Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Image courtesy of Tesla.

Batteries

Mapping the Battery Data Genome for Better Batteries

Energy storage is the key to electrified transportation and the rapidly evolving power grid, cornerstones of a decarbonized future. An open exchange of battery data is integral to meeting energy goals.

There are many ways to map the world, from geographic illustrations to the genetic makeup of the organisms around us. As an avid outdoorsman, hiker, and mountain biker, it is natural that National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Scientist Kandler Smith would also apply these concepts to his research. Smith leads NREL’s battery computational modeling for electrochemical energy storage, where he designs maps and models to improve our understanding of batteries.

“Working in sustainable energy is one small way I can help preserve the natural world,” Smith said. “I enjoy the puzzle of designing and accelerating the design of safe, reliable, and efficient batteries for grid and transportation decarbonization.”

Modeling a Future for Better Batteries

With 15 years at NREL, Smith is an expert in predicting and extending the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries, but electrochemical energy storage was not always his passion. Smith started his career in mechanical engineering, working on jet engines for military programs, before shifting focus to renewable energy. After earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University, he joined NREL.

“I was originally interested in building machines, like helicopters,” Smith said. “But the subjects of thermodynamics and heat transfer sparked my interest in energy and, later, electrochemistry. Instead of building engines, I began building computer models to design better batteries for a sustainable future.”

Nestled in the sunny Colorado foothills, NREL is a natural fit for Smith’s environmental passions, both professionally and recreationally. At NREL, Smith has assisted in developing numerous battery models, including the ambitious Computer-Aided Engineering of Batteries (CAEBAT) project. The CAEBAT project has supported the development of laboratory- and industry-led software programs now used by thousands of engineers worldwide to understand how battery electrochemical physics interact with the complexities of large-scale systems. In recognition of his work, NREL recently named Smith a Distinguished Member of Research Staff for his world-class contributions in battery lifetime modeling, prediction, optimization, and design.

Smith leads a team of researchers at NREL focused on interpreting battery diagnostic experiments, such as X-ray/CT, using models to help advance battery materials and design. Photo by Werner Slocum, NREL

Mapping the Battery Data Genome

Energy storage is the key to electrified transportation and the rapidly evolving power grid, cornerstones of a decarbonized future. An open exchange of battery data is integral to meeting energy goals. In support of this effort, Smith is helping lead an emerging collaboration between NREL and industry partners to create a vigorous battery genome to standardize data formats and promote the open exchange of data and software across the battery community. This initiative would support future efforts to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline battery research and development.

“Computational modeling allows researchers to automate and accelerate innovation,” Smith said. “Physics-informed artificial intelligence helps address gaps where battery physics are not fully understood, or the size of the data set is too large for humans to tackle. Working together, we can speed up the pace of cutting-edge experimentation and increase adoption of new, sustainable technologies.”

A more comprehensive understanding of the battery genome will accelerate research across energy storage projects. Although Smith does not work directly in new battery materials discovery, his modeling work supports rapid scale-up for next-generation discoveries by providing a rough prediction of how a battery might perform with new materials. In addition, the battery genome project would look at batteries as a whole system, from manufacturing to health prediction, improving holistic energy storage systems.

Learn more about NREL’s sustainable transportation and energy storage research.

Sign up for NREL’s quarterly transportation and mobility research newsletter, Sustainable Mobility Matters, to stay current on the latest news.

By Rebecca Martineau 

Article courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 

The mission of the U.S. Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Learn more.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

Estimates of annual fuel costs for model year (MY) 2022 light-duty vehicles show that electric vehicles (EVs) can save consumers thousands of dollars over...

Aviation

The future of sustainable aviation is at our fingertips, with new technologies providing actionable pathways for lowering greenhouse gas emissions for aircraft travel. Advancements...

Clean Power

New Machine-Readable Data Sets Compile State, Local Zoning Laws and Ordinances for Siting Wind Energy and Solar Power Projects To Inform Planning for Decarbonization...

Clean Power

NREL Leads Article Series To Review Wind Energy Research Needs and Propose Actions To Help Reach Worldwide Decarbonization Goals Wind energy will play a...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.