Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular power sources for future transportation. Extending the driving range and enabling fast charging are key for promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. The EU-funded SeNSE project aims to create next-generation lithium-ion batteries with a silicon-graphite composite anode and a nickel-rich Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) cathode to reach a volumetric energy density of 750 Wh/L. Cycling stability is the key challenge for the adoption of this cell chemistry.

An important milestone was recently reached in the SeNSE project: Instrumented 10 Ah pouch cells with embedded multi-functional sensing arrays from Coventry University recently rolled off the battery pilot line at the Austrian Institute of Technology.

These cells showcase significant advances in electrode materials and integrated sensors, in turn enabling live in-situ thermodynamic monitoring and characterisation of the pouch cells’ thermal and electrochemical behaviour, as shown in the below images. The flexible array layout is optimised for the particular cell format, reaching accuracy of 0.25 °C surpassing currently available thermocouple measurements and enabling in-operando per-electrode potential measurements using an integrated single connector, suited for subsequent Battery Management System (BMS) integration.

The modified cells will now undergo extensive testing utilising a range of dynamic current techniques, with the newly generated cell and sensors data used for performance mapping and devising bespoke fast-charge algorithms.