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ANSYS Drives Electric Vehicle Innovation With GM, NREL and ESim

Recent version of Fluent® simulation software includes models to accelerate designing and optimizing lithium-ion batteries

The world is one step closer to more affordable andeco-friendly electric vehicles (EV) thanks to the efforts of ANSYS (NASDAQ:ANSS), General Motors LLC, the Energy Department’s (DOE) National RenewableEnergy Laboratory (NREL) and ESim, which are working to design better, saferand longer-lasting lithium-ion EV batteries. The team’s efforts have led to thestandard inclusion of battery models in the latest release of ANSYS(®)Fluent(®) software, which is a significant milestone in advancing EV designefficiency.


Over the last two and half years, the team worked on aDOE-funded project, Computer-Aided Engineering for Electric Drive VehicleBatteries (CAEBAT), to combine new and existing battery models into engineeringsimulation software to shorten design cycles and optimize batteries forincreased performance, safety and lifespan. The team is modeling thermalmanagement, electrochemistry, ion transport and fluid flow. As a result of thework, a battery model is now standard in ANSYS( )Fluent, a leadingcomputational fluid dynamics solution. This seamless Fluent capability helpsbattery developers break the time-consuming cycle of design-build-test-breakfor prototyping and manufacturing.


“The emphasis in the software integration has beento provide a flexible array of modeling choices that can support severalcategories of battery researchers, cell manufacturers, pack integrators andvehicle manufacturers that deliver fast and accurate results,” said JanAase, director of vehicle systems research lab at General Motors. “With aconcise plan for rapid deployment to the industry, the software solutionscreated through this project are already helping designers and engineers at GMto accelerate the pace of battery innovation and development for futureelectric-drive vehicles.”


By drawing on a unique approach pioneered at NREL, a DOEnational laboratory, collaborators integrated disparate physical battery scales(electrodes, cell, pack and full vehicle) and multiple physical phenomena(electrochemical, thermal, fluid and structural) – factors that have been a keybarrier for effective simulation. In addition, the team blended establisheddetailed 3-D field simulation technologies with systems-level simulation. Theyalso extended the reach of the technology by ensuring that these new tools caninteract with current and future battery models.


“ANSYS is well known for providing reliablesimulation technology to enable sustainable design across a wide range ofindustries, including automotive,” said Sandeep Sovani, director of globalautomotive industry at ANSYS. “The CAEBAT project has been a greatopportunity for ANSYS. We are partnering with other recognized leaders in EVbattery technology to develop and deliver powerful modeling tools that can beused by all battery manufacturers to accelerate production of safe, reliable,high-performance and long-lasting EV batteries that make vehicles morefuel-efficient and sustainable.”


Throughout the remainder of 2014, the team will refineautomation techniques for battery cell and pack-level simulations and continueto validate the models with experiments. Collaborators plan to implementcycle-life and abuse (such as overheating) models. NREL’s multi-particle model,with ability to model mixture of active materials with different particlesized, will be incorporated as well. At the pack level, state-of-the-artsimulation is further advanced by developing innovative reduced-order models,derived and calibrated from the cell-level models and carefully validatedthrough experiments — all designed to enable a balance between model fidelityand computational cost. These efforts contribute to the development of acomplete battery cell and pack-level design tools that will be available in thefuture product releases.


GM awarded ANSYS a subcontract to create battery softwaretools that will help accelerate development of next-generation EV batteries.This U.S. DOE-funded project is a result of a competitive procurement throughNREL that was presented to GM in 2011.


This activity is part of the DOE EV Everywhere GrandChallenge managed by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


Automotive leaders will share other best practicesbeginning at 8:30 am today during the ANSYS Convergence Conference in Detroitin the Westin Southfield Detroit, in Southfield, Michigan.


About ANSYS, Inc.

ANSYS brings clarity and insight to customers’ mostcomplex design challenges through fast, accurate and reliable engineeringsimulation. Our technology enables organizations ? no matter their industry ?to predict with confidence that their products will thrive in the real world.Customers trust our software to help ensure product integrity and drivebusiness success through innovation. Founded in 1970, ANSYS employs more than2,700 professionals, many of them expert in engineering fields such as finiteelement analysis, computational fluid dynamics, electronics andelectromagnetics, and design optimization. Headquartered south of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.,ANSYS has more than 75 strategic sales locations throughout the world with anetwork of channel partners in 40+ countries. Visit for more information.


ANSYS also has a strong presence on the major socialchannels.  To join the simulationconversation, please visit:


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