What is State of Health (SoH) of an EV Battery?

1 Answer
Can you answer this question?

Editorial Team - everything PE

Sep 6, 2023

State of Health (SoH) refers to the current health or condition of an EV battery compared to its initial state when it was brand new. It provides information about the capacity, efficiency, and overall performance of the battery over its lifecycle. SoH is an essential parameter to monitor, as it directly impacts the range, performance, and safety of electric vehicles.

Battery State of Health

Factors Influencing SoH

Several factors contribute to the gradual degradation of battery SoH over time

  • Cycle Life: Each charge and discharge cycle a battery undergoes contributes to its degradation. Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in EVs, have a limited number of cycles before they start to lose capacity.
  • Temperature: Extreme temperatures, whether high or low, accelerate the degradation of battery materials. High temperatures can cause electrolyte breakdown and thermal runaway, while low temperatures increase internal resistance.
  • Depth of Discharge (DoD): Regularly discharging a battery to very low levels can accelerate its degradation. Batteries tend to have a longer lifespan if they are operated within a certain state of charge range.
  • Charging Rate: Fast charging can generate heat within the battery, which affects its lifespan. Managing the charging rate and implementing cooling mechanisms are crucial to preserving battery health.
  • Chemical Degradation: The chemical reactions that occur within the battery during charge and discharge cycles can lead to the formation of unwanted side products that affect capacity and efficiency.
  • Age: Regardless of usage, batteries degrade over time due to chemical processes. This is commonly referred to as "calendar aging."

Methods for Monitoring SoH

  • Capacity Measurement: Regularly measuring the battery's capacity provides insights into its declining ability to hold a charge. This can be done by charging the battery to full and then discharging it at a constant rate until it reaches a certain voltage threshold.
  • Impedance Spectroscopy: By measuring the impedance of a battery at various frequencies, researchers can assess the internal resistance and electrochemical properties, which are indicative of its health.

  Impedance spectrum measurements for cell one as a function of the number of cycles

  • Voltage and Current Analysis: Monitoring the voltage and current during charge and discharge cycles can reveal changes in the battery's behavior, providing clues about its health.
  • Thermal Monitoring: Keeping track of the battery's temperature can help identify potential thermal issues that could impact its SoH.

Importance of SoH Monitoring

  • Range Estimation: Battery degradation directly impacts the driving range of EVs. Accurate SoH monitoring helps vehicle owners estimate the remaining driving range more accurately.
  • Efficiency: Degraded batteries are less efficient, as a portion of the energy is lost as heat due to higher internal resistance. Maintaining good SoH helps improve overall efficiency.
  • Safety: Batteries that are near the end of their life can become unstable, leading to safety hazards such as overheating or even fires. Monitoring SoH can help detect potential safety risks.
  • Cost Management: Replacing a traction battery is a significant expense. Monitoring SoH can help vehicle owners plan for battery replacement cost-effectively.

Click here to learn more about EV Batteries.