UK battery research centre Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) has opened a battery ageing facility to aid in the understanding of lithium-ion batteries as they get older.
It said ageing experiments can take 6–24 months, and a key challenge is to condense a normal lifetime’s charge – discharge cycles into a few weeks rather than a year, without producing misleading results.
WMG’s new laboratory is at its Wellesbourne Campus. It can provide a dedicated analysis of the problem of precision-ageing of lithium-ion battery cells.
A dedicated team of researchers, engineers and technicians are running bespoke testing with immersed thermal management rigs.
Testing has produced fully validated and parameterised high-accuracy ageing and degradation models. The reference dataset is intended to support and accelerate the development of new machine learning and artificial intelligence battery ageing algorithms.
“It has also led to the generation of new knowledge and a better understanding of electrochemical ageing mechanisms through forensic autopsy and physical validation of ageing mechanisms,” it said.
The data and modelling have been used by UK battery manufacturers, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, and other sectors moving to electrification. The data covers a wide variety of test cases – something the automotive industry would have struggled to achieve alone, according to the body.
Smaller companies without their own extensive testing facilities will especially benefit, said WMG.
It said ageing data is now freely available to any research or academic organisation. As the data repository expands over time, models will be available for different cell chemistries and use cases. The project started in March 2021 and officially opened in in March 2022, but continues to have equipment installed.