Williams Advanced Engineering showcased its latest low-carbon vehicle technologies at Cenex LCV2019 in the UK this week. The main focus of its stand was an innovative battery pack showcasing its Adaptive Multi-Chem technology, which brings together the company’s knowledge from a wide variety of projects, including four seasons as the sole battery supplier to FIA Formula E as well as many electric vehicle programs.
Manufacturers are usually faced with a compromise between energy and power density as they try to minimize the size and weight of battery packs for a target performance level. Williams Advanced Engineering’s Adaptive Multi-Chem technology offers both.
The Williams design uses two different types of cell chemistry, arranged in two separate blocks within a module. Currently, Samsung cylindrical cells provide energy density, while pouch cells from A123 systems provide high power.
Each module uses a bi-directional DC/DC converter to deliver high energy and high power density, including the transfer of energy between the two types of cell (e.g., topping up the A123 power cells with energy from the Samsung cells).
Adaptive Multi-Chem technology enables reduced mass and volume, thus increased energy and power density within motorsport, hypercar and electrified flight applications.
Use of Adaptive Multi-Chem technology enables a 37% increase in energy density for a target power density. The system is highly adaptable, with semi-independent sizing of energy and power cells through the use of scalable blocks.
A compact thermal management system is able to provide sufficient cooling without unnecessary bulk, improving packaging. Adaptive Multi-Chem will allow the use of novel, ultra-high energy and power dense cell technologies in a variety of high performance applications including motorsport, performance cars and aerospace.
The unit on display had a total stored energy of 60 kWh, with a core battery mass of 345 kg. Peak deployment power is 550 kW (20 second pulse), and peak regeneration power is 550kW (10 second pulse).
223. The new battery module also features an exoskeleton manufactured using the company’s lightweighting technology, 223. This unique production process creates an engineered hinge embedded within a single composite preform of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). 223 enables the creation of 3D structures from 2D materials, opening the potential for manufacture techniques previously constrained by cost or production rate. It allows for rapid, low-cost composite production and includes the use of recycled materials.
The 223 exoskeleton greatly improves the battery’s structural performance, with the complete base and case weighing just 40 kg. It has an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio, impressive stiffness and excellent fatigue and environmental resistance. The technology is particularly relevant to the automotive industry, where lightweighting is seen as one of the primary tools needed to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions targets, as well as support the range required from electric vehicles.