Stanford University

ERE Seminar: Anna G. Stefanopoulou, PhD, University of Michigan — Control Engineers: The Unsung Heroes of Battery Technology

Monday, Dec 3, 2018 12:30 PM
Room 104, Green Earth Sciences Building, 367 Panama Street, Stanford
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ERE Seminar: Anna G. Stefanopoulou, PhD, University of Michigan — Control En…
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Energy Resources Engineering

Control Engineers: The Unsung Heroes of Battery Technology

Anna G. Stefanopoulou, PhD
William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing and Professor, Mechanical Engieering | University of Michigan

The 25th anniversary of the commercialization of lithium-ion batteries marks their wide-spread use in handheld consumer electronics and coincides with a period of intense efforts for powering electric vehicles. Managing the potent brew of lithium ions in the large quantities necessary for vehicle propulsion is anything but straightforward. From spacecraft probes landing billion miles away from Earth to the daily commute of a hybrid electric automobile, they all require sophisticated battery management systems (BMS) based on control
engineering tools. The BMS is the brain of the battery system and is responsible for State of Charge (SOC),
State of Health (SOH) and State of Power (SOP) estimation. The BMS relies on accurate prediction of complex
electrochemical, thermal and mechanical phenomena. This raises the question of model and parameter
accuracy. Moreover, if the cells are aging, which parameters should we adapt after leveraging limited sensor
information from the measured terminal voltage and sparse surface temperatures? With such a frugal sensor
set, what is the optimal sensor placement? To this end, control techniques and novel sensors that measure the cell swelling during lithium intercalation and thermal expansion will be presented. We will conclude by highlighting the fundamental difficulties that keep every battery control engineer awake, namely predicting local hot spots, detecting internal shorts, and managing the overwhelming energy released during a thermal runaway.

Anna G. Stefanopoulou is the William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing at the Mechanical Engineering
Department at the University of Michigan. She is an ASME and an IEEE Fellow, elected member of the ASME
DSCD executive committee and the IEEE Control System Society Board of Governors. She was the founding
chair of the ASME DSCD Energy Systems Technical Committee and a member of a National Research Council
committee on the 2025 US Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards. She has collaborated with numerous brilliant
UMICH students co-authoring a book on Control of Fuel Cell Power Systems, 15 US patents, 5 best paper
awards and more than 250 publications on estimation and control of internal combustion engines and
electrochemical processes such as fuel cells and batteries.

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