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Williams Advanced Engineering showcases Adaptive Multi-Chem battery technology; 223 lightweighting

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.

Williams5pilston

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.

Comments

gryf

The Williams 60 kWh battery has an overall energy density of 174 Wh/kg. To put this in perspective the 60 kWh Chevy Bolt battery weighs 440 kg and 136 Wh/kg and powers a 200 hp motor. The Tesla Model 3 80 kWh energy density is 168 Wh/kg and has 473 hp in the Performance model.

Floatplane

So not that big a gain then (3.6% over a mass-produced vehicle)? That sample battery weighs about twice the typical fuel load of a typical light aircraft.

An electric plane doesn’t need a surge of power like a hypercar would, it needs sustained “full” power for climbing and then about 60-75% power for cruise at a higher airspeed than the climb. So I don’t see any advantage to this hybrid battery application in aircraft.

GdB

Until batteries become very inexpensive, energy density is not that critical. Wasting battery capacity with poor aerodynamics make a bigger difference.

More relevant to EV performance and practicality:

kWh/CdA = proxy for worst case highway range, Tesla model 3 leads be a wide margin

(Storage volume)/CdA= storage efficiency, again Tesla model 3 leads by a wide margin.

Further progress in CdA can be made by replacing rearview mirrors with cameras, rear wheel covers, and more aerodynamically optimized design instead of pure style design

Paroway

The Williams battery described was built for Formula E. Short duration, high power fluctuating use. Different than a family sedans use.

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