Fundamentals on Batteries


The threat of global warming and climate change are accelerating efforts to decarbonise our systems. In energy, battery is at the forefront of this charge. Simply put, battery technology will be part of the future.


Fundamentals on batteries course empowers you with the fundamental knowledge and insights to advance your understanding of battery technologies. You will fully understand the key role of batteries as the go-to tool for energy storage, together with the core components and parameters of batteries themselves. You will explore the chemistry and electrochemical phenomena that lie behind battery operation and a concise view of the different currently available battery technologies. Lastly, you will get a peek at the principal and emerging technologies that are poised to reshape the energy panorama. 

This course empowers you to:

  • Summarise current battery technologies in terms of working principles and main characteristics 
  • Understand the limitations of each technology based on their working principles
  • Predict the most suitable applications for each battery technology
  • Reflect on the challenges that each battery technology faces
  • Evaluate emerging, cutting-edge battery technologies and their potential applications

Participants will be granted a professional certificate upon successful completion of the course

What will you learn?

It consists of four modules and is structured as follows:

  • Module 1: Discover the added-value of batteries in both our daily life and in the development of a low-carbon modern society. Our experts will provide you with key knowledge for a deeper understanding of battery technology. You will take a look inside a battery to understand its basic operation and main components and you will learn to classify battery technologies.
  • Module 2: Explore the phenomena that occur within a battery during operation and provide you with in-depth knowledge on the thermodynamic aspects of battery operation and relate them with the common battery parameters.
  • Module 3: Investigate the different battery technologies that are currently used in our daily life and learn to explain the key characteristics and main applications of eight currently available technologies, starting with the widely used lithium-ion batteries present in most of our electronic devices.
  • Module 4: Take a peek at the future and explore two important emerging battery technologies: metal-air batteries and solid-state batteries, to understand the potential and challenges behind these cutting–edge technologies.

Who teaches you?

Your learning will be led by experts from the EIT InnoEnergy ecosystem, authorities in sustainable energy from the worlds of research and industry. Faculty for this course are:

Fátima Montemor
Full professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, a researcher at CQE, and Vice President of Instituto Superior Técnico. Her scientific interests include the development of functional surface coatings for multipurpose applications in different fields such as surface protection and energy conversion and storage

Jean-Luc Delplancke 
Scientific co-worker at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham. Jean-Luc has also worked in the European Commission (EC) where he was Head of the Program Unit for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking up to 2016

Jorge Varela Barreras
Senior researcher at Imperial College London in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where he works on batteries and battery management systems

Maarten Mees 
R&D team leader in Electrochemical Storage at IMEC. Maarten has completed research and research education in physics at KU Leuven while having master level studies in Electrical Engineering also at KU Leuven. Maarten is focused on developing the next generation of solid-state batteries, with an interest in ALD technology and the development of novel nanomaterials for the cause.

How will you learn?

It is a Small Private Online Course and can be taken at your usual study location.
The course consists of three modules and is self-paced. Each module includes reading materials and animations to illustrate the content. You will have the possibility to share your opinion and thoughts on relevant topics via the discussion elements throughout the course.

Is it right for you?

This programme has been specifically designed for experienced and young professionals, today’s and future strategic leaders, preparing their own and their companies’ skill-set for the energy transition.

Take the next step. Prepare to lead innovation at your organisation today.

If you are interested in this course and would like more information to help you decide if it is right for you, please contact Jan Verveckken on +31 646 959 657 or via

Course Contents


1- Introduction to batteries

Welcome to the first module of the course!

1.1- Batteries in the energy context

Are batteries a key elements for the development of a sustainable energy based society?

1.2- Batteries from different perspectives

What is a battery?

1.3- Origins and relevance

What's the importance of the invention of batteries?

1.4- Components of a single cell

What are the components that make up a battery?

1.5- Series-parallel connection

Why are battery cells commonly connected in series-parallel arrangement?

1.6- Components of a battery system

What are the characteristics and function of each component of a battery system?

1.7- Classification of batteries

How can we classify batteries?

1.8 Battery selection

What are the high-level batteries?

2- Electrochemical concepts behind batteries

Welcome to the second module of the course!

2.1- Battery introduction

What is the definition of a battery and what are its main elements from an electrochemical point of view?

2.2- Introduction to thermodynamics for batteries

What is the theoretical voltage of a cell and what are the factors that influence this important cell parameter?

2.3- Application of thermodynamics to batteries

How are the principles of thermodynamics applied to batteries?

2.4- Introduction to kinetics

What happens when a battery starts to deliver electric current?

2.5- Kinetic steps: electrical double layer, ohmic drop and crystallization overvoltage

What kinetic phenomena that take place in a battery cell under discharge and charge?

2.6- Kinetic step: charge transfer overvoltage

What are charge transfer and overpotential?

2.7- Kinetic step: diffusion overpotential

What is diffusion overpotential?

2.8- Battery cell under operation

How can the behaviour of battery cells during charge or discharge be described?

2.9- Factors affecting battery performances

What are the different factors that affect the performances of a battery during discharge and storage?

2.10- Design and voltage of batteries

What is battery design and why is it important?

3- Current Battery Technologies

Welcome to the third module of the course!

3.1- Lithium-ion batteries

What are the current and future applications of Li-ion batteries, their advantages and disadvantages?

3.2- Lead-Acid batteries

What are the different types of lead acid batteries and their main applications?

3.3- Primary batteries

Why are primary batteries the preferred battery technology in many applications?

3.4- Reserve batteries

What is the fundamental purpose of reserve batteries?

3.5- Flow batteries

What are the origins, basic characteristics, current and potential applications, and main advantages of of flow batteries?

3.6- Sodium-beta Batteries

What is a molten-salt battery and which are the two main sodium/battery solutions that have been developed?

3.7- Nickel-based Batteries

What are the the basic characteristics and applications.of nickel-based batteries?

4- Emerging Battery Technologies

Welcome to the fourth module of the course!

4.1- Metal Air battery basics

What are a metal air batteries and their working principle?

4.2- Current Metal Air batteries

What different families of metal air batteries exist?

4.3- Challenges on Metal Air batteries

What are some recent advances on metal air batteries at the level of battery recharging?

4.4- Introduction to solid-state batteries

What are the advantages of using solid state electrolytes in batteries?

4.5- Introduction to solid-state electrolytes

4.6- Mechanisms of ionic conductivity in ceramic and polymer electrolytes

What are the mechanisms of ionic conductivity in ceramics and polymers?

4.7- Cell assembly with solid-state electrolytes

How can we integrate a solid-state electrolyte into a battery cell?

4.8- Thin-film solid state batteries

What are thing-film batteries?

Summary of the course

Get In Touch

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Thomas Berger

T +49 17 3794 6650

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Jan Verveckken

T +31 6 4695 9657

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Christine Durand

T: +33 6 7008 2242

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