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InteGrated and PHysically Optimised Battery System for Plug-in Vehicles Technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GHOST (InteGrated and PHysically Optimised Battery System for Plug-in Vehicles Technologies)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

The GHOST project aims to develop an integrated and physically optimised Battery System (BS) for BEV and PHEV applications, designing a novel and modular battery system with higher energy density based on the state-of-the-art of lithium-ion cell technologies. The primary objective is to develop mass-producible innovative and integrated solutions to reduce the battery integration cost through smart design taking into account recycling and the need for mass production. The BS solutions developed within the project will be demonstrated at laboratory level (TRL 5) and within two demonstrator vehicles, namely FIAT 500X P-HEV (400V) passenger car and IVECO BEV (800V) bus, under real-life conditions focusing on performance and operational/functional safety. In addition a novel Dual Battery System concept based on new emerging battery technologies and high power lithium-ion battery will be developed, tested and validated at the laboratory level (TRL 4).
• Investigation into suitable cell technologies for light-duty (FIAT 500X P-HEV) and heavy-duty (IVECO BEV Bus) applications, according to the corresponding usage profiles (driving range, operation time, charging time);
• Review of the state-of-the-art review of commercially-available cells suitable for the different applications: Li-Ion cells (Toshiba Lithium Titanium Oxide 23 Ah) have been selected accordingly;
• Collection of specifications for the performance and physical characteristics of the selected cells;
• Creation of load profiles, in charge and discharge, for the characterization of cells according to realistic usage scenarios.
• Analysis of the most appropriate BS architecture for the specific applications to determine the best suited for the targeted modular 400V/800V BS concept; assessment of different solutions for the mechanical, thermal and electrical integration of the cells in the module focusing on the modularity, functionality, safety, costs, volume and weight requirements.
• Address the use of novel compound sandwich material for the housing and structure to reduce the weight and volume of the mechanical overhead;
• Investigation into innovative cooling solutions based on refrigerant direct cooling;
• Identification of the most promising BS design solution and creation of an initial CAD model;
• Development of the electrical design focused on supporting the modular nature of the BS concept while providing flexibility with respect to the two different applications of interest: the Fiat 500X P-HEV (400V, 1 Basic Unit) and the IVECO BEV Bus (800V, 3 x 2 Basic Units in series); integration of reversible cell-to-cell connections with voltage, temperature and current measurement into the novel Power PCBs, monitored by the UCSB (BMS).
• Investigations into a new cell temperature monitoring system based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements including feasibility studies on EIS hardware and the preparation of an PCB demonstrator board with the development of algorithms in the microcontroller firmware;
• Definition of a measurement plan for the deployment of EIS techniques using the PCB demonstrator; preparation of the lab. equipment for the electro-thermal characterization measurements;
• Compilation in a matrix of tests and simulations to be performed on the Li-Ion BS and Dual BS Concept, with the equipment, test conditions, performance assessment criteria, and time-plan;
• Development of a test methodology for characterization and ageing of batteries to assess the LTO-based cell electrical, thermal and lifetime behaviour; characterisation of a LTO cell to define the parameters of the BS for the modelling requirements; Definition of standardized parameterization test protocols and models for the next generation of cell technologies such as Li-S;
• Execution of ageing tests to acquire long-term phenomena such as a change in the internal resistance value of the cells and the power capability and available capacity evolution of the LTO cells; development of a 1D-electro-thermal and a 3D thermal model for the LTO cell at different operating temperatures (0°C to 45°C)
• Development of a multi-concern safety methodology to support the holistic safety analysis of the BS with reference to standards (e.g. ISO 26262) and based on the Failure Mode & Effect Analysis method;
• Definition of a test strategy to enable the validation of system safety under laboratory conditions emulating real operational conditions, reflecting the identified critical failures and operational scenarios;
• Evaluation of the 2nd life aspects of Li-Ion batteries through specific use case scenarios including detailed requirements and system specifications with respect to the 1st life (remaining capacity, 1st life history, etc.);
• Generation of fundamental design requirements to be taken into account in the BS design to reduce the cost of dismantling and for other End-of-Life (EoL) operations; execution of study into the dismantling process of currently-used battery packs; Development of preliminary design requirements as input for the BS development;
• Development of a comprehensive re-qualification test programme; Evaluation of testing and assembling cost towards reuse and 2nd life evaluation; Identification of potential countermeasures;
• Design of a novel scaled-down laboratory level Dual Li-Ion and Li-S demonstrator system with the definition of the architecture, topology and preliminary requirements. Design and development of a test bench to test the selected semiconductors to define final requirements of the DC/DC converter.
• A modular battery pack architecture will be developed which can be easily scaled up to 400-800 V exploiting commonalities in the mechanical connections and taking into account the dismantling and recycling aspects (reduction of integration cost and time); BS reliability and safety will be enhanced through complete re-design with fewer external and internal connections, cabling, and components and via novel thermal-management architectures and strategies to guarantee insulation protection with battery state functions to detect possible failure mechanisms;
• The weight of the BS will be significantly reduced by using novel materials at module level, replacing bulky and heavy housings used in current conventional BS with reliable and functionalized lightweight materials, enabling higher specific energies of the complete BS;
• Thermal management of the BS will be optimised via novel module level solutions with advanced thermal concepts, with adaptive and smart control of the cooling circuit also for bus and future BEVs fast charging (up to 350-450 kW);
• Intelligent, integrated and simplified sensing and communications with high reliability will be developed and validated;
• Novel Dual-Cell-Battery architecture concept will be developed for next generation BS comprising high-power battery and next generation high-energy battery technologies with advanced DC/DC converter using newest semiconductors technologies and demonstrated at the lab. level (TRL 4);
The innovative BS solutions developed within the project will be demonstrated both at lab. level (TRL 5) and in two demonstrator vehicles.
The solutions developed within the project should have a strong impact on increasing the performance (including range and related battery lifetime and reliability) of electrically chargeable vehicles at affordable cost, aiming for first market introduction from 2024.
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