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Battery technologies R&D


​​Battery cell thermal model (left), Battery cooling model (right)

​Whether fully electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, commercial or passenger electric vehicle, electricity storage in batteries is the key technology and one of the most challenging components within the vehicle. Batteries are also very timely topics in electric and hybrid propulsion in marine vessels, as well as stationary electricity storage systems.

World-class battery testing facilities 

With these in mind, VTT has been developing competences and facilities for applied energy storage R&D since late 2010. New research laboratories have been built which enable comprehensive experimental work on battery cells, modules, packs, as well as electrical (BMS) and thermal management systems. These facilities are integrated with dynamometer facilities enabling not just experimental work on batteries but also on (heavy-duty) vehicles, drivetrains and engines under the same roof.

Broad range of services 

VTT has gained broad-based knowledge on different types of energy storage technologies and their suppliers. VTT can provide up to date knowledge, foresight and experimental research services on different energy storage technologies. We can be your partner in energy storage development or in the development of products or environments utilising energy storages. VTT can help you in issues like energy storage application requirement analysis, selection, dimensioning, testing, assessment, development, road-mapping. The backbone for these services are the experimental work combined with modelling capabilities. 

We can also provide tailored training on batteries. Ask more!


Electricity storage in batteries and also hybrid systems including supercapacitors and/or fuel cells is a timely topic in a variety of areas. In many cases the applications, technologies and businesses are still emerging or in a pre-commercial stage. The key in each application is to find the optimum techno-economic storage solution combining special requirements, technology choices and use case duty cycles / operation.

Although we do technology-independent assessments, the focus in our research is battery technologies and solutions for the following applications areas:

  • Electrical buses and public transport
  • Electrical mining vehicles and machinery
  • Electrical cargo handling machinery in ports
  • Stationary energy storage systems for grid support and services
  • Electric and hybrid marine vessel propulsion
  • Other types of vehicles and machinery in handling and logistics

Analysis and design

Predicting battery performance and service life is one of the most important parts in the vehicle life cycle assessment. Impedance-based electrical models are very successful in predicting the electrical behaviour of the battery. These equivalent circuit models provide the basis for battery modelling. When such a circuit model is combined with semi-empirical aging model and a thermal model, a holistic battery lifetime model is achieved. The accuracy of the battery lifetime model is improved using test data achieved from measurements.

Finite element heat transfer models for battery cells, modules and cooling elements are used for approximating the battery behaviour under various operating conditions. Possibility to simulate different cooling strategies before building a prototype helps on finding an optimal approach for the cooling. Models are validated by measurements in VTT's battery laboratories.

Thermal characteristic of a battery cell.