September 29, 2022 11:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT

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COMSOL Day: Batteries & Fuel Cells

Modeling batteries, fuel cells, and electrolyzers for transport mobility

Battery, fuel cell, and electrolyzer development has been an integral part of the electric vehicle and power industries, particularly as the investment in eco-friendly technologies has increased. The COMSOL Multiphysics® software is a multiphysics simulation platform that helps you set up physics-based, high-fidelity models of electrochemical cells, including material transport, charge transport, heat transfer, fluid flow, and electrochemical reactions. You can also incorporate lumped models into system models and digital twins, such as electric vehicle drivetrains, and create simulation apps for use by nonexperts.

Join us for COMSOL Day: Batteries & Fuel Cells to learn from keynote talks, technical presentations, and a panel discussion about the benefits of using multiphysics simulation to study and design batteries, fuel cells, and electrolyzers. We will also give an overview of the relevant features in COMSOL Multiphysics® and demonstrate how the software can be used across large development teams.

Register for this free, 1-day online event below.


11:00 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks
11:15 a.m.

Climate change and air pollution have increased the need for automotive electrification, thus large resources have been invested in the development of new battery and fuel cell technologies. While batteries seem to be the main candidate for powering cars, fuel cells may be a necessity for trucks and heavier transport, in which they can provide a higher energy density. COMSOL Multiphysics® offers large advantages in the development in this field by providing users with the tools needed to better understand the physics of fuel cell designs. It also enhances fuel cell development through its ability to optimize designs and their operating conditions.

The combination of the Battery Design Module, the Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module, and equation-based modeling has made COMSOL® one of the leading platforms for modeling and simulation in the field. With the Application Builder, simulation apps, and the Model Manager, our users have been able to take a major step forward by enabling a larger community of scientists and engineers to benefit from high-fidelity simulation.

Join us in this session to learn more about how simulation apps and the Model Manager can be used to facilitate collaboration between teams and to spread the benefits of multiphysics simulations in organizations.

11:45 a.m.
12:00 p.m.

Mathematical Modeling of SEI Growth

Ralph White, University of South Carolina

In a lithium-ion battery cell, the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) is known to grow on the surface of a graphite anode during various cell conditions: trickle charge, open circuit, and cycling. In this keynote talk, Ralph White will discuss mathematical modeling of the SEI, reviewing a misconception in the literature as well as the soundness of existing models used for analyzing cells under various conditions. He will touch upon cathodic protection in the process. He will then compare the use of a kinetic model from the literature to an alternative diffusion model for predicting the growth of the SEI layer under trickle charge conditions and explain how a combination of the kinetic and diffusion models can be used to improve upon the predictions of the kinetic or diffusion model alone. Finally, he will explain how this combined approach can be applied under the open circuit and cycling conditions of the cell.

12:20 p.m.
12:30 p.m.
Parallel Session
Introducing the Battery Design Module

The Battery Design Module is an add-on product to COMSOL Multiphysics® that includes predefined physics-based interfaces for modeling detailed structures in everything from battery porous electrodes to battery packs themselves. This includes modeling the behavior of a battery: electrode kinetics, electric fields, chemical deposition, ionic migration, heat production, thermal stresses, conjugate heat transfer within the thermal management system, and more.

In this session, we will present the features of the Battery Design Module, demonstrating a few of them.

Introducing the Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module

The Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module in COMSOL Multiphysics® expands the sphere for modeling electric vehicles and energy conversion. This product can be used for modeling low- and high-temperature hydrogen fuel cells and water electrolyzers based on different electrolyte-types, such as proton exchange membranes, alkaline, molten carbonates, and solid oxides.

In this session, we will present and demonstrate simulations of electrochemical reactions, electrolyte charge transport, gas-phase mass transport, and convective flow, as well as two-phase water/gas transport in both fuel cells and electolyzers.

1:00 p.m.
1:15 p.m.

Tech Lunches are informal sessions where you can interact with COMSOL staff and other attendees. You will be able to discuss any modeling-related topic that you like and have the opportunity to ask COMSOL technology product managers and applications engineers your questions. Join us!

1:45 p.m.
Keynote Speaker
Numerical Simulation of the Primary Alkaline Zn–MnO2 Battery Discharge Process

Numerical Simulation of the Primary Alkaline Zn–MnO2 Battery Discharge Process

Xiaotong Chadderdon, Energizer

In this presentation, Xiaotong Chadderdon will introduce a continuum model developed in the COMSOL® software to simulate the discharge behavior of primary Zn–MnO2 alkaline batteries. Both macroscopic and microscopic phenomena are integrated to describe the species diffusion in cell-length and particle-length scales. The predicted battery performance is validated against experiments under different rates of continuous and intermittent discharge. The model is applied to better understand the evolution of internal gradients and local conditions, polarization sources and sensitivity to design parameters. Accurate point prediction is challenging for small design changes due to the complexities in reaction chemistries and limitations imposed by model assumptions; however, predictive modeling is shown to be useful for larger design and experimental changes.

