Get to know the researchers: Doctor Sanjeev Pannala

Dr. Sanjeev Pannala is a technical lead of UI-ASSIST, which works on research and development of the technology in relation to distribution systems. Dr. Pannala got his Ph. D from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and helped his professor at the time work with UI-ASSIST, which is how he got his start in the program.

UI-ASSIST has different themes that the project focuses on, one of those themes is battery storage. Part of what Dr. Pannala does is work with modelling, which allows analyzation and testing of batteries to be done in software to see how effective and functional the battery in question may be.

Almost everything that is used in everyday life has a battery in it, ranging from single celled batteries to large-scale batteries.

“There are certain safety guidelines and operating procedures, you have to maintain a temperature for all of the battery containers. About 50 degrees to 75, to maintain the maximum life cycle or to say it doesn’t overheat or release gases,” said Dr. Pannala.

The size of battery matters when it comes to overheating or producing gases, Dr. Pannala said that the odds of a cell phone battery overheating or exploding are one in a million, but on the larger scale batteries, the chances of a larger battery exploding is higher, batteries also have a chance of corroding.

“One [way a battery can corrode] is ambience, second [way a battery can corrode] is if it’s really hot or humid that can lead to different kinds of reactions in the battery. Third is the operation… excess use of the battery,” Dr. Pannala said.

Energy storage is going to be important to our future, generating renewable energy and storing it in batteries is crucial to the next couple decades of restrictions on carbon emissions. Energy has to be generated by wind, solar, or hydro and stored in a battery until consumers need it.

“You are using energy from the grid produced already to store it back in the chemical batteries. When you need it you are discharging those chemical batteries. That means you need to produce twice if you need to use the batteries, you need to accumulate the energy from somewhere then you can discharge it when you need it,” Dr. Pannala said.

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