Methods for Testing and Analyzing Lithium-Ion Battery Cells intended for Heavy-Duty Hybrid Electric Vehicles

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Lithium-ion batteries designed for use in heavy-duty hybrid vehicles are continuously improved in terms of performance and longevity, but they still have limitations that need to be considered when developing new hybrid vehicles.               The aim of this thesis has been to study and evaluate potential test and analysis methods suitable for being used in the design process when maximizing lifetime and utilization of batteries in heavy-duty hybrid vehicles.A concept for battery cell cycling on vehicles has been evaluated. The work included development of test equipment, verification of hardware and software as well as an extended period of validation on heavy-duty trucks. The work showed that the concept has great potential for evaluating strategies for battery usage in hybrid vehicles, but is less useful for accelerated aging of battery cells.                            Battery cells encapsulated in flexible packaging material have been investigated with respect to the durability of the encapsulation in a demanding heavy-duty hybrid truck environment. No effect on water intrusion was detected after vibration and temperature cycling of the battery cells.                   Aging of commercial battery cells of the type lithium manganese oxide - lithium cobalt oxide / lithium titanium oxide (LMO-LCO/LTO) was investigated with different electrochemical methods to gain a deeper understanding of the origin of performance deterioration, and to understand the consequences of aging from a vehicle manufacturer's perspective. The investigation revealed that both capacity loss and impedance rise were largely linked to the positive electrode for this type of battery chemistry.                          Postmortem analysis of material from cycle-aged and calendar-aged battery cells of the type LMO-LCO/LTO and LiFePO4/graphite was performed to reveal details about aging mechanisms for those cell chemistries. Analysis of cycle-aged LMO-LCO/LTO cells revealed traces of manganese in the negative electrode and that the positive electrode exhibited the most severe aging. Analysis of cycle-aged LFP/graphite cells revealed traces of iron in the negative electrode and that the negative electrode exhibited the most severe aging.