Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016

Author's Department

Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Lithium-ion batteries have become universally present in daily life, being used across a wide range of portable consumer electronics. These batteries are advantageous compared to other forms of energy storage due to their high energy density and long cycle life. These characteristics make lithium-ion batteries advantageous for many new and developing applications that require large scale energy storage such as electric vehicles and the utility grid. Typical uses for lithium-ion batteries require consistent cycling patterns that are predictable and easy to approximate across all uses, but new large scale applications will have much more dynamic demands. The cycling patterns for electric vehicles will vary based on each individuals driving patterns and batteries used for energy storage in the grid must be flexible enough to account for continuous fluctuations in demand and generation with little advanced notice. Along with these requirements, large scale applications do not want to sacrifice on cycle life and need to know that adding batteries will make operational and economic sense in specific cases.

It is not possible to experimentally validate every possible driving pattern or grid storage need because of the great expense of these large systems and the long timescale required for testing. Therefore modeling of these systems is advantageous to help study specific application constraints and understand how lithium-ion batteries operate under those constraints. A systems level model is developed to study lithium-ion battery systems for use with solar energy (in a solar-battery hybrid system) and electric vehicles. Electrochemical based battery models are used as a component within larger systems. To facilitate fast simulation a single step perturbation and switch method is outlined for increasing the speed and robustness of solving the systems of DAEs that result from the systems level model.

Operational characteristics are studied for lithium-ion batteries used to store solar energy within the electric grid. Different grid demands are tested against the system model to better understand the best uses for the solar-battery hybrid system. Both generic site studies and site specific studies were conducted. Solar irradiance data from 2010-2014 was obtained from 10 US based sites and used as an input to the system model to understand how the same system will operate differently at various locations. Technological benefits such as system autonomy were simulated for each site as well as economic benefits based on a time-of-use pricing scenario. These models included the growth of the solid-electrolyte interface layer on the battery electrodes to measure capacity fade during operation. This capacity fade mechanism allowed tracking of the site specific effects on battery life.

A systems level model for an electric vehicle was also developed to simulate the growth of the SEI layer caused from different types of driving cycles and charging patterns. Results from both system models are presented along with an optimization method for the solar-battery hybrid model. In addition to modeling, experimental tests of LiFePO4 lithium-ion battery cells were conducted to measure capacity fade associated with different types of cycling throughout a batterys life. Cycling protocols were tested to study traditional capacity fade and also to focus on increasing a cells lifetime benefit through application switching.


English (en)


Venkat Pratim R. Subramanian Biswas

Committee Members

Palghat Ramachandran, Babu Chalamala, Parag Banerjee, Yinjie Tang,


Permanent URL: