Battery simulation tools will benefit from collaboration

  • 15-Mar-2010 02:08 EDT

CD-adpaco’s upgraded tool will help automakers get the most from batteries.

A collaboration announced late last year may soon begin paying off for developers of electrified powertrains. At its SAE 2010 World Congress booth, simulation software provider CD-adapco will be discussing the imminent release of a program developed with its partner, Battery Design LLC.

The two announced their collaboration late last year, saying they would be unveiling software this year. CD-adapco brings its capabilities in simulation software for fluid dynamics, stress analysis, and heat transfer, while Battery Design provides knowledge gained by making lithium-ion battery cells.

Together, they are developing design software that is specially created for automakers. During the early days of the industry’s shift to electric power, powertrain developers have had to rely largely on tools created for much smaller products that use a fraction of the batteries needed to power a car. Modeling and simulation tools are a necessity given the huge number of parameters involved in electric powertrain development.

CD-adapco's flagship STAR-CCM+ simulation tool is being enhanced to enable the study of interaction between a cell or battery and its automotive environment. Simulating battery systems is a transient problem because the state of charge and related battery characteristics are constantly changing.

The software has to be designed to undertake unsteady calculations in which the flow, thermal, and electrical time scales are accounted for properly. Initial applications target thermal management issues that directly influence both battery temperature and safety.

Battery Design's models will be integrated into CD-adapco’s 3-D environment so system designers can better understand installation effects and the behavior of large-scale battery systems.

CD-adapco’s tools will help suppliers develop an engineering process that they can use to perform simulations based on data that is readily available from Li-ion cell producers.

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