Southwest Research Institute-based engineers have begun using internal research resources to handle challenges that arise with fast charging to reduce the time used to recharge electric vehicles. Consumers have no obligation to switch to battery-reliant platforms since the electric vehicle sector is advancing in acceleration, performance, and comfort offered by the EVs. Carmakers have done their part, but the technology holdups in some industries like recharging the battery. EVs owners only require few minutes to fill a tank with fuel before embarking on their journey, but it would require hours to perform the same function for a typical electric vehicle.

Fast charging chargers convert alternate current power in the homes to direct power, which batteries require in the charging stations to speed up the charging process significantly. However, that particular speed has come with its challenges.

Fast recharging increases the transfer of lithium ions inside the battery pack. During these high rates, ions can gather on the battery’s surface, specifically at the anode, and then deposit lithium in metallic form through a process called ‘lithium plating.’ As a result, the process could reduce the battery performance and may even extend to short-circuiting if unchecked.

Dr. Bapiraju Surampudi, a staff engineer in SwRI’s Powertrain Engineering Division, said that electrochemistry that causes lithium plating is complex and may not be comprehended easily. He added that their physics-based prototype allows them to identify the occurrence of lithium plating and later make adjustments to the charging rate to prevent damage to the battery. At the same time, reduced charging time would be available.

SwRI developed and calibrated a linearized battery prototype for a 57Ah nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery. They predicted successfully the time lithium plating occurs. The prototype uses various equations to calculate the storm’s multiple statuses where there is no need for extra resources. The other state-of-the-art techniques used to detect lithium plating are non-real-time and involve a disparaging physical examination of the battery.

The SwRI prototype successfully estimated the battery voltage to a range of +-5 percentage of the experimental data. The group then made a prototype-based adaptive fast charger controller to improve the charge sketch for the Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) battery. A learning feature, which adjusts the current record’s charge from the last cycle’s charge efficiency, is among the controller elements. The controller’s work is to ‘learn’ the prime charge profile after a range of 10-20 charge cycles. The controller also balances the durability of the battery, performance, and safety at the actual period.

By Adam

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