For transport applications developing robust batteries is a key market requirement, increasing vehicle range and reducing cost of ownership through longer battery life, and therefore vital to accelerate uptake of electric vehicles. This research project utilises vibration testing and analysis in different environmental conditions to develop innovative research in the field of battery vibration engineering for transport. The successful student will study the combined effect of temperature, humidity and mechanical vibrations on batteries, considering current and future cell technology.
Battery vibration test and analysis at both a cell and pack level has been completed by a range of teams, however the work in the literature focuses on understanding fault conditions caused by vibration. Researchers have examined, for example, the charging capacity after a vibration test representing typical vehicle conditions, to understand resulting deterioration. The research objective for this PhD project will be to make a step change from existing work, examining the effect of battery vibration in a new way, working to understand how the combined effects of vibrations and environmental actions could be used to improve mechanical or electrical properties of the cell or module.
Experimental work to study the impact of vibrations on battery cells and modules will be undertaken in the new Climatic Environmental Chamber at the University of Brighton using state of the art battery charging facilities to replicate in use charge and discharge conditions. The performance of the batteries will be monitored during the vibration testing in this rigorously controlled environment to produce new insight. Advanced multi-phase numerical models will be developed to support optimisation of the performance and the safety of the batteries. Specifically, the dynamic behaviour will be modelled through a stochastic approach accounting for the uncertainties of vehicle-road interactions. The reliability as well as the efficiency of the batteries will be then optimised in probabilistic sense using a Monte Carlo approach.
The novelty of the approach gives potential for this research to be world leading. It will also have tangible impact, supporting the development of more robust battery technologies benefitting battery manufacturers and the environment. This research will play an integral role in the University’s research into vehicle electrification and energy storage and targets UK government priorities for electrification in transport.