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Ansys says multi-dimensional simulation is key to developing EVs and batteries (illustration: Ansys)

A senior Ansys executive said new thinking about simulation - and a new toolset - is required tosuccessfully master the complexity of developing electric vehicles and the battery systems that power them.

"This decade is a new era for simulation as we get into electric vehicles," said Sandeep Sovani, manager global automotive market strategy for US engineering simulation software maker Ansys.

Addressing the EV Battery Tech 2011 conference in London, Sovani said new simulation techniques are especially important in the development of the crucial electric vehicle battery system. "The effectiveness ofbattery product development hinges on understanding and adopting the new paradigms," he said.

Sovani said traditional techniques use single physics simulation, single component simulation and they look at few design points. To deal with the complexity and speed requirements of the electric vehicle era, the new approach should use:

  1. so-called "multiphysics simulation," which looks at such features as flow, thermal, structural, electrical and electrochemistryat the same time
  2. multidomain simulation, which provides a virtual picture of a battery at the molecular, electrode, cell, pack and powertrain level
  3. and a new design approach, which provides a virtual look at a component's entire design space.
The complexity of electric vehicles and batteries requires a more comprehensive simulation approach, said Sovani. "Phenomena at one level affect those at another level and, for that, you need simultaneous co-simulation."