Experimental analysis of Dynamic Charge Acceptance test conditions for lead-acid and lithium iron phosphate cells


Advancing battery technology and performance has become imperative for automotive applications. The function of automotive batteries has transformed from just an auxiliary power source to a system providing considerable contributions to the performance of the vehicle, especially for fully electric vehicles where it is the sole power source. This has been triggered by the need to reduce carbon emissions and the high cost of fuel. Therefore, the behavior of automotive batteries needs to be understood well.

Hybrid electric vehicles have also imposed a more significant change to battery operation. In this type of vehicle, batteries have been used in conjunction with internal combustion engines such that the two provide traction power. There are a number of possible configurations but the principle of operation remains the same. These hybrid electric vehicles can be driven by either the batteries or the internal combustion engines, or both combined.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of the hybrid electric vehicle drive train, maximum energy should be recaptured and stored in the course of all regenerative braking periods. However, charge acceptance of the batteries at high-rate partial state-of-charge is the principle limiting factor for energy capture. The batteries are needed to provide more of electrical power to the vehicle, therefore they are required to recharge rapidly and it is important that their performance under these conditions is known.

A number of methodologies, such as Dynamic Charge Acceptance, have been adopted to characterize the performance of these batteries. Therefore, understanding the dynamic charge acceptance performance of automotive batteries is a critical requirement for developing electric vehicles. Researchers at The University of Sheffield’s Centre for Research into Electrical Energy Storage & Appications, Mr Matthew Smith, Dr Dan Gladwin, and Professor David Stone, investigated how varying the parameters and conditions of the standard dynamic charge acceptance test arrangement would provide an excellent analysis of the dynamic charge acceptance performance. The purpose of their studies is better understanding of the behavior of the cell under real world conditions. Their research work is published in Journal of Energy Storage.

The research team tested both standard and carbon-enhanced lead-acid cells, together with lithium iron phosphate cells over a range of state-of-charge, temperatures, and rest periods. They observed a clear correlation between dynamic charge acceptance and both temperature and state-of-charge. Dynamic Charge Acceptance was observed to improve at high temperatures and lower state-of-charge. The cells could have exhibited a memory effect resulting in improved Dynamic Charge Acceptance after a discharging period. For the case of rest period, reducing the rest period improved charge acceptance.

According to the results obtained in their study, when selecting a battery based on Dynamic Charge Acceptance, it is necessary to take into account the range of state-of-charge over which the battery is operated. Going for a narrow state-of-charge window would lead to a suboptimal performance under particular conditions.

The magnitude of the recuperation current is another parameter to consider. Under these operational conditions, carbon-enhanced lead outperformed lithium cells. The findings of the study indicates that dynamic charge acceptance is a non-static parameter and is dependent on history of operation, environmental conditions, and the electrochemical balance within the cell at a particular time.

This work has provided deeper insights into the fundamental factors influencing DCA performance, and forms the basis for ongoing research into methods by which it may be improved”. Said Matthew Smith, first author of the paper.

Dynamic Charge Acceptance test conditions for lead-acid and lithium iron phosphate cells-renewable energy global innovations

About the author

Dr Dan Gladwin 
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK.
Email: [email protected]

Dr Dan Gladwin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the University of Sheffield with particular expertise in energy storage and management, power electronics, and intelligent systems. He is a founding member of the Centre for Research into Electrical Energy Storage and Applications at the University of Sheffield and is a named investigator on more than £8.5M of funding from EPSRC, H2020 and InnovateUK in the last 5 years. He manages the work on electrochemical energy storage for grid scale storage and is co-investigator for the £3.8M 1MWh / 2MW lithium titanate facility at Willenhall.

Gladwin is also co-investigator on the recently started £1.5M TransEnergy project (EP/N022289/1) that is investigating the feasibility of storage on different types of railway networks and in particular the integration of parked electric vehicles close to lines.

He has published over 50 papers in the areas of battery modelling and state estimation, optimisation, energy storage and power systems. Gladwin is currently leading a H2020 project to install Europe’s largest hybrid flywheel battery energy storage system.

About the author

Prof David Stone 
Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
Email: [email protected]

David Stone is professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, and leads the Center for Research into Electrical Energy Storage and Applications (CREESA) at Sheffield, including the facilities 2MW, 1MWhr Grid connected Energy storage research facility.

Prof Stone was appointed into the Electrical Machines and Drives (EMD) research group in 1989, and is heavily involved in EV / HEV research, together with energy conversion. He has led battery testing and management for over 15 years, being principal investigator on a number of industrially oriented projects together with more academic work on recycling and reuse of batteries on the grid, and Li-ion battery pack management. The battery work, coupled to power electronics, have resulted in over 250 papers in conferences and pier reviewed journals.

Prof Stone manages the high power battery test facilities, capable of testing both single cells and battery strings within temperature controlled environments. The work done by Prof Stone and his colleagues forms the leading work on battery state of charge (SoC) and state of health (SoH) monitoring within the UK, and use of observers applied to batteries now allows the prediction of SoC and SoH for the batteries, increasing consumer confidence in battery powered vehicles.

About the author

Mr Matthew Smith
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
Email: [email protected]

Matthew Smith is Postgraduate Researcher at the Centre for Research into Electrical Energy Storage and Applications of the Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department at The University of Sheffield, UK. He graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Master’s Degree in Digital Electronics in 2014.

His research interests include Power Electronics, Electrical Energy Storage & Management and Automotive Battery Performance. Specifically his work examines factors affecting the lifetime of batteries within automotive and energy storage applications, and the performance of automotive batteries in mild-hybrid applications.


M J Smith, D T Gladwin, and D A Stone. Experimental analysis of Dynamic Charge Acceptance test conditions for lead-acid and lithium iron phosphate cells. Journal of Energy Storage, volume 12 (2017), pages 55–65.


Go To Journal of Energy Storage

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