Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Unconventional Experimental Setups For Battery Analysis

Andrew Kim
Prof. Steingart
Engineering Quadrangle B327
Friday, July 19, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am


Electrochemical energy storage continues to expand from consumer electronics to industrial and transportation applications. Characterizing the long term behavior of batteries is critical to mass adoption of these technologies. Andrew's graduate research centers around the development of custom experimental setups to expand battery research capability.

One setup he has developed investigates the effect of thermal environments on the electric performance of commercial Li-ion cells. The challenge of such research is that thermal control chambers are typically cost prohibitive and difficult to instrument beyond what the manufacturer originally intended. Andrew developed a low cost method by integrating thermoelectric incubators with microcontroller circuits, thus expanding thermal battery testing capability on a limited budget. One set of testing revealed that warmer batteries can exhibit better performance in the short term than their room temperature counterparts, suggesting that battery charging algorithms could intentionally raise the temperature in select situations.

Another experimental setup he developed combines simultaneous ultrasound and electrical testing with X-Ray imaging in order to study the ultrasound evolution of batteries exposed to overly high voltages and currents, in hopes that ultrasound testing may one day play a role in battery diagnostics or safety testing. The goal of both research setups is to increase the throughput of battery research; either by developing new systems or by lowering the cost of existing ones.