BEST Center

MRL Building
Hastings Road
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-6237


BEST - Research: Chris Rahn

An image showing a lead-acid experimental test stand with individual cell voltage and pressure monitoring

Lead-Acid experimental test stand
with individual cell voltage
and pressure monitoring.

Chris Rahn is co-director of the BEST center and director of the Mechatronics Research Laboratory where he and his team of graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and undergraduates conduct research in the modeling, estimation, testing, and control of batteries. In the modeling area, Dr. Rahn develops simplified and reduced order models based on first principles that can accurately capture the voltage and internal potential and concentration responses of cells and are simple enough to be run in real-time and/or used for model-based estimation and control. Research on State of Charge (SOC) and State of Health (SOH) estimation is based on the developed models and closely linked to the battery chemistry and predominant aging mechanisms. Dr. Rahn's group has developed specialized testing and control hardware for Electroimpedance Spectroscopy (EIS), pulse train, and full charge/discharge testing of high power series and parallel battery packs. Advanced battery management systems that adjust the current limit in real-time based on the internal state of the battery are being developed and tested.

Dr. Rahn’s group is also involved in The Department of Energy’s Computer-Aided Engineering for Electric-Drive Vehicle Batteries (CAEBAT) project. CAEBAT brings together leading energy storage researchers, battery developers, automakers, and other industry partners to create design tools that will lower the cost and optimize the performance of electric vehicle batteries. To learn more about CAEBAT, visit the official project website.

A series of graphs showing the lithium ion experimental and theoretical voltage response to a pulse discharge, rest, charge input

Lithium Ion experimental and
theoretical voltage response to a
pulse discharge/rest/charge input.