PhD Opportunities 2024

Probing the Electrical and Thermal performance of Sodium-ion Batteries

John Irvine and Robert Armstrong

BP EPSRC ICASE 2024 – 4 year PhD with enhanced stipend

A four year Industrial CASE PhD studentship with BP is available from 1st October 2024 at the University of St Andrews.  Applications are welcome from eligible students especially those from UK.

Project Overview:

Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries have gained huge attention over the last two years as a viable alternative technology to Li-ion batteries for both EV and battery energy storage system (BESS) applications. Notably, the world’s largest battery manufacturer CATL has announced their intent to commercialize Na-ion batteries by 2024 and in 2022 Reliance Industries acquired the UK based Na-ion battery developer Faradion. Furthermore, in the last 12 months some Chinese automotive OEMs have introduced Na-ion batteries on their new EV models. Na-ion batteries are advantageous as they use less critical raw materials, are lower cost and show enhanced safety compared to Li-ion batteries.

This project aims to gain understanding on how Na-ion batteries behave both electrically and thermally for both BESS and EV use cases

Although the benefits of Na-ion batteries are clear as the technology is in its early stages of deployment and most existing data is from an academic materials development context will little or no application-based data available. Therefore, parameters that are important to application performance such as: power capability, operating temperature window, thermal response and lifetime for specific use case are not available.

The research objectives are as follows:

–              Understand the performance capabilities of the Na-ion battery technology and the factors limiting their performance.

–              Understand the thermal response of Na-ion batteries under typical EV fast charging conditions.

–              Elucidate the main factors influencing capacity degradation in Na-ion batteries.

–              Investigate the most effective ways to prolong the cycle life of Na-ion batteries via thermal and electric management in an application.

Further information and informal enquiries may be directed to Professor John Irvine, email: [email protected]