In-situ electronics and communications for intelligent energy storage
Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly common in high-power, safety-critical applications such as aerospace, spaceflight, automotive and grid storage. The voltage and power specifications of such applications usually require large numbers of individual cells combined in series and parallel to form a battery pack. It is then the role of the Battery Management System (BMS) to monitor these cells condition and ensure they remain within safe operating limits. To minimise cost and complexity, it is typical to monitor only a fraction of the cells in a battery pack. This creates potential safety and reliability issues and requires conservative limits imposed on the overall system to ensure safe operation. This is insufficient in high-power, safety-critical applications and thus alternative approaches to battery management are required. Here we demonstrate the development of novel miniature electronic devices for incorporation in-situ at a cell-level during manufacture. The electronics firmware and hardware integration within the cell’s electrode stack is demonstrated to function after triggering post cell formation and through cycling and electrochemical impedance analysis. This work shows that the proposed approach has a negligible impact on the cells’ performance and highlights a new technique for active monitoring of the cell’s in-situ conditions. This research will enable new methods of cells characterization and monitoring for optimum electrochemical and thermal performance while improving system safety.