Acculon Energy

Maximizing Longevity: Future-Proofing Your Energy Storage Solutions for Diverse Applications

Learn the essential tactics that can help you extend the lifespan of batteries used across different applications. Join us as we share a few tips about how to “future-proof” your energy storage solution.

Contact: Betsy Barry
Communication Manager

Lithium-ion batteries are the backbone of modern-day electric vehicles due to their high energy density, low weight, and relatively long lifespan. The technology has also expanded into non-automotive sectors like off-road/off-highway, grid energy storage, and mobility equipment. Ensuring the longevity of lithium or sodium-ion batteries in these demanding applications is a valid concern; however, there are some straightforward ways to mitigate aging and prolong the lifetime of an advanced battery system.

Tip #1: Begin with a High-Quality Cell & the Right Chemistry

The first crucial tip is to begin with a high-quality cell and the right chemistry. Without a quality manufacturer, any electrification strategy will be an uphill battle. Begin with a cell that meets or exceeds your warranty or lifetime objectives, as specified in the OEM-provided datasheet. If cost and lifetime are the ultimate goals of your battery program, then LFP chemistry may currently be the best option. If you need to operate your equipment in freezing temperatures, then sodium-ion batteries might be right for your application. However, if significantly more energy density is needed, then NMC or NCA chemistries may be a better fit. After selecting a cell, it is recommended to have a battery lab test a sample against the datasheet specifications, particularly cycle life, calendar life, and overall performance. However, it’s essential to be practical. Without significant trade-offs and extremely accurate controls, don’t anticipate getting 3,000 cycles out of a lithium-ion cell.

Tip #2: Optimize the Battery’s Operating Conditions

Another tip to consider is optimizing the battery’s operating conditions. Operating the battery within its recommended temperature range, typically between 20°C and 25°C, can significantly improve its longevity. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold,  have detrimental effects on the battery’s capacity, internal resistance, and overall performance. In cases where cells are exposed to harsh environments, such as extreme heat or cold, insulation or temperature regulation systems should be employed to maintain optimal operating conditions.

Choosing the ideal cell chemistry, optimizing
the battery’s operating conditions, & deploying
a proficient Battery Management System (BMS) can help to guarantee
peak battery performance
& durability.

Tip #3: Implement an Effective Battery Management System (BMS)

Another important tip for ensuring the longevity of lithium-ion cells is to implement an effective Battery Management System (BMS). A quality BMS is a critical component that monitors and controls the charge and discharge of the battery pack to protect the cells from adverse conditions and temperatures. It works to prevent overcharging, over-discharging, and operating in over-temperature and under-temperature conditions, which are all factors that can accelerate battery aging. The BMS should also be designed to accurately measure and record the state of charge (SoC) and state of health (SoH) of the battery pack, allowing for precise control and long-term optimization of the charge and discharge process. By ensuring that both the battery pack and cells operate within the recommended voltage, current, and temperature limits, the BMS can significantly extend the lifespan of the battery.

As noted above, proper thermal management is critically important in applications where battery packs are subject to extreme operating conditions. Ensuring adequate heating prior to use and cooling during use is necessary to keep the cells from degrading and prevent catastrophic events like thermal runaway that lead to premature cell failure and other dangerous conditions.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that technological advancements in lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery technology continue to evolve. Engineering firms working in electrification like Acculon Energy are constantly endeavoring to understand the chemistry, design, and overall performance of new battery technologies and how they will impact the future design of energy storage systems, especially for industrial applications. Keeping up-to-date with the latest developments and considering future advancements help to ensure that your battery program will remain competitive, cost-effective, and safe.