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NREL & ARPA-E Back Better Batteries

January 17, 2013 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Colorado Lab Is Working Three Battery Management Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has begun projects with Utah State University, Washington University, and Eaton Corp, looking to optimize utilization, life, and cost of lithium ion batteries for electric drive vehicles via improved battery management and controls. The three AMPED – Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices – projects have more than $7.4 million in support from DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
“These projects present a great opportunity for us to build on our recent R&D results and design improvements supported by DoE’s Vehicle Technologies Program and create battery systems that will let drivers go further and more safely in the next, longer-lasting generation of electric and hybrid cars,” NREL energy storage group manager Ahmad Pesaran said in a release.

“NREL’s collaboration on this project will allow us to pool our considerable resources and experience to produce a design that is not only viable, but will deliver maximum efficiency and performance,” said project lead Prof. Venkat Subramanian of University of Washington’s Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering Department.

His organization has funding of $2 million toward a 20% increase in the utilization of untapped lithium ion capacity at the cell level.

The Washington University team will develop a predictive battery management system with innovative control hardware that uses advanced mathematical models to optimize battery performance. The system will project optimal charge and discharge of batteries in real-time, enhancing battery performance and improving battery safety, charge-rate, and usable power capacity. NREL’s CTTS (Center for Transportation Technologies and Systems) researchers will use the lab’s multi-physics models to guide the design of the control algorithms and will demonstrate the capability of the algorithms through laboratory testing.

Utah State University has $3 million with the reducing lithium ion battery pack size, increasing life, and boosting cold temperature charge rates – by half.

NREL CTTS personnel will work with the Utah State team on electronic hardware and control software for an advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle battery management system “to maximize the lifetime of each cell.” Other project partners include University of Colorado (at Boulder and Colorado Springs) and Ford. Laboratory testing will take place at both NREL and Ford.

Eaton gets $2.4 million with the goal of a 50% improvement in the fuel economy of heavy duty hybrid electric vehicles without sacrificing battery life. Eaton will integrate NREL battery life predictive models with its own heavy HEV control algorithms. “The planned approach provides a cost-effective solution that reduces the size of the battery needed for operating large hybrid electric vehicles with no loss in battery life or vehicle performance,” NREL says. NREL will perform hardware-in-the-loop testing in its laboratories to demonstrate the new system.

“The ultimate goal of these projects is to make electric drive vehicles viable options for a larger and wider population of drivers,” NREL says.

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Source: DoE/NREL with Fleets & Fuels follow-up



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