This research is aligned with the engineering challenge of scaling-up individual battery cells into a complete energy storage system (ESS). Manufacturing tolerances, coupled with thermal gradients and the differential electrical loading of adjacent cells, can result in significant variations in the rate of cell degradation, energy distribution and ESS performance. The uncertain transition from cell to system often manifests itself in over-engineered, non-optimal ESS designs within both the transport and energy sectors. To alleviate these issues, the authors propose a novel model-based framework for cell-in-the-loop simulation (CILS) in which a physical cell may be integrated within a complete model of an ESS and exercised against realistic electrical and thermal loads in real-time. This paper focuses on the electrical integration of both real and simulated cells within the CILS test environment. Validation of the CILS approach using real-world electric vehicle data is presented for an 18650 cell. The cell is integrated within a real-time simulation model of a series string of similar cells in a 4sp1 configuration. Results are presented that highlight the impact of cell variability (i.e.
, capacity and impedance) on the energy available from the multi-cell system and the useable capacity of the physical cell.
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