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Modellansatz: Batteries

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In June 2019 Gudrun talked with Serena Carelli. Serena is member of the Research Training Group (RTG) Simet, which is based in Karlsruhe, Ulm and Offenburg. It started its work in 2017 and Gudrun is associated postdoc therein. The aim of that graduate school is to work on the better understanding of Lithium-ion batteries. For that it covers all scales, namley from micro (particles), meso (electrodes as pairs) to macro (cell) and involves scientists from chemistry, chemical engineering, material sciences, electro engineering, physics and mathematics. The group covers the experimental side as well as modeling and computer simulations.

Serena is one of the PhD-students of the program. She is based in Offenburg in the group of Wolfgang Bessler (the deputy speaker of the RTG). Her research focusses on End-of-life prediction of a lithium-ion battery cell by studying the mechanistic ageing models of the graphite electrode among other things.

Mathematical modelling and numerical simulation have become standard techniques in Li-ion battery research and development, with the purpose of studying the issues of batteries, including performance and ageing, and consequently increasing the model-based predictability of life expectancy. Serena and others work on an electrochemical model of a graphite-based lithium-ion cell that includes combined ageing mechanisms:

  1. Electrochemical formation of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) at the anode,
  2. breaking of the SEI due to mechanical stress from volume changes of the graphite particles, causing accelerated SEI growth,
  3. gas formation and dry-out of the electrodes,
  4. percolation theory for describing the loss of contact of graphite particles to the liquid electrolyte,
  5. formation of reversible and irreversible Li plating.


The electrochemistry is coupled to a multi-scale heat and mass transport model based on a pseudo-3D approach.

A time-upscaling methodology is developed that allows to simulate large time spans (thousands of operating hours). The combined modeling and simulation framework is able to predict calendaric and cyclic ageing up to the end of life of the battery cells. The results show a qualitative agreement with ageing behavior known from experimental literature.

Serena has a Bachelor in Chemistry and a Master's in Forensic Chemistry from the University of Torino. She worked in Spain, the Politécnico de Torino and in Greece (there she was Marie Curie fellow at the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas) before she decided to spend time in Australia and India.

  

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