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Innovative high VOLTage network battery concept

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - VOLT (Innovative high VOLTage network battery concept)

Reporting period: 2020-04-16 to 2021-04-15

VOLT is a R&T program dedicated to the Fast RotorCraft program funded by Clean Sky 2 JU. The aim of VOLT program is to develop High Voltage Lithium-ion battery prototypes to power up the engine and meet the HVDC network quality. VOLT battery (HVNB) shall meet TRL5 and Permit To Fly requirements.
Several steps have been performed since the beginning of the project in 2016

First, the cell has been chosen to meet different requirements (power density, weight, volume…). This part was divided in two sub tasks:
• The preliminary benchmark consists in comparing all cells with the temperature range, current needed and Weight energetic density.
• The accurate selection consists in verifying that the chosen cell can hold the discharge cycle provided.
Following its selection, the cell has been qualified to verify in detail that the cell can answer the needs of the project. This part is very important as it highlights the limits of the chosen cell and what “power” it can provide.

Then, a battery specification has been written based on Topic Manager needs, and a battery electrical architecture has been defined. A safety analysis has been performed and validated the electrical architecture with regards to the unwanted safety events.
The module architecture has been defined as well as the cell arrangements. Some tests on cells and modules according to the DO-160 requirements have been performed.
Constraints on weight and volume have been taken into account. This is illustrated through materials choices, minimizing weight while keeping expected mechanical properties or through a design minimizing lost space for example.
The casing architecture has been defined to respect constraints such as volume, installation and maintenance, access to connectors and lights, resistance to design loads…
Validation of the requirements has been completed and a first verification plan has been started. A compliance matrix to Topic Manager specification has been edited.

Following DDR that was passed in July 2018, the equipment design has followed up to completion of the mechanical design and electronics hardware definition:
- Modules integration
- Charger definition and integration
- Electronics (control and command) definition and integration
The first B1 models delivery has been manufactured in order to perform test campaign at battery level (qualification, environmental and performance tests). A functional PBOX has also been delivered to Topic Manager in order to verify proper integration of the VOLT battery into the RACER platform. Also, qualification thermal test campaign was performed Q1/2020.

Finally, B1 and B2 Models have been manufactured and tested, for delivery to Topic Manager to support its test campaigns.
The main challenges of the VOLT project proved to be:
- Designing and getting the safety of flight certificate for a high voltage battery allowing the start of the engine in a restricted volume and with weight constraint is a challenge which is about to be overcome by VOLT.
- Mastering high voltage and high power Lithium-Ion batteries is an enabler for More Electrical Aircraft, making possible multiple new aircraft systems architectures. This will lead to more efficient aircraft, thus greener and more cost efficient.
VOLT demonstrator