designing the layout of this software keeping in mind the end user as cell manufacturers or industrial researchers. All in all, ABEE will assist in designing a highly accurate yet computationally faster and easy to use battery simulation tool for optimizing cell manufacturing that will lead to faster innovation in the battery business in European market.