Samsung SDI 94 Ah battery cell full specifications

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 1-13

Be warned, this is going to be a long article. Nonetheless if you’re interested in battery technology or have a BMW i3, you’ll like reading it.

Later this year, the BMW i3 will get its battery upgraded with NCM 622 cells and the capacity will increase from 94 to 120 Ah. With 120 Ah battery cells, the BMW i3 will have a total battery capacity around 42,62 kWh (96 x 120 Ah x 3,7 V).

Moreover, the new battery cells are already in production at the Samsung SDI plant in Hungary. BMW will announce the new battery for the i3 in the summer.

 

BMW Group Technology Workshops –E-Mobility in December 2016

 

Nonetheless, this article isn’t about the new 120 Ah cells.

Currently the BMW i3 battery has NCM 111 battery cells rated at 94 Ah and made by Samsung SDI. NCM 111 means that the cathode is made with one part nickel (33 %), one part cobalt (33 %) and other part manganese (33 %). Sometimes, these battery cells are also referred to as NCM 333.

Let’s see the interesting stuff, the official specs.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 2-13

 

This battery cell complies with BEV2 VDA standard (just 1 cm taller) and its dimensions are 173 mm x 125 mm x 45 mm.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 3-13

 

The volumetric energy density is 352 Wh/L, while the gravimetric energy density is 174 Wh/kg.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 4-13

 

Unless a short circuit occurs you don’t need to worry about a thermal runaway ever happening. Moving on…

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 6-13

 

After 4.600 charge/discharge complete cycles (from 0 to 100 %) at 25º C, the battery cells retain 80 % of the initial capacity. If we consider that with a full charge a BMW i3 have on average a 200 km of range during the 4.600 cycles, it means that by the time it reaches 920.000 km it’ll still have 80 % of its initial battery capacity left.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 8-13

 

Batteries are like people, they work best at 25º C and that’s why TMS (Thermal Management Systems) are so important.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 9-13

 

At 45º C we reach the EOL (End of Life) in 2.000 instead of 4.600 full cycles. Samsung SDI considers the EOL of a battery to be at 80 % of its initial capacity. Nevertheless, after 400.000 km still having 80 % of the initial battery capacity isn’t bad.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 10-13

 

I’m still thinking about those 920.000 km…

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 11-13

 

By cycling the battery at 60º C the EOL is reached in only two and half years.

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 12-13

 

See why TMS is important?

 

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 13-13

 

In my opinion, the BMW i3 has the best EV battery, mostly because of its cells, but not only:

  • Cells disposition is what it should always be. Side by side, for better heat dissipation. Having cells on top of each other is not a good idea, the top cells will get hot and degrade faster.
  • TMS (Thermal Management System) for keeping the battery at recommended temperature is very important.
  • KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, since it only has 96 cells all connected in series, none in parallel.

 

BMW i3 battery interior

 

Summing up, the BMW i3 has a great battery that will outlast the rest of the car. Furthermore, if we want to have sustainable electric cars we need to care about their batteries, otherwise they’ll have as much planned obsolescence built into them as ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars. Anything less than 200.000 km before reaching the EOL isn’t acceptable from an environmental point of view, and this is why TMS – among other things – are important.

And we’re done for today.

 

Thanks Andreas Mayer for the heads up.

 

 

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This Post Has 53 Comments

  1. Excellent.

  2. Great article, thanks.

  3. So if the 94Ah Cell is still NCM 111 how did they manage to get from 60Ah to 94Ah in the Same space?

    1. I’m not sure about the cathode chemistry in the 60 Ah battery cells. However I suspect that they have a mixed LMO/NCM cathode, just like GS Yuasa LEV50/LEV50N. That was very common at that time.

  4. There is an error on the Samsung sheet – the energy of the cell is 350 wh 🙂 (not kwh). That would be a great cell. 2 of those and you have tesla SEMI :).

    It’s the average Ah x voltage.

    1. Ahah it’s true. I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it.

  5. Nice post, thanks. The more info interview with Battery Expert Sven Bauer is also very interesting, but mostly because he’s so dramatically wrong about Tesla’s batteries. Granted it is from 2013, and a lot of people dismissed Tesla back then. He expected them to need replacement after 4 or 5 years, but we haven’t seen much of a replacement rate at all. Even Tesla’s older batteries seem to last really well.

    And now with Dr. Dahn saying they’ve achieved their longevity goals ahead of time, it just won’t be an issue for Tesla in the future.

    1. I had the same thought, the battery specs shown here look great, but the idea that Tesla has not had improvements is laughable. And as you point out even the oldest Tesla batteries are still working fine.

