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Electric vehicle battery monitoring

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EBAM (Electric vehicle battery monitoring)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-05-31

As one of the largest challenges faced by our global society, global warming is placing pressure on governments, institutions, companies and individual citizens to fundamentally reconsider the use of fossil resources and their impact on the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, from burning fossil fuels has been identified as the main reason for global warming. As a result, governments around the world have set ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions and to limit long-term global climate change. To reach to set goals it is necessary to convert to renewable energy sources. Although the renewable energy industry has increased in capacity tremendously in many parts of the world, it is limited by inefficient energy storage. Electrical energy can be stored in various ways but batteries remain the most advantageous due to their high efficiency and great flexibility. To this end, Lithium ion batteries (LIBs), are the systems of choice for most energy storage solutions, for example Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS), because of their high energy density and high power performance characteristics. However, LIBs face cost and performance issues like limited energy storage, long charging times, inadequate lifetimes and substantial weight.
The state of the art in all battery applications is to use voltammetry and global temperature measurements to determine the battery status. However, such measurements are inadequate, and cause uncertainty in the predicted state of charge and health of the battery, since they do not take into account local chemical changes inside the battery. Due to the uncertainty, manufacturers are forced to use oversized batteries, put restrictions on the charging rate, and perform service too early.
Using Insplorions NPS sensor technology, the battery charge and health can be monitored from inside the battery, which enables a much more accurate and reliable monitoring. The obtained information can be used to increase the performance and lifetime of batteries, which will contribute to more efficient battery systems and increase their competitive advantage compared to fossil based energy sources.
The focus of this project has been a feasibility study of market introduction of the NPS based battery sensor. The findings have validated and strengthened the need for the NPS battery sensor. The NPS technology can add great value over a wide area of applications, enabling more efficient, safer and longer lasting batteries. During the project Insplorion has also been successful in creating long term collaboration partners.
The project objectives
• Identify key stakeholders (competition, potential partners and clients).
• Determine the market size, sectors, business potential and market dynamics in the battery monitoring segment.
• Map customer needs and benefits along with competitive advantage.
• Investigate the regulatory framework and the potential for influencing future standardisation work.
• Extend ‘freedom to operate analysis’ and update IPR strategy.
• Define unique value proposition to formulate a market entry strategy for the SME instrument Phase 2.
• Find 3-6 potential collaboration partners or customers and open dialogue with them.
• Analyse the economic viability of the case and make financial projections.
The market size and sectors have mainly been estimated by extensive literature searches and interviews with industrial and academic organisations. The project has also been supported by the coaching activities.
A go-to market strategy has been constructed as a result of conclusions based on discussions with industrial partners and within the Insplorion organisation. Three main stages are identified for commercialisation. The first will be focused on Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS), the other two on specialized (low volume) Electric Vehicles (EV) (e.g. sport cars, electric buses and heavy-duty vehicles such as mining vehicles) and high volume EV sale (e.g. Nissan Leaf, Tesla), respectively.
The BESS and low volume EV markets allow quick market entry and further technical verification. They can be pursued with Insplorion’s own sales organisation and existing partners. The first go-to market application will be the BESS, due to lower technical barriers on the miniaturization of the sensor system for integration into the BMS (Battery Management System) and fewer legislative obstacles. The market entry in EVs will be based on the knowledge gained for BESS applications, which will bring valuable verification of the sensor performance and its benefits for the end-user. The low volume EV market will act as verification of increased driving distance, battery lifetime, safety and faster charging. For both BESS and low volume EV, mainly Insplorion and current partners will manage the production and sales. However, for the high volume EV market the production will no longer be in-house, and instead revenue will come from large license deals with component manufacturers.
Although several different projects exist globally, which focus on developing better sensors for batteries, we have not identified any other sensing solution which measures inside the battery. Therefore, the NPS sensing technology may be the first sensor technology on the market which measures directly inside each battery cell. This new approach has the opportunity to disrupt the battery industry, and add impact to several sectors such as electrical vehicles and energy storage solutions. Over time the technology might also have an impact on the second life battery market, due to a better prediction of the remaining battery lifetime.
The cost and performance issues of existing LIB technology significantly hamper an accelerated fossil-free transition. By facing the shortcomings with today’s battery technology the NPS sensor will increase the competitiveness of battery energy sources compared to e.g. fossil based ones.
Battery sensor