Engineering: Fully Funded M2A EngD Scholarship: Development of smart battery based on printed hybrid sensors
Start date: October 2022
Expected interview date: June 2022
Academic supervisors: Professor Davide Deganello, Professor Serena Margadonna and Dr Zari Tehrani
Industrial supervisor: Dr Martin Peacock
Sponsoring company: Zimmer & Peacock AS
Zimmer and Peacock’s business scope centres around manufacturing and developing electrochemical sensors, biosensors, medical diagnostics, In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) and agriculture sensors. Their aims are to advance the sensor technology state of the art by developing new and more capable sensor products, based around but not limited to their specialities. Their products are aimed to be easy to use, industrially orientated and with mass market applications.
This project aims to develop novel hybrid sensor solutions for internal battery monitoring. Accurate continuous monitoring of internal conditions within individual battery cells (e.g. internal temperature, pressure, structural stability) would allow maximising their operating envelope; allowing the development of next-generation smart batteries that react to changing conditions, creating to a longer lifespan, higher performance, safer operations, overall a more sustainable energy storage solutions.
In automotive applications, electronic battery sensors are a key part of vehicle energy management: sensors inside the battery would be able to contribute significantly to failure detection and improvement of battery safety and longevity.
The project is developed in collaboration with Zimmer and Peacock (ZP). ZP is a International company dedicated to the development of sensors technologies with expertise in multiple areas (electrochemical sensors, biosensors, medical diagnostics, agriculture sensors), with energy storage as an important market area in development. Through expertise in sensors, hybrid & printed electronic & electrochemical energy storage present at Swansea University (namely Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating WCPC, Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials CISM and Centre of Excellence in Energy Storage CAPTURE), the project will benefit from a robust research background.
The development of hybrid sensor solutions for internal battery monitoring can be distinguished into 2 phases:
- Identification and development sensors for internal monitoring electrochemical cell conditions: sensors require to be thin film, small scale, sensitive, low cost; printed & hybrid sensors are expected explored combining silicon technologies with printed electronics. Real-time monitoring of internal battery cell temperature, pressure, electrodes structural condition & conductivity will be crucial for cycle life and developing Smart battery.
- Study of integration sensors within battery cell envelope: developed hybrid sensors require to be integrated within the cell without limiting electrochemical energy storage processes of the battery cell; ideally the sensors would allow to assess ongoing processes and facilitating their optimisation. In terms of sensors location, direct integration of sensors over coated electrodes will be explored, aiming to development of affordable manufacturing process.
Research to be primary performed at Swansea University, Faculty of Science and Engineering.