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Development of battery-supercapacitor management systems for electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EV) consuming low-carbon electricity are important assets to decarbonise the transport sector. Currently, most battery-electric vehicles including Tesla and Nissan use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries as the energy source. Li-ion batteries have high energy and power capacities and have found commercial success in the EV markets. However, Li-ion batteries suffer from significant cell degradation during deep and rapid discharge. The driving behaviour of individuals directly influences the energy discharged from the EV. To prolong Li-ion batteries lifetime and for optimal operation, supercapacitors can also be an additional energy source with rapid discharge characteristic and high power density. For EVs, the battery management system ensures that the rechargeable battery operates within the safe operating region and also with maximum efficiency.

This research project aims to study the technical and economic viability of a hybrid energy storage system for EVs comprising of Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors. The system and its components will be modelled to evaluate the energy storage system’s electrical and thermal performances under different driving cycles.

The objectives of this research project include:

• To develop a battery-supercapacitor management system for the optimal operation of Li-ion battery and supercapacitor in EVs.

• To determine the optimal sizing of energy and power capacities for the battery-supercapacitor system.

• To investigate the electrical drive system (e.g., power converters) with battery-supercapacitor management systems.

• To validate the system with hardware-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop studies.

• To investigate the techno-economic viability of the hybrid energy storage system in EVs.

Essential Requirements

The applicant should have a good first degree and/or a master’s degree (or other equivalent experience) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. The applicant ideally should have an excellent understanding in power electronic converters, control systems and good understanding in electric vehicular technologies, battery technologies and in relevant simulation tools and computational platforms, such as MATLAB/Simulink.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.