Software Tools for Battery Design

Under the Computer-Aided Engineering for Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries (CAEBAT) project, NREL has developed software tools to help battery designers, developers, and manufacturers create affordable, high-performance lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for next-generation electric-drive vehicles (EDVs).

An image of a simulation of a battery pack using CAEBAT software tools.

Knowledge of the interplay of multi-physics at varied scales is imperative to successful battery development. The image above shows a computer simulation of a battery pack using CAEBAT software tools. Images: NREL

Battery development through the build-assess-break cycle is time consuming and expensive. CAEBAT software tools can be used to:

  • Design battery cells and packs
  • Shorten the battery prototyping and manufacturing processes
  • Improve overall battery performance, safety, and lifespan
  • Reduce expenses related to battery development and production.

CAEBAT research has led to models of alternatively stacked-, wound-, and large-format cylindrical cell performance, as well as pack thermal networks. CAEBAT teams managed by NREL have combined new and existing battery models into commercially available software used by industry to minimize design cycles and optimize batteries for increased performance, safety, and lifespan.

These CAEBAT-developed tools include:

  • Fluent 15 (ANSYS). This flagship package includes battery simulation tools and an application programming interface to NREL's multi-scale multi-domain (MSMD) model in ANSYS's CAEBAT software, allowing industry users to access NREL's latest, state-of-the-art models.
  • STAR-CCM+ (CD-adapco). This software contains battery simulations modules developed under CAEBAT.
  • AutoLion-3D (EC Power). This simulation package can be used to simulate battery safety aspects, in addition to electrochemical-thermal simulations.

NREL's MSMD predictive computer battery simulation framework was used by CAEBAT teams in development of these tools to resolve interactions among multiple physics occurring in varied length and time scales. Learn more about the MSMD model.

NREL has provided technical support on electrochemical and thermal modeling to CAEBAT teams as they work independently to develop and validate tools based on a variety of chemistries, cell geometries, and battery pack configurations.


Kandler Smith


Shriram Santhanagopalan