BattMo is a Toolbox for Modelling Electrochemical Devices

Electrochemistry powers the future. BattMo is a flexible and powerful simulation tool to accelerate the design of electrochemical devices.

Dr. Simon Clark, Research Scientist SINTEF Industry

Across many different industries, there is a growing demand for electrification and electrochemical energy storage. From the mobility of people and goods on land, sea, or in the air, to the integration of renewable energy sources in the electric grid, industries around the world are driven forward by advances in electrochemical energy storage devices.

Today, these needs are met mostly by lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, due to their high power density, low cost, and long lifetime. However, the projected size of the energy storage market is so vast and its requirements are so diverse that future systems will rely on a variety of devices including alternative ion batteries, redox flow batteries, metal-air batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and water electrolyzers.

The development of electrochemical devices has traditionally followed an experiment-heavy trial and error approach, which is expensive and time consuming. Over the past 30 years, model-based methods for simulating the performance of electrochemical systems have been steadily improving in accuracy, precision, and computational efficiency to the point that they make-up an integral part of the battery and fuel cell design workflow today.

Even so, the full potential of electrochemical modeling has yet to be realized. Many commercial modeling packages are focused on a specific technology (e.g. Li-ion or PEM fuel cells) and lag behind the most cutting edge developments in electrochemical theory. Other open-source modeling codes are flexible, but difficult to use and maintain. There is a clear need in the electrochemistry community for a modeling tool that is powerful enough to simulate complex electrochemical systems, flexible enough to consider many different materials and chemistries, and simple enough for new users to learn and apply.

This is the purpose of BattMo.

BattMo is an electrochemical continuum modelling framework that is designed to allow users to model and simulate a variety of electrochemical systems. Building on a foundation of electrochemical theory and system modelling pioneered by Prof. John Newman and colleagues, BattMo incorporates recent advances and a growing database of materials and component parameters into a versatile platform that is designed to grow with the field.

Numerical discretization and solutions for electrochemical systems in fully coupled 1D, 2D, and 3D meshes are made possible by further developing the tools in SINTEF’s MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST). Originally developed to model multi-phase flows in complex geological formations, the fundamental tools underpinning MRST like auto-differentiation, hierarchical composite models, numerical meshing, and advanced solvers are adaptable and perfectly suited to model electrochemical phenomena in porous media.

At it’s core, BattMo is framework that solves the coupled equations for mass, charge, and energy continuity using the finite volume method in 1D, 2D, or 3D meshes. This allows designers of electrochemical systems to study the dynamic spatiotemporal profiles for critical state variables including:

  • Electric Current Density
  • Electric Potential and Voltage
  • Chemical Species Concentration & Electrochemical Potential
  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Mutli-Phase Volume Fractions
  • and more!

Theory-based modelling is essential to develop the next-generation of batteries, fuel cells, and electrolyzers. Whether you are interested in electrochemical materials, cells, systems, or applications, we invite you to explore and contribute to the future of electrochemistry!

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