How to enable large format 4680 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries

Shen Li, Mohamed Waseem Marzook, Cheng Zhang, Gregory J. Offer, Monica Marinescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
444 Downloads (Pure)


The demand for large format lithium-ion batteries is increasing, because they can be integrated and controlled easier at a system level. However, increasing the size leads to increased heat generation risking overheating. 1865 and 2170 cylindrical cells can be both base cooled or side cooled with reasonable efficiency. Large format 4680 cylindrical cells have become popular after Tesla filed a patent. If these cells are to become widely used, then understanding how to thermally manage them is essential. In this work, we create a model of a 4680 cylindrical cell, and use it to study different thermal management options. Our work elucidates the comprehensive mechanisms how the hot topic ‘tabless design’ improves the performance of 4680 cell and makes any larger format cell possible while current commercial cylindrical cells cannot be simply scaled up to satisfy power and thermal performance. As a consequence, the model identifies the reason for the tabless cell's release: the thermal performance of the 4680 tabless cell can be no worse than that of the 2170 cell, while the 4680 tabless tab cell boasts 5.4 times the energy and 6.9 times the power. Finally, via the model, a procedure is proposed for choosing the thermal management for large format cylindrical cell for maximum performance. As an example, we demonstrate that the best cooling approach for the 4680 tabless cell is base cooling, while for the 2170 LG M50T cell it is side cooling. We conclude that any viable large format cylindrical cell must include a continuous tab (or ‘tabless’) design and be cooled through its base when in a pack. The results are of immediate interest to both cell manufacturers and battery pack designers, while the developed modelling and parameterization framework is of wider use for all energy storage system design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121548
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date2 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


This work was generously supported by the EPSRC Faraday Institution Multi-Scale Modelling project (EP/S003053/1, grant number FIRG003), the Innovate UK WIZer project (grant number 104427) and the EPSRC CASE (grant number EP/R513052/1) award by Williams Advanced Engineering.


  • Large format lithium-ion battery
  • 4680 tabless cell
  • Electro-thermal model
  • Cell design
  • Thermal management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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