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Battery Intelligence Lab, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

Battery Intelligence Lab

We design systems and develop diagnostics and control algorithms for electrochemical energy devices such as batteries and supercapacitors, in applications from electric cars to grid power systems.

The group is led by Professor David Howey at the Department of Engineering Science in the University of Oxford. Our aim is to improve performance and cost by predicting dynamics and lifetime, estimating temperatures and faults, and measuring how and why devices perform in the real world. This requires us to address fundamental issues in modelling, instrumentation and data processing.

One of the cheapest and fastest ways to clean up energy systems in the near term is to shift our power grid to zero carbon sources and electrify transport and heating. Lithium-ion batteries are crucial to this effort, and they are at the forefront of explosive growth in electric vehicles, where global automotive manufacturers plan to invest at least $300 billion dollars over the next 5-10 years (Reuters). Batteries also enable grid storage, stabilising supply and demand as more renewable energy is added to the power grid, and this market is projected to grow 30% per year over the next decade (Wood Mackenzie). As battery production has increased, costs have dropped dramatically faster than analysts predicted, falling around 90% from 2010 to 2020 (BNEF). What opportunities is this opening up, and what challenges remain? This lecture will discuss batteries past, present and future, with examples along the way of how our latest research is harnessing the power of data to understand and improve their performance.