Current distribution within parallel-connected battery cells

Martin J. Brand, Markus H. Hofmann, Marco Steinhardt, Simon F. Schuster, Andreas Jossen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Parallel connections can be found in many battery applications. Therefore, it is of high interest to understand how the current distributes within parallel battery cells. However, the number of publications on this topic is comparably low. Furthermore, the measurement set-ups are often not clearly defined in existing publications and it is likely that additional impedances distorted the measured current distributions. In this work, the principles of current distributions within parallel-connected battery cells are investigated theoretically, with an equivalent electric circuit model, and by measurements. A measurement set-up is developed that does not significantly influence the measurements, as proven by impedance spectroscopy. On this basis, two parameter scenarios are analyzed: the ΔR scenario stands for battery cells with differing impedances but similar capacities and the ΔC scenario for differing capacities and similar impedances. Out of 172 brand-new lithium-ion battery cells, pairs are built to practically represent the ΔR and ΔC scenarios. If a charging pulse is applied to the ΔR scenario, currents initially divide according to the current divider but equalize in constant current phases. The current divider has no effect on ΔC pairs but, as a rule of thumb for long-term loads, currents divide according to the battery cell capacities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Battery system
  • Current distribution
  • Equivalent electric circuit model
  • Lithium-ion battery cell
  • Parallel connection
  • Parameter variation


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