      Now if they can do 4,000 cycles with their battery, I think it is time for them to deliver a car with 100 kWh storage for range, speed of charging and long service life.

  6. They clearly seem to be the best batteries (or in pair with Teslas), but the car (i3), is just so “different”… why not put it in a 2,5 or 3 volume car… that shape and narrow wheels are so so strange, the back door not opening without opening the front… only 2 seats in the back…my god :(!
    Not to mention the “Premium” cost packages to have some decent equipment…
    The car is interesting technically, also driving I hear was very nice… the dashboard is nice (for me) also but the idea I get, is that BMW did not wanted to sell a lot of them – again that strange design – no sporty look, for me the soul of BMW design.

    just my 2 cents

  7. Muchas gracias por el excelente articulo Pedro Lima. Bajo mi modesto punto de vista veo bajos esa energia gravimetrica de 174wh/kg y volumetrica de 352wh/l. Por contra la durabilidad de esta celda es muy buena. Se necesitan si o si con urgencia más avances en nuevas tecnologias de celdas si no esto se va a eternizar eternamente. Estas mismas celdas prismaticas con tecnologia de electrolito solido con nuevos anodos y catodos asociados ¿Que energia gravimetrica-volumetrica se obtendria?. El futuro a corto-medio plazo del coche eléctrico depende de ello……a no ser que los coches con pila de combustible tomen el relevo.

    1. I don’t know Rafael, it’s still too early to tell.

  8. I spoke with the owner of an older i3 with diminishing range. Can anyone here confirm if i3 batteries are cooled by liquid (preferably liquid that’s cooled by the A/C system like a Fiat 500e) or just by cooled air from A/C?

    1. Yes, refrigerated within the battery box. Very sophisticated. Refer to David Bricknell’s excellent book, 3rd Ed available in kindle form.

      1. This book is a Must for every I3 owner, interested in solid technical internals.

  9. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Pedro, the units are wrong in the first table. It’s Wh not kWh. Also in NAmerica we don’t use a decimal point but a comma when referring to numbers like 100,000. Not 100.000. I think the comma is more universally understood.

    1. Thanks Splodge, I’m aware of that typo, Christian already mentioned it. I didn’t made that table, all images were taken from an internal Samsung SDI document.

      I know that it can be confusing for USA based readers, but I use the metric system and ISO/CEN recommendations since most readers are Europeans and I’m an European myself.

      The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) both specify that “the decimal sign shall be a comma“, whatever the language. While we use periods or blank spaces to separate every third digit.

      https://www.quicksilvertranslate.com/252/numbers-decimal-comma-or-decimal-point

  11. Pedro, an excellent and reassuring post. Much aporeciated

  12. The amount of bullshit from this battery expert on Tesla was quite something. Not sure of it was out of ignorance or deliberate. Also no mention of Panasonic and only one of Samsung…

    Lesson: never believe anyone on anything, anytime. Checking everything twice, thrice.

  13. If you want to see interesting informations on SDI , LG and Panasonic roadmap, read this article :
    The document contains lot of details on LGChem cell, SDI next gen. cell
    http://pdf.lu/2s23

    The original link was removed, i extracted also few pictures on interesting data and added on this forum:
    http://www.automobile-propre.com/forums/voiture-electrique-general/roadmap-techno-des-fabricants-de-cellules-de-batterie-t10980.html

    You will see the detail for the LGChem cell, SDI, …

    1. Thanks Chris. Very detailed document. I’ll read it more slowly when I have the time.

  14. Thanks also for your interesting articles.
    You will see that a new cell is under development by LGChem with the following characterestics :
    3.67V x 65Ah with 225Wh/kg.
    As the article is publied since end of 2015, I assume that this cell was used on the Renault Zoe40 and on the Hyundai Kona
    288×3.67×65=68.7kWh with 64kWh usable : DoD 93.5%
    For Renault Zoé : 196×3.67×65 = 46.75kWh with 41kWh usable : DoD 86%

  15. I noted also this point on the report page 18, the energy density is lower 198Wh/kg for the cell 3.7x63Ah.
    We read often that the capacity for each cell is 65Ah for the Zoe based on a discussion with a LGChem worker.
    https://pushevs.com/2016/10/09/renault-zoe-ze-40-battery-details/

    My assumption is that the chevrolet bolt use the same energy density than the 63Ah cell (198Wh/kg) but with lower capacity cell 54Ahx3.67V
    If we compare the both energy density (198Wh/kg and 225Wh/kg, we have ~13% of increase (similar to the increase of the energy density on the battery pack between the bolt and the Kona)

