I try and keep my blogs at a level that an avid hobbyist or engineer-in-another-discipline can relate to and understand. However this blog I am going to go more technical. There have been some really interesting innovations in electrochemical storage devices (e.g. batteries and supercapacitors) in my area of focus. These days, bigger products demanding more energy are moving towards battery power. The other day at my uncle’s house we talked about a battery-powered chainsaw. It had a 36V lithium ion battery with something like 80 Wh. I have noticed that many mid-power range loads (somewhere between cell phones and electric vehicles) tend to have a higher voltage and lower-than-expected amps, somewhere around 1C rate for typical lithium ion cell (2-3A). The reason for this, as I am learning, is that putting batteries in parallel is tricky. However, there are times when the job calls for higher instantaneous power, therefore high current as well as high voltage. To achieve the energy required for these systems, many cells or modules, are assembled in series/parallel. There are two battery pack types. The first type builds modules made from a set of parallel cells connected in series, then multiple series strings are connected in parallel. This type of arrangement is costly and complex, but the sharing of current and balancing of cells is more controlled.
My name is Caroline Storm Westenhover. I am a Senior Electrical Engineering student at the University of Texas at Arlington. I am the third of seven children. I enjoy collecting ideas and theories and most enjoy when they come together to present a bigger picture as a whole. Perhaps that is why I like physics and engineering. My biggest dream is to become an astronaut.
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