January 26, 2023 10:00–15:00 CET

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COMSOL Day: E-Mobility

See what is possible with multiphysics simulation

Components for electric vehicle (EV)-related applications, such as energy storage and drive systems or power electronics, can be better understood in early development phases using modeling and simulation. When used in the product design process, modeling helps to develop and implement innovative ideas and find optimal configurations.

In order to provide these benefits, the models used must take into account the multiple phenomena that may impact the performance of a process or device — in other words, they must be multiphysics models. In EV applications, for example, multiphysics modeling capabilities are essential to find and prevent hotspots in motors, understand the effects of mechanical loads on battery cells, or accurately model concurrent flows of liquids and gases in the porous electrodes of fuel cells.

This COMSOL Day will showcase the use of multiphysics modeling and simulation for the development and improvement of batteries, fuel cells, electric motors, and power electronics. Through technical presentations, COMSOL engineers and experienced keynote speakers from the industry will provide insights into the possibilities and how-tos of using multiphysics simulation for EV technologies.



Multiphysics simulation plays an important role in driving faster and more cost-effective research and development (R&D) in the e-mobility industry. This is mostly due to the fact that the design and development of electric vehicles involves electromagnetics, structural mechanics, heat transfer, CFD, and electrochemical phenomena — the ability to account for all of these phenomena in one model is critical. COMSOL Multiphysics® makes such modeling easy, and is widely used within this industry because of it.

In addition, with the Application Builder and Model Manager, users can create and distribute simulation apps, and can collaborate on apps, models, and simulations.

In this session, you will learn about current modeling trends at leading research institutes and industrial R&D departments within the e-mobility industry, and see how such trends are inspired or enabled by the use of multiphysics modeling and simulation apps.

Keynote Speaker
Multiscale Modeling of Lithium-Ion Batteries Using COMSOL Multiphysics®
Mohammadali Mirsalehian, PhD, RWTH Aachen University, FEV Europe GmbH

With their long service life and superior energy and power densities, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries become popular energy storage systems for a variety of applications such as electric vehicles (EVs), portable electronic devices and other green applications.

Li-ion batteries exhibit a complex ensemble of interactions, with their underlying multiphysics involving electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and mechanics. The multiscale structure of Li-ion batteries consists of multiple densely packed, layered porous electrodes composed of active material particles, binder, and carbon additives. The length scale of electrode layers is one or two orders of magnitude larger than that of constituent particles. Moreover, the interactions not only depend on the length scale, but also take place on different time scales. The contribution of each interaction varies on different time scales, resulting in rate-limited performance of Li-ion batteries.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of such a complex system, it is necessary to develop physical and mathematical models. Modeling with simulation software is further used to offer iterative virtual testing and optimization as an alternative to expensive and time-consuming experimental testing. The numerical model must cover a wide range of aspects, from achieving long battery life to customer benefits, such as driving range extension and fast charging capability for EVs. In this regard, the model helps to develop feasible and effective strategies to mitigate aging and degradation mechanisms, e.g., mechanical deterioration of the electrode structure integrity over cycling. Another important aspect of the model is the batteries' safety under extreme and abusive conditions like thermal runaway and thermal propagation. Here, the advantage of the numerical model is realized by the introduction of countermeasures to delay or prevent thermal propagation in Li-ion batteries to meet the existing regulatory requirements in the market.

To gain the insight needed to achieve these goals for Li-ion battery development, the Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems (TME) at RWTH Aachen University has collaborated with FEV Europe GmbH to develop methodologies for Li-ion battery analysis using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. The proposed methodologies allow virtual investigation of Li-ion batteries at different scales and boundary conditions, which makes it possible to fulfill the growing demands of research and industry for Li-ion battery performance. The numerical modeling approaches developed range from lightweight to those with high fidelity, which can be selected based on the existing needs and limits on the time and computational resources in each individual project. In this session, Mohammadali Mirsalehian will present these approaches.

Parallel Session
Introduction to the Battery Design Module

The COMSOL® software provides a purpose-built environment for high-fidelity modeling of batteries. With the Battery Design Module, users are able to define detailed models of battery cells and packs that include electrochemistry, material transport, heat transfer, fluid flow, and structural mechanics phenomena. Discharge–recharge cycles, aging, thermal management, and other processes associated with the operation of battery systems can be modeled using transient methods such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

The latest version of the Battery Design Module features enhanced functionality for easy setup of battery pack models with hundreds of batteries. Each battery can be described by an individual electrochemical model that includes temperature effects. The new functionality enables a very efficient procedure for modeling thermal management and thermal runaway propagation in battery packs.

Join us in this session to learn more about how to set up models and how COMSOL® users have utilized the Battery Design Module in their studies of battery systems.

Introduction to the Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module

The Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module in COMSOL Multiphysics® expands the sphere for modeling electric vehicles and energy conversion. This product can be used for modeling low- and high-temperature hydrogen fuel cells and water electrolyzers based on different electrolyte-types, such as proton exchange membranes, alkaline, molten carbonates, and solid oxides.