2:05 p.m.
2:15 p.m.
Keynote Speaker
Bio-Inspired Inverse Design Enables Innovation in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Flow Field Plates

Bio-Inspired Inverse Design Enables Innovation in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Flow Field Plates

Yuqing Zhou, Toyota Research Institute of North America

In 2014, Toyota launched the world’s first mass-produced, commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, powered by the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS). Since then, the TFCS has been further utilized in various applications including heavy-duty trucks, buses, forklifts, boats, and stationary power generation. This keynote talk discusses the latest technical innovation of fuel cell flow field plates. An inverse design and dehomogenization framework has been developed to discover innovative flow channel designs with improved multiphysics performance. The framework uses a homogenization-based inverse design to optimize the orientation distribution of the anisotropic porous media flow. It exploits bio-inspired Turing-pattern dehomogenization to generate microchannels. The optimized flow channel designs exhibit similar geometric patterns to those observed in naturally occurring systems (e.g., lungs, leaves, and blood vessels) while outperforming conventional parallel and serpentine benchmark designs.

2:35 p.m.
2:45 p.m.

Thermal management is an important aspect across different automotive applications. Within vehicle electrification, thermal management is crucial. Batteries, fuel cells, and many other components produce or require heat as they work best within narrow temperature intervals.

In this session, an overview of the features and benefits offered by COMSOL Multiphysics® to model thermal management of systems through convection and conduction will be demonstrated and presented. In particular, a demonstration of forced convective cooling will be shown.

3:15 p.m.
3:30 p.m.

Battery systems are often burdened by unwanted side reactions at the electrodes. The Battery Design Module can be used to simulate various aging and degradation mechanisms and the resulting capacity fade in batteries.

Any arbitrary by-reaction, such as hydrogen and oxygen evolution, the growth of a solid electrolyte interface due to deposition, metal plating, metal corrosion, and graphite oxidation can be included in a battery model through the flexibility built within the Battery Design Module.

In this session, we will present and demonstrate the capabilities of this module to model degradation in batteries and the process of building and running a capacity fade model.

4:00 p.m.
4:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks

COMSOL Speakers

David Kan
Vice President of Sales

David Kan is COMSOL's vice president of sales for the southwestern region of the US. He set up the Los Angeles branch office of COMSOL in 2001 and received a PhD in applied mathematics from UCLA in 1999.

Lauren Sansone
Senior Sales Manager, Events

Lauren Sansone is a senior sales manager at COMSOL, Inc. and has been with COMSOL since 2006. She is responsible for the global event marketing of COMSOL Days, the COMSOL Conference, exhibitions, and training.

Niloofar Kamyab
Senior Applications Engineer

Niloofar Kamyab is a senior applications engineer at COMSOL with a focus on electrochemistry, including batteries and fuel cells. She received her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina, where her research focused on the mathematical modeling of battery systems.

Henrik Ekström
Technology Manager, Electrochemistry

Henrik Ekström is the technology manager for electrochemistry at COMSOL. Prior to joining COMSOL in 2010, Henrik worked at various fuel cell startup firms in Sweden. He received his PhD in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Rustam Shekhar
Applications Engineer II

Rustam Singh Shekhar is an applications engineer at COMSOL, specializing in electrochemistry and battery simulation. He received his PhD in energy science and engineering from IIT Bombay, masters in chemical engineering from IIT Hyderabad, and bachelors in chemical engineering from MITS Gwalior. His expertise includes electrode microstructure and cell- and pack-level modeling.

Register for COMSOL Day: Batteries & Fuel Cells

To register for the event, please create a new account or log into your existing account. You will need a COMSOL Access account to attend COMSOL Day: Batteries & Fuel Cells.

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COMSOL Day Details

Local Start Time:
September 29, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC-04:00)
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Invited Speakers

Ralph E. White University of South Carolina

Dr. Ralph E. White is a professor of chemical engineering and a distinguished scientist at the University of South Carolina. He received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley under Professor John Newman. He taught at Texas A&M University before moving to the University of South Carolina, where he has served as a professor, the chair of the department, and the dean of the college. Dr. White has authored or coauthored 350 peer-reviewed journal articles. He and his research group are working on projects on batteries, fuel cells, and numerical methods. Their work on numerical methods consists of developing efficient algorithms for solving the equations that represent the phenomena that occur in electrochemical and chemical systems. He has received the Olin Palladium, Vittorio de Nora, and Henry B. Linford awards from the Electrochemical Society.

Yuqing Zhou Toyota Research Institute of North America

Dr. Yuqing Zhou is a research scientist in the Electronics Research Department at Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA). He does research in topology optimization (or inverse design) of elastic, fluidic, thermal, and other multiphysics systems that have applications in next-generation vehicle development and future mobility applications (e.g., hydrogen fuel cells, thermal management of hybrid and battery-electrified vehicles, and lightweight composite structures). He received his Doctorate of Mechanical Engineering degree in 2018 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Zhou holds multiple issued patents and has published more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings such as Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, and the Chemical Engineering Journal. He also has served as session co-organizer and review coordinator for the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference (IDETC) and session chair and invited industry panelist for the World Congress of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (WCSMO).

Xiaotong Chadderdon Energizer

Xiaotong Chadderdon is a senior engineer at Energizer, where she works on developing electrochemical models as well as analyzing and delivering simulation results to support primary alkaline Zn–MnO2 and Zn–air battery development. She has experience using multiphysics simulation to study interactions of chemical, electrochemical, thermal, and fluid dynamics processes in battery and electroplating applications. She received her PhD in chemical engineering from Iowa State University.