Numerical simulation is widely used in research and design of the battery thermal management system (BTMS). Battery cells are commonly homogenized to a block for module or pack level modeling. However, how the homogenization method affects results is not proven. This paper works on a hard‐cased Li‐ion battery to find a proper simplification method. First, a detailed three‐dimensional thermal model (model A) is set up and validated by experimental data. Then, the other three models with different simplification strategies are proposed. They are model B (the cell is homogenized to a block), model C (the cell preserves only core region and housing case), and model D (based on model C, the thin insulation films are also considered). Take the results of model A as a reference, the calculation accuracy and efficiency are summarized. It is found that model B shows the best efficiency and is a proper choice for evaluation of temperature dynamics, while model D is more recommended when the internal temperature distribution of the battery is more concerned.
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