Battery data integrity and usability: Navigating datasets and equipment limitations for efficient and accurate research into battery aging

Kevin L. Gering, Matthew G. Shirk, Sangwook Kim, Cody M. Walker, Eric J. Dufek and Qiang Wang

March 2023 - A tremendous commitment of resources is needed to acquire, understand and apply battery data in terms of performance and aging behavior. There are many state of performance (SOP) and state of health (SOH) metrics that are useful to guide alignment of batteries to end-use, yet how these metrics are measured or extracted can make the difference between usable, valuable datasets versus data that lacks the necessary integrity to meet baseline confidence levels for SOP/SOH quantification. This work will speak to 1) types of data that support SOP and SOH evaluations on mechanistic terms, 2) measurement conditions needed to assure high data integrity, 3) equipment limitations that can compromise data high fidelity, and 4) the impact of cell polarization on data quality. A common goal in battery research and field use is to work from a data platform that supports economical paths of data capture while minimizing down-time for battery diagnostics. An ideal situation would be to utilize data obtained during normal daily use (“pulses or cycles of convenience”) without stopping the daily duty cycles to perform dedicated SOP/SOH diagnostic routines. However, difficulties arise in trying to make use of daily duty cycle data (denoted as cycle-by-cycle, CBC) that underscores the need for standardization of conditions: temperature and duty cycles can vary over the course of a day and throughout a week, month and year; polarization can develop within an immediate cycle and throughout successive cycles as a hysteresis. If CBC data is envisioned as a data source to determine performance and aging trends, it should be recognized that polarization is a frequent consequence of CBC and thus makes it difficult to separate reversible and irreversible components to metrics such as capacity loss and resistance increase over aging. Since CBC conditions can have a major impact on data usability, we will devote part of this paper to CBC data conditioning and management. Differential analyses will also be discussed as a means to detect changing trends in data quality. Our target cell chemistries will be lithium-ion types NMC/graphite and LMO/LTO.

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