    225Wh/kg seems too low for NCM811

    1. In the LG Chem ESS document we see two very similar cells:

      63 Ah – 3,7 V (used in Energy module)
      64 Ah – 3,68 V (used in Power module)

      Either of these can be the 65 Ah cells the LG Chem worker was referring to, since capacity varies with temperature.

      http://www.lgchem.com/upload/file/product/ESS_LGChem_Catalog_Global%5B0%5D.pdf

      225 Wh/kg does seem too low for NCM 811, recent NCM 622 battery cells made by AESC achieve 224 Wh/kg.

      https://pushevs.com/2018/01/29/2018-nissan-leaf-battery-real-specs/

  16. Exactly, this is why i assume that the Kona is not equipped with NCM811 cells.

    We can expect a new LG pouch NCM811 with following characterestics
    81Ah / 3.7V , 1.18kg, Energy density at 254Wh/kg, dimensions 100x352x16mm.

    This cell will be interesting for the new Leaf 60kWh with a configuration 100s2p (same than new Kia soul EV)
    200×3.7×81 = 60kWh.
    The NCM811 cell will help to reduce the number of cells for a 60kWh battery (288->200).

  17. We all know the recommendation to charge the car to 80% if higher is not needed. The i3 has no such setting. Will the good quality of the cells be adversely effected by the minimum gas like idrive software the car has . It always charges it to 100%.

    1. You never charge the battery at 100%.
      The depth of discharge is always limited by BMW or other OEM : Usable battery / Full capacity
      BMW i3 60Ah : 18.8/21.8 = 86%
      BMW i3 94Ah : 27.3/33 = 83%

      The value is different from each model/OEM (DoD from 78% to 97%)
      You can compare the details for each vehicle on this thread :
      https://speakev.com/threads/comparative-ev-and-battery-pack-specs.109449/

      1. As the battery degrades, hopefully this 86% also reduces…buy i doubt they will reduce this , as the software looks basic, not to have any battery related settings …..

  18. BMW recommend charging to 100% every time for top end balancing. Degradation does occur especially if left with parasitic consumers. 94ah pack is heavier than 60 ah pack but fits fine. 7kw type 2 acdc charge is most efficient and better for battery life than regular slow or ccs.

    1. Is this a guess or are Data available that 7kw AC/DC charging is better than others?

    2. So u mean to charge at Max or Reduced setting for the L2 ( 7 vs 3 kw) using the car settings ?

  19. Hi! I am doing a research intern at the university on EVs and FCEVs. Could you send me the datasheet as a pdf? Do you also have other Datasheets of other EVs? I’d appreciate!
    Thanks in advance.
    Best regards
    Sona

    1. Sorry Sonja, I haven’t the PDF, only the JPG files.

  20. So u mean to charge at Max or Reduced setting for the L2 ( 7 vs 3 kw) using the car settings ?

  21. Hi Pedro (and others),

    A topic like this was EXACTLY what I was looking because you guys seems to know things about the BMW batteries that are important for me. First off all you have to know that I am NOT a battery/chemistry expert at all. I also dont own a EV. What i DO own is an electric motor for a boat from a well-know company called Torqeedo. I own the Torqeedo Cruise 4 motor that has to be driven by a 48V pack. There is an option to buy a battery from Torqeedo. This is the “Torqeedo 5kWh Power 48-5000” battery and this is where it get interesting. This battery is, as Torqeedo says, based on the BMW electric vehicle batteries. This battery is really expensive when buying from Torqeedo (€ 5.000). It is a really nice battery which communicates directly with the Torqeedo Cruise motor. This way you can read data on a display on the motor like the remaining sailing time. This is all done really well by Torqeedo so when sailing slower the remaning sailing time is altered directly. Besides the battery of course has a top-notch BMS system for checking battery health, temp etc. The battery is also waterproof IP67. But as you can see this all comes with a high price tag.

    Since Torqeedo says it is based on the BMW batteries I did some internet research. I found out some interesting things and I would like to know if you guys can think along with me.

