College of Engineering

Continuing and Distance Education

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ME 597C Battery Systems Engineering 

Course Description

This course presents a self-contained, first principles study of the governing equations, dynamic modeling, analysis, design, estimation, and control of battery systems.


Energy storage is a critical and growing need in the drive to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of power systems. Electric and hybrid vehicles, smart grid technology, and renewable energy require high performance and low cost energy storage solutions. The battery systems engineer is responsible for getting the most out of the expensive battery pack without premature degradation. A model-based approach to battery systems design provides greater understanding of the underlying physics/chemistry of the system and optimal solutions can be obtained without time-consuming and expensive trial-and-error design and testing.


This course pioneers the multidisciplinary area of battery systems engineering by developing models, solution techniques, estimation algorithms, and battery management systems. The course is mainly targeted towards systems engineers who want to learn more about batteries, but it could also be useful for chemists/material scientists who want to learn more about battery modeling, estimation, and management, and other engineers and scientists whose disciplines fall in this wide range. The topical coverage follows that of a new book written by the instructor and his co-author Prof. Chao-Yang Wang. The topics include an introduction to battery systems, battery electrochemistry, the governing equations for current, ion concentration, and voltage, discretization methods, time and frequency domain response, complete battery system models, state of charge and state of health estimation, and battery management systems. The underlying approach is applicable to all battery chemistries but packs made from Lead-acid, Ni-MH, and Li-Ion cells are the focus of the course.


Course Instructor:

Professor C. D. Rahn

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Co-Director of the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center

The Pennsylvania State University

150A Hammond Building

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6237




Either knowledge or interest in electrochemistry, mathematics, modeling, simulation, estimation, and control are recommended.


Required Textbook:

Class Notes will be provided. There is no required text.


Computer and Technology Requirements:


Assignments and Projects in this course require the use of MATLAB or similar software. Students should be familiar with MATLAB or similar software. MATLAB software is available for student use in some of the on-campus engineering computer labs. MATLAB is also available from the PSU Computer store:


The use of Mac OS computers in not supported in this course.


The enrollment process is:

  1. Contact the the Office of Continuing and Distance Education for admission into the course at 814-865-7643.

  2. Complete and submit the Registration Form via mail, fax, or in person. See the Registration Page.


Office for Disability Services
Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. If you have a disability‐related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814‐863‐1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office of Disability Services website at

In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines at If the documentation supports the need for academics adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academics adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.


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Penn State University
Office of Continuing and Distance Education in Engineering
301-A Engineering Unit C
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-7643   Fax: (814) 865-3969