News Release: NREL Teams Up on Three ARPA-E Projects to Optimize Electric Vehicle
Battery Management and Controls
January 16, 2013
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
has joined DOE and research partners in launching the Advanced Management and Protection
of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) program with a kick-off meeting in San Francisco.
Over the next three years, NREL engineers will work with teams led by Utah State University,
Washington University, and Eaton Corporation to optimize utilization, life, and cost
of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for electric-drive vehicles (EDVs) through improved
battery management and controls. The three projects are funded under the AMPED program
with more than $7.4 million from DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
“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
NREL is a recognized leader in EDV energy storage R&D. In addition to groundbreaking
thermal evaluation and analysis, NREL’s energy storage (ES) modeling, simulation and
testing activities include battery safety assessment, next-generation battery technologies,
material synthesis and research, subsystem analysis, battery second use studies, and
battery computer-aided engineering. Lab research improves ES devices—from materials
to batteries, ultracapacitors and complete ES systems—by uncovering new ways to enhance
thermal performance and lower life-cycle costs. Go to http://www.nrel.gov/transportation/energystorage
for more information on NREL’s EDV energy storage R&D efforts.
“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, University
of Washington’s Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering Department.
The ultimate goal of these projects is to make EDVs viable options for a larger and
wider population of drivers. The projects for each team are:
Power Management of Large Battery Packs - Utah State University
Objectives: Reduction in battery size, 20% longer battery pack lifetime or 20% reduction in
battery pack energy content and 50% increase in cold temperature charge rate
Researchers in NREL’s Center for Transportation Technologies and Systems (CTTS) will
work with the Utah State University team to develop electronic hardware and control
software for an advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) battery management
system to maximize the lifetime of each cell in a battery pack. Other project partners
include University of Colorado (Boulder and Colorado Springs) and the Ford Motor Company.
Laboratory testing will take place at both NREL and Ford.
Battery Management System Design - Washington University
Objective: 20% increase in utilization of untapped Li-ion battery 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 researchers will use the lab’s breakthrough
battery multi-physics models to guide the design of the control algorithms and will
demonstrate the capability of the algorithms through laboratory testing.
Predictive Battery Management for Hybrid Vehicles -
Objective: 50% improvement in fuel economy of heavy-duty HEVs without sacrificing battery
Eaton Corporation will collaborate with NREL to develop a power control system to
optimize the operation of commercial-scale hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), integrating
NREL battery life predictive models with Eaton 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 will perform hardware-in-the-loop testing in its laboratories to
demonstrate the new system.
ARPA-E’s AMPED program is providing a total of $30 million in funding to 14 research
projects to leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs
to develop breakthrough energy storage (http://energy.gov/articles/arpa-e-announces-43-million-transformational-energy-storage-projects-advance-electric
).These projects focus on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries
with innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle technologies
and to help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid.
“If successful, the advanced sensing, diagnostic, and control technologies developed
under the AMPED program will allow us to unlock enormous untapped potential in the
performance, safety and lifetime of today’s commercial battery systems,” ARPA-E Program
Director Ilan Gur said. “My hope is that these cutting-edge projects will accelerate
the impact of vehicle and grid-scale energy storage in reducing our country’s reliance
on imported fuels and improving the safety, security and economic efficiency of our
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable
energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by
the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.