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CEI Interdisciplinary Seminar: Dan Steingart, Princeton University
CEI Interdisciplinary Seminar: Dan Steingart, Princeton University
WhenThursday, Nov 2, 2017, 4 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationMary Gates Hall (MGH)
Campus room389
Event typesLectures/Seminars

Exploring and Exploiting Often Unwanted Coupling in Closed Energy Cells

Endeavors in electrochemical energy storage are industrial masochism for the same reason they are academic hedonism: a working, rechargeable battery represents a tight coupling of multiphase phenomena across the chemical, electrical, thermal and mechanical domains. Despite these couplings, most treatments of batteries in literature emphasize the material challenges and opportunities as opposed to the system level dynamics.  There good reasons for this: 1) to date, tools for examining the structure of “real” cells in operando are largely limited to synchrotron x-ray and neutron methods, 2) full cells are products engineered for application demands and not platonic ideals and 3) material improvements can have enormous impact on battery performance.

Yet understanding and examining the physical dynamics of cells in a “scaled context” is a worthwhile academic endeavor.  The battery as a system presents problems that are difficult to decouple, but the study of such problems can introduce new opportunities and inform electrochemical reactor designs and material utilization strategies.

In this talk I will motivate two areas where a systems approach might be worthwhile. The first area abstracts the chemistry within a battery, almost completely, to examine what the consequences of mass transport and mass conservation have on mechanical behaviors within the cell. The second area openly go where angels fear to tread and asks “Why is a short circuit a bad thing?”

About the Speaker

Dan Steingart is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University.  His group, the Princeton Lab for Electrochemical Engineering Systems Research, studies the interactions between materials and systems in electrochemical reactors with a focus on energy storage devices.  His current research looks to exploit traditional failure mechanisms and "unwanted" interactions with batteries for systematic understanding and device enhancement. His efforts in this area over the last decade have been adopted by various industries and have led directly or indirectly to five energy related startup companies, the latest being Feasible, an effort dedicated to exploiting the inherent acoustic responses of closed electrochemical systems.
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