This study presents a three-dimensional computational model to evaluate effective conductivity and capacity of fiber-based battery electrodes. We employ electrodes composed of conductive and active material nanofibers dispersed in an electrolyte matrix. The effective conductivity is calculated by means of an equivalent resistor network model, while capacity evaluation is based on the identification of active material fibers that are accessible to electrons (i.e., those connected with the electronically conductive network). When a constraint is applied to the total fiber content, an optimal active-conductive material ratio is determined that maximizes the active material utilization and the electrode capacity. We also study fiber orientation effects on the electrode electrochemical properties. It is found that fiber orientation has a strong impact on the percolation threshold, and this impact also reflects on the active material utilization: the more the fiber orientation deviates from the ideal isotropic distribution, the lower the utilization of active material fibers. This is of special interest for practical applications where geometrical constraints on fiber orientation arise, as in the case of electrospun fibers deposited on a substrate. The results of this study are therefore meant to give an insight into how a fibrous electrode architecture performs and suggest effective design solutions.
- Active material utilization
- Fiber orientation effect
- Fiber-based composite electrode
- Optimal active-conductive material ratio
- Resistor network model