In this session, we will present and demonstrate simulations of electrochemical reactions, electrolyte charge transport, gas-phase mass transport, and convective flow, as well as two-phase water/gas transport in both fuel cells and electolyzers.

Break for Lunch
Introduction to COMSOL Multiphysics®

Learn the fundamental workflow of COMSOL Multiphysics®. This introductory demonstration will show you all of the key modeling steps, including geometry creation, setting up physics, meshing, solving, and postprocessing.

Parallel Session
Thermal Management of Batteries & Fuel Cells

Modeling and simulation have been crucial for the development of the lithium-ion battery used for electric vehicles. With its high energy density, the fuel cell offers a future alternative for powering heavy vehicles like trucks in combination with batteries. Due to the narrow temperature interval of operation, thermal management is crucial for the design of these systems.

The Battery Design Module and Fuel Cell & Electrolyzer Module add-ons to COMSOL Multiphysics®, in combination with the Heat Transfer Module, offer a uniquely robust environment for modeling and simulation of thermal management. These tools can be used to account for heat generated by electrochemical reactions, Joule heating, conjugate heat transfer, evaporation, turbulent nonisothermal flow, and other coupled phenomena.

In this session, we provide an introduction to modeling and simulation of thermal management of batteries and fuel cells using COMSOL Multiphysics®. We demonstrate with models at the battery cell, battery pack, fuel cell unit cell, and fuel cell stack scales.

Electric Motors and Drivetrains

The demand for and development of electric motors has increased exponentially, with hybrid and electric cars expected to make up a major portion of new car sales in the near future. Designing electric motors and drivetrains that maximize efficiency is crucial for increasing range and reducing battery capacity requirements. Modeling and simulation are integral parts of the R&D process for maximizing this efficiency, and COMSOL Multiphysics® and its AC/DC Module and Battery Design Module add-ons have become important tools for many R&D departments in the industry.

Electric traction motors also need to deliver high torque over a wide speed range while staying within temperature limits and allowing for efficient manufacturing. The most common types, synchronous permanent magnet and asynchronous motors — as well as more recently researched alternatives such as synchronous reluctance or axial flux motors — can be modeled and optimized in COMSOL Multiphysics®. The software's capability to effectively capture multiphysics effects and apply powerful optimization techniques has empowered designers to improve efficiency and decrease costs.

We welcome you to this session, where we will discuss these subjects and demonstrate how COMSOL Multiphysics® can be used in the research and development of electric motors and drivetrains.

Parallel Session
Battery Degradation

Battery systems are often burdened by unwanted side reactions at the electrodes. The Battery Design Module can be used to simulate various aging and degradation mechanisms and the resulting capacity fade in batteries.

Any arbitrary by-reaction, such as hydrogen and oxygen evolution, the growth of a solid electrolyte interface due to deposition, metal plating, metal corrosion, and graphite oxidation can be included in a battery model through the flexibility built within the Battery Design Module.

In this session, we will present and demonstrate the capabilities of this module to model degradation in batteries and the process of building and running a capacity fade model.

Modeling and Simulation of Power Electronics

The widespread shift to green energy and vehicle electrification has increased the demand for power electronics devices like power optimizers, a type of DC/DC converter used to maximize the power production of solar power and wind turbine systems. Power electronics include components such as converters, rectifiers, amplifiers, and switches.

The AC/DC Module and Semiconductor Module add-ons to COMSOL Multiphysics® provide specialized functionality for modeling these devices. In addition to enabling lumped circuit extraction, the software’s multiphysics capabilities allow users to include thermal and structural effects when designing integrated circuits and discrete devices such as metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs).

Join us in this session to learn more about the capabilities of the COMSOL® software for modeling and simulating components in power electronics. We will demonstrate the use of the AC/DC Module by building models and running simulations of power electronics devices.

Closing Remarks

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COMSOL Day Details

Local Start Time:
January 26, 2023 | 10:00 CET (UTC+01:00)
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Invited Speakers

Mohammadali Mirsalehian RWTH Aachen University, FEV Europe GmbH

Mohammadali Mirsalehian received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Tehran in Iran. Afterward, he worked as a project engineer in the energy sector for a few years and decided to pursue his academic studies in Germany in this field. He received a master's degree in energy science and technology from Ulm University and conducted his master's thesis, “Thermal Investigation and Simulation of Lithium-Ion Batteries”, at Fraunhofer Institute. Currently, he is carrying out his PhD studies at the Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems (TME) at RWTH Aachen University. His research focus is on the multiscale multiphysics modeling of lithium-ion batteries. He also collaborates with FEV Europe GmbH as a battery simulation engineer in industrial projects with different modeling topics, including thermal propagation, aging, and the electrochemical behavior of lithium-ion batteries.