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Editor’s Pick: CD-adapco Unveils Lithium-Ion Battery Cell Simulation

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

This bubba I know is an electrical engineer with an expertise in hybrid power generation systems. He changed coasts and got a job developing lithium-ion batteries. Turned out it was a tough career move for which his former life as a user of lithium-ion batteries had not prepared him. He discovered that analyzing a spirally wound lithium-ion cell design is colossally complex. Things like electrode coatings and the amount and positioning of tabs have seemingly endless options. This makes any simulation of the electro-thermal behavior of spirally wound lithium-ion cells a time-consuming beast.

I thought of Sparky when I read the announcement of the new STAR-CCM + Battery Simulation Module from CD-adapco. This tool is said to let you simulate spirally wound lithium-ion battery cells quickly. “Quickly” is the operative word here, since this sort of analysis has been anything but fleet.

An interesting note about this product is that it is the fruit of a co-sponsorship with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and commercial outfits like CD-adapco, Johnson Controls, A123 Systems, and Battery Design LLC. Incidentally, CD-adapco already distributes Battery Design Studio, a tool produced by Battery Design that allows engineers to design lithium-ion batteries, simulate performance, and analyze data.

In short, what the STAR-CCM + Battery Simulation Module does for you is bring together extensive domain expertise in an integrated multi-physics environment. That means you can simulate the flow, thermal, and electrochemical phenomena that made previous analyses of spirally wound lithium-ion cells aggressively difficult to perform.

The STAR-CCM + Battery Simulation Module from CD-adapco is so new that I don’t have a lot of detail for you, nor will you find much on the CD-adapco website, which is quite uncharacteristic of them. CD-adapco seems to have plans to provide hands-on training; however, even there newness intrudes. See, while the first link to the training agenda in today’s Pick of the Week write-up indicates that the venues are not yet scheduled, the master schedule indicates training beginning in late September

The whole point of the STAR-CCM + Battery Simulation Module technology is, of course, to help engineers in the automotive and battery industries design and develop advanced electric drive vehicle power sources. That means today’s Pick of the Week may not be for everyone. But at the same time, it has vast implications for everyone. Give this news a read and check out some of the links for further information on this new technology.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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