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Battery Science & Engineering

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A community for people who do Battery Science and build battery management systems.

Battery science & engineering is a multidisciplinary field drawing upon physics, electrical engineering, (electro)chemistry, materials science, mechanical engineering, embedded & real-time system programming, data science, machine learning, and network engineering.

There is some overlap with https://electrical.codidact.com/, https://physics.codidact.com/, https://software.codidact.com/, and the proposed Chemistry site. However, battery science & engineering is a relatively enclosed community. I think people in this field tend not to interact much with people in the communities around broader fields mentioned above, so battery science & engineering is barely represented at electronics.StackExchange, chemistry.StackExchange, and datascience.StackExchange, and StackOverflow, let alone the Codidact sites mentioned above. But if there was a separate site, I think there is a chance to build a viable community.

The existing community in this field is https://www.researchgate.net/topic/Battery, it's quite active. My main issue with it is that it's academic-only (e. g., I cannot participate in it as a non-academic).

Who is your community now? Currently I'm alone but I plan to advertise this proposal in my network and at the company where I'm working (a Li-ion battery manufacturer).

Additional features. Wiki, Mathjax

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5 comments

What about a separate category in electrical.codidact.com? That way it would still be somewhat separated (you won't see the battery questions on the main category, nor the main category questions on the battery category), but would still be on the EE site (where it topically fits), and prominently linked from therein (so that interested people from EE will find it). celtschk‭ 17 days ago

@celtschk‭ Batteries aren't really a sub-category of electrical engineering. That would be far too narrow - batteries would be a sub-category of power management, which is a sub-category of low voltage power electronics, which is a sub-category of power electronics... Lundin‭ 17 days ago

@Lundin that's a way too simplified view -- a lot of battery questions are as much a sub-category of "power management" as much of the questions on StackOverflow are a category of superuser.com or webapps.StackExchange. And batteries are not always low-voltage. leventov‭ 16 days ago

All electronics aspects of batteries sort under power management. If you want to design a battery charger, then power management is the headline to look for at the silicon vendor site, unless they have a separate charger category. Low voltage in this context means <75VDC so that goes for the vast majority of all battery solutions. Lundin‭ 16 days ago

Anyway, sensible categories on the EE site would rather be "Power", "Analog", "RF", "Electromechanical", "Interface", "Firmware" or similar broad terms. I don't really see a need to add more categories there currently. And for now categories are used there for separate types of questions, not for separate topics. There's a "Papers" category and it has been proposed to have a design review category, etc. Lundin‭ 16 days ago

3 answers

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Almost every single electronics development project is multi-disciplinary.

I'm a software engineer but I rarely ever do any project which doesn't involve electronics- or mechanical engineers/engineering. Including several projects revolving around batteries, battery chargers, batteries in EX environments and so on. That doesn't make me a "battery engineer".

The following kind of questions would already be on-topic at https://electrical.codidact.com/:

  • The theory of how batteries work. This will also at some extent be on-topic at the Physics site.
  • Battery chemistries and their characteristics.
  • Battery circuits and battery charger circuits.
  • Battery protection, safety, handling. Fuses, polarity protection, thermistors etc.
  • At some extent, materials & mechanics related to batteries. Including issues of cooling, temperature supervision, placement of thermistors, suitable conductors/wires, battery contacts, how to apply industry standards like USB, how to perform soldering or spot welding on batteries. And so on.
  • Writing software for battery chargers and/or BMS using MCUs or FPGA/SoC.
  • Third-party testing & placing on market matters, including UL, CE, EMC, ESD, RoHS and so on, especially the various technical standards involved.

So it would appear that at least some 95% of what you are looking for is already on-topic. Machine learning, data science and so on isn't, but then those topics don't actually have anything to do with batteries.

If I'm designing a battery-supplied device for the purpose of automatic feeding of ponies, then that doesn't mean that I must (or should) be asking my pony-related questions at the EE site. I should rather just go to some horse community and ask the specific question "how much does a pony eat in a day" there. Where that question belongs & where I will get relevant expert answers from those with domain knowledge.

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Much of what you describe is already on topic on Electrical Engineering. That certainly includes any use of batteries and battery management systems. Some of the inner workings are on topic too, since you can't use batteries effectively without at least some understanding of how they work.

The details of electro-chemistry are probably past the knowledge of most EEs, but many are interested (or should be). The real problem will be finding enough people that can discuss such things, not as much being off topic.

That said, you still have the same problem with a separate site. Your proposed topic is very narrow, so will have a hard time getting much activity. The much broader EE and Physics sites already have pitifully low activity. We don't want to launch even more ghost towns.

I therefore suggest you use the EE site to ask about batteries, at least for now. If you can demonstrate significant volume, then you have a stronger case for creating a separate site just for battery issues.


What do you think about separate categories at electrical.codidact.com as celtschk‭ suggested?

Like a separate site, this should only be done when/if the volume gets high enough.

Lot's of categories on a site with low volume only make it more obvious how low the volume is. They also make it more tedious to go thru what little there is.

Right now, the volume on EE is so low that there is no danger of battery questions (or anything else for that matter) getting lost in the flood. I just checked, and the last 10 questions go back 2 months. If battery questions ever get to the point where they drown out everything else, we'll happily deal with that. Whether that would be a category on EE or a separate site altogether would be best decided then, after we have a chance to see the mix of battery questions.

Again, the problem will be to have enough battery experts around to answer questions, not that the questions would be off topic. Use the EE site for now, and focus on showing us that it is possible to have a reasonable volume of battery questions. If/when that happens, there will be more options.

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2 comments

I agree, I don't see how battery questions would be off-topic on the EE site even if they are about the underlying chemistry. If there's enough people who can answer such questions in detail, well that's another story. Lundin‭ 17 days ago

What do you think about separate categories at electrical.codidact.com as celtschk‭ suggested? leventov‭ 17 days ago

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Speaking for myself, not for the team.

This sounds like a very specialized topic. If there's a strong community around that specialized interest, that can work fine -- several sites on SE are also pretty specialized. (I mean c'mon, 20 blockchain sites instead of one?) While existing communities here (and there) cover aspects of your topic, it's harder to get people to engage when (a) they have to break up their questions across communities and (b) within each of those communities they're a niche. People with a specialized interest are harder to hook on a general community because their specific interests can get buried.[1]

On the other hand, the more specialized a community is, the more fragile it is -- if the people aren't there, it's at risk of quickly becoming inactive. A community needs a certain level of activity to keep people coming 'round. Some of our existing communities struggle with this and they're on broader topics.

On the third hand (hey, it's a metaphor), you say there's an existing community, and thus a group of people who might come here together to start a Codidact community. This is how our Electrical Engineering community started; a small, organized group came to us with a proposal. If you've got a group of people who are actively interested in building a Q&A (++) community here, this sounds well worth pursuing.

Please talk with the community you linked to and let us know what the interest looks like. Thanks.


  1. Two examples from my time at SE. First was a site for biblical hermeneutics, which had trouble attracting Jews in part, people told me, because the vast majority of the questions were about Christian books or Christian interpretations and thus not of interest. Second was my experience on the music site -- great, broad topic, but my specific interest is in medieval and renaissance music, and I struggled to maintain engagement in the sea of questions about guitars and the like. Fine community -- just didn't have enough people with my particular interest to keep me hooked. ↩︎

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