Quallion Introduces Li-ion Anti-Idling HVAC Solution for Class 6-8 Trucks; Showcases Battery Pack in CRF Panda Fuel Cell Vehicle Prototype
|Poster of the HVAC system. Click to enlarge.|
Li-ion system developer Quallion unveiled its Li-ion-powered Anti-Idling HVAC solution designed for Class 6-8 trucks. (Earlier post.) Quallion developed the system under a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with a global Tier 1 supplier to meet OEM specification requirements and has installed the battery in a Class 8 truck for preliminary field testing with plans to obtain data for future commercialization.
Quallion showcased the system, which is designed to support 10 hour of cooling at end-of-life, at the recent Battery Show in San Jose, California. The company, in partnership with Centro Ricerche Fiat SCpA (Fiat Research Centre) also highlighted the Fiat Panda Hybrid Fuel Cell/Battery vehicle, equipped with a Quallion battery, at the show.
HVAC system. Heavy-duty truck idling contributes a large portion of NOx emissions and particulate matter released into the atmosphere. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, truck idling burns more than 3 billion gallons of diesel annually resulting in emissions of 11 million tons of CO2, 180,000 tons of NOx and 5,000 tons of particulates. These are some of the hardest emissions to clean up due to the high cost of retrofitting the large number of trucks on the road today (around 1 million) with more advanced diesel engines or pollution controls, Quallion notes.
Quallion designed its system to be suitable for retrofit as well as OEM applications, said Paul Beach, president of Quallion LLC.
The 6 kWh system uses commercial high energy 18650 cells and leverages Quallion’s scaleable Matrix battery technology that simultaneously links mass numbers of small cells in parallel and series.
When the company began working on the anti-idling problem, Beach said, it anticipated a requirement for about 10 kWh of capacity to support sufficient runtime. Quallion approached its Tier 1 supplier partner and worked with them to devise a new HVAC system that cut the capacity requirement in half—i.e., to about 5 kWh.
This technology will revolutionize how we look at cooling systems, whether in a commercial truck, military vehicle platforms, or even forward base operations. By designing an ultra-efficient HVAC system, Quallion’s battery solution is 25% of the weight of an equivalent lead acid system with a standard HVAC used in trucks today.—Paul Beach
|The fuel cell Panda. Click to enlarge.|
Panda. CRF developed the Panda fuel cell hybrid in conjunction with the European HyTRAN and HySYS programs. The Panda Fuel Cell/Battery vehicle participated at the Challenge Bibendum 2010 in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.
The Panda Hybrid Fuel Cell/Battery powered vehicle showcases:
- An innovative line cathode (air compressor) specially designed and produced by Centro Ricerche Fiat. The compressor has a maximum speed of 50,000 rpm, a pressure ratio of 1.7, and a mass flow rate of 75g/sec.
- The Lithium-ion battery pack, developed and manufactured by Quallion implementing its Matrix and HAM technologies.
- A new stack fuel cell design developed and manufactured by Nuvera. The 80 kW stack uses metallic bipolar plates, and features high current density and low pressure operation. Dry air and hydrogen are the only inputs; there is no external humidification.
The battery pack in the Panda is small: 0.88 kWh of capacity, with 22.2 kW power. Maximum voltage is 208V, with average voltage of 187.2V. The pack is 117 x 312 x 260 mm in size, has a volume of 9.5L, and weighs 16.8 kg.
The Panda accelerates from 0-50 km/h (31 mph) in 5 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph); range (UDC) is more than 250 km (155 miles).
Opportunities in the automotive market. Quallion, which began as a medical rechargeable (secondary) battery company and then expanded to primary battery applications for aerospace, military and vehicle systems, is not rushing to compete in the immediately developing hybrid, plug-in and electric vehicle market, Beach said.
What we try to do in the business is look five years out, and get ahead of the competitors. We try to develop relationships with partners, offer them free R&D. We are trying to bet on as many applications as possible.—Paul Beach
As an example, Beach said, Quallion approached CRF with the offer of a battery technology that had been developed in an existing military project.
I think our approach is to be conservative in moving into this market. We are focusing on what we believe are the near-term opportunities that also have potential for long-term growth that may or may not come to fruition.
Our push has always been don’t bet the bank on building an infrastructure on hopes for a future market; build for an existing market today, and if a future market comes, then all the better.
The vehicle market is still evolving. I think adoption is driven by price, reliability and performance, and we’re waiting to see what happens. We are positioning so that if those (markets) come on line, we will be in a position to be competitive, by forging partnerships with groups such as CRF and through our participation in USABC programs. We are also working with some Asian manufacturers and other European companies.—Paul Beach