Optimal Battery Management System

Washington University in St. Louis (Wash. U)
Optimal Operation and Management of Batteries Based on Real-Time Predictive Modeling and Adaptive Battery Management Techniques
Image of WashU's technology
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$1,991,477
Location: 
St. Louis, MO
Project Term: 
01/01/2013 to 12/31/2015
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Critical Need: 
Today's electric vehicle batteries are expensive and prone to unexpected failure. Batteries are complex systems, and developing techniques to cost-effectively monitor and manage important performance measures while predicting battery cell degradation and failure remains a key technological challenge. There is a critical need for breakthrough technologies that can be practically deployed for superior management of both electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy storage systems.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
Wash. U is developing a predictive battery management system that uses innovative modeling software to manage how batteries are charged and discharged, helping to optimize battery use. A significant problem with today's battery packs is their lack of internal monitoring capabilities, which interferes with our ability to identify and manage performance issues as they arise. Wash. U's system would predict the physical states internal to batteries quickly and accurately enough for the data to be used in making decisions about how to control the battery to optimize its output and efficiency in real time. Wash. U's models could be able to predict temperature, remaining energy capacity, and progress of unwanted reactions that reduce the battery lifetime.
Impact Summary: 
If successful, Wash. U's predictive battery management system would improve the safety, charging rate, useful capacity, and lifetime of electric vehicle batteries.
Security: 
Advances in energy storage management could reduce the cost and increase the adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy storage technologies, which in turn would reduce our nation's dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Environment: 
Improving the reliability and safety of electric vehicles and renewable energy storage facilities would enable more widespread use of these technologies, resulting in a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Economy: 
Enabling alternatives to conventional sources of energy could insulate consumers, businesses, and utilities from unexpected price swings.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Ilan Gur
Project Contact: 
Dr. Venkat Subramanian
Partners
CFDRC
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
Quallion LLC
University of Michigan
National Renewable Energy Laboratory