Improving Thermal Management for Large Li-ion Energy Storage Systems

APRIL 21, 10:10 – 10:35
Session: Renewable Energy Session

Amy Lenneman

Performance Engineer

AES Distributed Energy


* This presentation was co-authored by Amy Lenneman and Chris Boyer, PhD from AES Distributed Energy.

The electric utility industry is experiencing a rapid growth in the deployment of large banks of Li-Ion batteries, and with that growth, the awareness of the challenges and importance for good thermal management of the battery system. The characteristics of Li-ion batteries present thermal issues including accelerated degradation, unintended malfunctions, and thermal run away which can lead to fires. These challenges have resulted in a growing focus on the thermal management of these battery systems in order to ensure their safe, long-lasting effectiveness. As the scale of Li-ion batteries increases, the proper design and control of the HVAC system within an energy storage container becomes increasingly important in order to mitigate the risks involved with Li-ion batteries.

This presentation discusses the main aspects of good thermal management of an energy storage system, focusing primarily on the sizing, control, and distribution of cooling equipment. It will explore design and operating conditions by comparing sizing, staging, air flow rates, and energy consumption of multiple HVAC units and the resulting humidity levels and temperature variability within the container. It also looks at temperature behavior on the batteries’ state-of-health. This work includes operational data from facilities located in Hawaii and Colorado.