    First off all let me tell the technical specs of the Torqeedo Power 48-5000 battery:
    Battery chemistry: LMO-NMC
    Nominal Energy: 5275Wh
    Usable Energy: 5000Wh
    Rated Voltage: 44,4V
    Final Charging Voltage: 50V
    Final Discharging Voltage: 36V
    Maximum Voltage at the terminals: 50V
    Maximum Discharge rate: 200A
    Maximum Discharge rate at nominal voltage: 8800W
    Ambient Temp (storage): -25 to 55 degress
    Ambient Temp (charging): 0 to 45 degrees
    Ambient Temp operating: -20 to 60 degrees
    Energy density (weight): 145 Wh/kg
    Energy density (volume): 160 Wh/l
    Power density (weight): 250 W/kg
    Power density (volume): 280 W/l
    Max. connections: 1S1P or 1S12P
    Max. quick charge: 120A
    Number of cells: 1S12P BEV
    Deep discharge protection: Yes, cut-off at 3000 cycles with 80%, discharge depth at 25°C
    Average annual capacity loss: Approx. 4% at 25°C ambient temperature

    So…… when looking at these specs (which most of them don t mean a lot to me ;)) the research began on which exact type of BMW battery this would be. If I am correct there are the following BMW batteries:

    BMW i8 20Ah
    BMW i8 34Ah
    BMW i3 60Ah
    BMW i3 94Ah
    BMW i3 120Ah

    If all the BMW batteries has a total of 8 modules it will be a pretty simple math because then it can only be the i3 120Ah battery. Because if I am correct the BMW i3 120Ah complete module is 352,3V. 352,3/8 = 44,0375.
    44,0375 x 120 = 5284,5. Now look at the Torqeedo 48-5000 specs which is 5275wh. To me this seems the same.
    HOWEVER, what confuses me is that Torqeedo says their battery is 44,4V and according to my calculation the voltage of one BMW module is 44,0375V. This does not correspond.

    Can you guys think along with me here?

    NOTE* Of course I understand that I m not there yet when only buying a BMW battery. I will have to take care of a decent cable management, a good BMS system and a decent housing (if possible IP67 proof). But then still it will pay off in the end because if I am right that the 120Ah battery is the same the Torqeedo costs 5K and here in NL a 120Ah 5kWh BMW module 1,5K. Put on top lets say 1K for a decent BMS, housing and cables and the costs are 50% cheaper!

  22. Hello RonLager.

    I took a look at the specifications of the Torqeedo Power 48-5000 battery in the link below.

    https://www.torqeedo.com/en/products/batteries/power-48-5000/2104-00.html

    They have an error, the battery can’t be 1S12P, it has to be either 12S2P (with the old 60 Ah cells) or 12S1P (with the new 120 Ah cells). Looking at the energy density of the battery pack, they’re using the new cells.

    S represents series and P represents parallel connections.

    12 x 3,7 V = 44,4 V
    12 x 3,7 V x 120 Ah = 5,328 kWh

  23. Hi Pedro,

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Could you advise me a BMS system for the i3 battery?

    The biggest challenge will be to get it connected the the cable that s running to the cells (check the movie to understand what I mean). I will have to find a contra cable I think.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoeyzXsovXA

    1. Where will you buy those BMW i3 battery cells? Wouldn’t it be easier to buy an already assembled 48 V battery with BMS included?

      Some sellers on AliExpress offer shipping with import duty and taxes free to Europe. They use services like ViaEurope (based at the Netherlands), so you can buy things more expensive such as batteries or EVSEs and get them delivered at your door without paying import duties/taxes.

      Some examples for batteries without import taxes you should consider:

      https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/boDXU0os
      https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/cMyoTa8o
      https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/cMXzJtSo

      You could then connect multiple batteries in parallel to get the capacity you want.

  24. I thought about this too but people here in the Netherlands say that these modules are crappy.

    1. Years ago a very large portion of Chinese sellers sold batteries for laptops made with used cells – especially on eBay -, but those days are gone. There are still some scammers with lousy ratings, but usually their accounts don’t last very long and you can also easily get a refund from AliExpress.
      Anyway, there are still some steps to follow to avoid bad products.
      1. Check the seller ratings and longevity (2 or more years is good).
      2. Always ask some technical question to evaluate the seller. Bad sellers don’t know anything about the product they are selling. For example you should ask for photos of the cells inside the battery and their specs.
      If you choose the cells yourself you’re taking less risks than buying already assembled batteries.
      https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bo58JPnS (NCM for better energy density)
      https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/cUqD4fPw (LiFePO4 chemistry for better cycle life)

      Let me know what you decided for your project.

  25. Pedro,

    Do you know which specific brand, type cells are used in the BMW i3 battery? And not in the 50 or 94Ah model but the latest 120Ah model

  26. Do you know which exact cells from SDI? I know they are prismatic cells but there has to be some kind of identification/SKU/EAN code.

    1. Sorry, I don’t have that kind of information. I doubt that you can easily find those cells on sale, that’s why I suggested AliExpress.

  27. Hi Pedro! I love the Samsung SDI presentation above. Do you have access to the updated deck for the NCM622 in the i3 120ah? I have Googled like crazy but just cannot find it…

    1. Hello Shane. Not yet, If I ever get it I’ll share it.

      1. Thank you!

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