The BILAPS consortium realised that new battery technologies are required to support the rapidly expanding market for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). They looked beyond the current nickel and lithium battery types in favour of a lead acid battery in order to minimise costs. The challenge was to improve the power output of a lead battery prototype. This was accomplished by adopting a bipolar design concept in conjunction with an advanced Battery Management System (BMS). A2E Technologies / Enertronic, a BILAPS partner, employed an approach whereby the bipolar cells, which are connected in series, are controlled individually. This is achieved with the help of slave chargers that are attached to the cells with faston clips. A single master unit monitors the charging profile of each cell. The BMS was subjected to several tests during the four-year BILAPS work programme. Following a number of revisions, A2E was able to further enhance the capacity of the BMS to charge the new bipolar lead acid battery. The cost-competitive BILAPS energy storage system is appropriate not only for HEVs, but also for other battery-powered means of transport.
Development of a lead acid power source for hybrid electric vehicles
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3 July 2020