Thursday, September 17, 2020.
Dr. Mathias Fingerle, Business Manager Batteries and Fuel Cells, and Dr. Sven Linden, Senior Software Engineer, in an interview with Steffen Schwichow, all of Math2Market GmbH.
Edited by Dr. Barbara Planas and Franziska Arnold, Math2Market GmbH
Last update 18.09.2020
GeoDict for the development battery materials
Energy storage is an essential element in the global energy system transformation strategy. In order to successfully complete the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies, it is crucial to solve the most critical of these issues: How will the energy of the future be efficiently stored and made usable again? The production of renewable energy from sun, wind, and water presents us with the challenge of using the collected energy in everyday life. Mobility, in particular, places special demands on storage system materials. These systems must store as much energy as possible as quickly as possible, but also be able to release it again quickly. In addition, the materials must be durable, economical, and easy to produce.
Mastering the challenges of tomorrow's batteries is based in a better understanding of today's batteries. By studying the microstructure of battery materials, performance and lifetime can be determined precisely with the help of simulations in a fraction of the time required in laboratory experiments.
With BatteryDict, GeoDict's property prediction module for battery materials and battery systems, you will gain new unique insights into battery materials at the microstructure level. By analyzing the electron- and ion-movements within the active materials (electrolyte and binder), the complex interaction of these transport processes can be clearly visualized and evaluated quickly and easily. Based on the findings from these processes, the further development of battery materials can then be pursued in a more targeted manner. GeoDict and specifically its material design modules (the Geo- modules) offer the possibility to directly transfer these findings into digital material prototypes and to test them digitally again.
This holistic material development cycle makes GeoDict unique. Thanks to our close cooperation with research institutes and the public interest in promoting these innovative competencies, the future of digital material development for batteries will be called GeoDict.
Learn more about the battery development projects SOLVED! and structur.e. All current information about these projects and upcoming features in GeoDict is found here:
Learn what BatteryDict already offers you today, what will be possible with GeoDict 2021, and the future that GeoDict brings to the development of battery materials.
What is currently possible with BatteryDict
With BatteryDict in GeoDict 2020, the simulation of charge and discharge process in the electrode material is currently available to you. BatteryDict also offers an Electrode-Designer, which supports the creation of the battery cell and pinpoints problematic electrode and material configurations even before the simulation. For the physics-based battery simulation BEST (Battery and Electrochemistry Simulation Tool) and its solvers BESTmicro and BESTmicroFFTis are used. BEST has been developed at the Fraunhofer ITWM in Kaiserslautern by Dr. Jochen Zausch and his team since 2009. The tool solves non-linear partial differential equations on the voxel lattice during the simulations and simulates the transport of electrons and ions within the battery on the microstructure level.
Bottlenecks in the transport routes and overpotentials leading to lithium plating can be identified based on the found pattern of lithium currents and electron flows in the battery. The designs of the microstructures can be adapted based on this information and digitally tested again. In this way, the correct design of the battery materials with the desired characteristics and properties can be achieved iteratively.
The charge and discharge calculations are currently still taking place in a temporally stationary state of equilibrium. Developments in simulation that take into consideration aging processes are underway, such as material damage due to thermal and mechanical effects during lithium storage.
In addition, other GeoDict modules are dedicated to the import, image processing and analysis of 3D image data of existing battery materials as well as the development from scratch of new materials and material compositions.
Here is an overview of the most important modules:
- ImportGeo-Vol - Import, process and segment 3D image data
- MatDict - Analyze material properties
- PoroDict - Analyze pore space properties
- GrainFind - analyze and identify grain parameters
- GrainGeo - modeling of granular, sintered, ceramic and packed materials
Learn more about the new image processing and image analysis tools in GeoDict 2021, and the improved object identification, thanks to special AI's on our GeoDict 2021 Sneak Peek page. News on the highlights in GeoDict 2021 are found here:
The future of battery development with GeoDict!
The complex stress patterns for a battery and the associated challenges for the materials require a solution that can meet the current demand for efficient and fast products. In the automotive sector, the stress patterns are of particular complexity. The daily commute to work alone involves stop-and-go traffic through traffic lights and traffic jams, possibly high acceleration on the highway, or energy recovery by braking - and this all year round at the most varied temperatures.
Thanks to interesting public projects on battery aging (SOLVED!) and lithium battery development (structur.e), we are able to develop targeted solutions together with competent partners such as Volkswagen AG, ETH Zurich and many more, making BatteryDict the key to battery development of the future. With GeoDict 2021 we are already taking the first step today!
Learn more about the ongoing battery development projects SOLVED! and structur.e on our news pages about public projects.
News on these projects, future features in GeoDict, and our top-class partners are found here:
With GeoDict 2021, we implement our strongest solver, the LIR Solver, in the BatteryDict module. Originally developed for flow simulations, the LIR solver has been further improved to be used for thermal simulations. And now also for simulations of batteries. The LIR solver works on an adaptive grid whose resolution adapts to the complexity of the material. This drastically increases the computational speed for simulations and, at the same time, significantly reduces memory requirements. This means: simulation results in the shortest time with the highest accuracy - the trademark of simulations with GeoDict.
The new Battery-LIR (BLIR) works similar to BEST with Newton methods and Butler-Volmer conditions for efficient calculation between the different material interfaces. These extensions will also have a positive effect on the efficiency of conductivity and flow computations in the future.
BLIR will not replace BEST, but instead, it will enrich BatteryDict. Due to the long-standing and solid cooperation between Math2Market GmbH and Fraunhofer ITWM, we build on a friendly and healthy competition between the two solvers. New simulation features, such as the simulation of solid state batteries, are already being developed for BEST and will be available there first. In contrast, the BLIR has already been designed for the future development of aging effects due to material damage caused by thermal and mechanical effects in GeoDict. Per time step, other GeoDict modules can be combined during the BLIR simulation, interacting with each other and thus enabling more realistic simulations.
In comparison between BLIR and BESTmicro, there are only few differences in the feature set of GeoDict 2021. The biggest difference is the possibility to compute with porous binders in BESTmicro. On the other hand, BLIR is already ahead of BEST in the calculation speed of larger microstructures. The advantages of the BLIR are already evident starting at a microstructure size of 200ģ voxel. The larger the microstructure size, the more noticeable is the speed advantage of the BLIR compared to the BESTmicro. Due to the more efficient memory management of the BLIR, even higher-resolution microstructures can be calculated easily.
For the future, the following new features are already planned and under development for the BLIR:
- Anisotropic material coefficients of the active materials
- Aging effects caused by charge and discharge cycles
- Porous binder
- Lithium Plating and SEI formation
- Solid State Batteries