Symposium Q: Materials, Technologies and Sensor Concepts for Advanced Battery Management Systems

A sharp increase in the energy density of rechargeable batteries has enabled the modern age of portable power systems. But the drive toward higher energy density has brought greater risks related to reliability, lifetime and safety of energetic battery chemistries with inherent thermodynamic instabilities. The battery management system (BMS) is thus critical as a means of monitoring a battery’s operational state and protecting the battery by controlling its environment and use. The biggest challenge of BMS stems from the complexity of battery devices, lack of precise input parameters and cost constraints for practical applications. Even the simplest charging and discharging scheme of an electrochemical battery depends on a wide range of processes that includes chemical and electrochemical reactions; phase change reactions; electronic and ionic transport through liquids, solids and complex composites; etc., all of which are coupled and influenced by the operating parameters of the device.

The current BMS suffers from the inability to rapidly and efficiently measure parameters that accurately reflect physical changes related to battery degradation and failure. State estimation in current battery management is based on simple voltage, current and temperature measurements of the cell. None of these provides direct information on the physical and chemical state internal to the cell.

While on-board embedded sensors enabling real-time monitoring for batteries would be highly desirable, their deployment is presently limited by several constraints. Key among these are issues related to compatibility of sensor materials with a battery’s harsh internal environment; risks of detrimental impact to battery performance; strict requirements on reliability; and tight limits on allowable cost, volume and mass overhead allowable for widespread deployment of such sensing systems.

In addition to the need for new capabilities in direct sensing and monitoring of batteries, the BMS advances are hindered by a need for improvements in key materials science disciplines such as battery modeling and state-estimation, diagnosis and prognosis of battery degradation and failure modes, and the development of new architectures and functional materials that could be employed to improve the BMS.

This symposium provides a forum to discuss and compare approaches that can be applied to resolve materials issues hampering an improved and more cost-effective BMS. A broad range of materials concepts will be discussed. It is envisioned to bring together scientists and engineers active in the fields of physics, chemistry, materials science, sensing systems and electronics to present recent advances in sensing systems toward an improved BMS. Such interdisciplinary interaction and cross-fertilization of ideas is critical for the achievement of breakthroughs in this field.

Topics will include (but will not be limited to):

  • Materials and sensor concepts for battery sensing
  • Infomative input parameters for battery-management systems
  • Sensors for measuring internal physical and chemical state of battery cells
  • Material issues related to embedding sensors in batteries
  • Battery sensors and EMI
  • Non-invasive sensing of internal battery parameters
  • Electrical and MEMS-based sensors for sensing in harsh enviroments
  • Optical sensors for sensing in harsh enviroments
  • Surface materials and chemistries for optimized sensor specificity
  • Improved battery modeling and state-estimation
  • Diagnosis and prognosis of battery degradation and failure modes
  • New architectures and functional materials for improved BMS

A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned. Further information will be included in the MRS Program that will be available online in January.

Invited speakers include:

Todd Bandhauer (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), Nalin Chaturvedi (Bosch RTC), Ilan Gur (ARPA-E), Davion Hill (DNV-KEMA), Aaron Knobloch (GE Global Research), Ahmed Pesaran (National Renewable Energy Lab), Srinivasan Rengaswamy (Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physic Lab), Kevin Rhodes (Ford Motor Co.), James Saunders (Battelle Memorial Inst.), Anna Stefanopoulou (Univ. of Michigan), Karen Thomas-Alyea (A123 Systems), Chao-Yang Wang (Pennsylvania State Univ.), Rachid Yazami (Nanyang Technological Univ., Singapore). Additional speakers will be selected from contributed abstracts.  

Symposium Organizers

Peter Kiesel
PARC – A Xerox Company
3333 Coyote Hill Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel 650-812-4178,

Martin J. Klein

Venkat Srinivasan
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
MS 70R108B
1 Cyclotron Rd.
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel 510-495-2679,

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