Innovation Spotlight: High Precision Battery Diagnostics and Prognostics

November 02, 2012 03:14 PM EST By: Regina Ramazzini

Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit Innovation Tracker: University of Hawaii at Manoa, a TechConnect Accelerator participant-Honolulu, HI, 2012

The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) has developed a realistic battery diagnosis and prognosis tool that can be used with battery management systems to improve battery performance and safe, reliable operation from battery cells to systems. Bor Yann Liaw, principal investigator on this project, told TechConnectNews about the university’s novel approach that is based on fundamental understanding of battery behavior and degradation. What makes this technology unique is that it is able to quantify battery degradation modes and provide accurate diagnosis and prognosis with capability to track cell variability and path dependence.

Battery safety and reliability is a critical issue for today’s power electronics, as well as for vehicle and grid energy storage applications. Currently there is no reliable method of monitoring battery degradation. The university’s development of continuous battery monitoring and prediction technology will mitigate battery safety and reliability risks.

Currently, UHM is working with Idaho National Lab under the U.S. Dept. of Energy Advanced Battery Research program, to develop the tools and protocols for battery diagnosis and prognosis, capability to accommodate path dependence as the basis for system integration. The work is also supported under other US DOE and ONR programs to test cells for energy storage applications.

Dr. Liaw tells TechConnectNews they now seek “commercialization partners” that will enable them to take the technology to the private sector. They are turning to industry and utilities for funding opportunities that will help them create something both government and commercial users can utilize and benefit from.

UHM was a semi-finalist in the Project Finance Connect (PFC) at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, this past August.  The PFC received over 100 high quality submissions that were vetted by the PFC review committee. Dr. Liaw said that what he found most valuable about the PFC was, “Networking, knowing the people in the community, and receiving comments and feedback from the participants of their interests and concerns.”

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