Saturday, July 13, 2024

CliPHvent vent valves increase battery safety of electric vehicles

CliPHvent vent valves from Parker Prädifa increase battery safety

The Prädifa Technology Division of Parker Hannifin has introduced CliPHvent, a new generation of vent valves for EV battery housings. In the event of pressure differences between the interior of a housing and the environment, as well as when sudden overpressure occurs inside a housing, CliPHvent ensures controlled pressure compensation or fast venting. This is particularly important in case of a thermal event in the traction batteries of electric vehicles.

Protection against sudden pressure increase caused by overheating

A “thermal event” or “thermal runaway” describes the sudden and rapid heating of a single or several battery cells due to a defect such as mechanical damage, an electrical short circuit, or overload. Especially in the powerful batteries supplying the propulsion energy in electric vehicles, thermal runaway causes huge amounts of gas to form inside the housing which leads to an uncontrolled and rapid rise in pressure and may have serious consequences up to and including the complete destruction of the traction battery and even the whole vehicle. CliPHvent vent valves from Parker Prädifa have been specifically developed to prevent that. By enabling fast venting via the integrated seal, they protect the battery housing resulting in higher safety of the traction battery. In the case of thermal runaway in a single battery cell, a domino effect, i.e., the spreading to adjacent cells followed by rapid propagation across the entire traction battery and its complete destruction, can be prevented.

Compensation of minor pressure differences, protection against ambient influences, easy installation

Minor pressure differences between the interior of the housing and the environment due to air pressure or temperature changes are compensated via a membrane. In addition, Parker aspire® membranes are water- and oil-repellent. As a result, CliPHvent vent valves provide reliable protection against ingress of external liquids and dirt.

The special, compact design of CliPHvent vent valves enables easy snap installation without the use of tools, on the battery housing or inside a bore. 

Additional information about CliPHvent can be found at https://www.parker.com/de/en/divisions/praedifa-technology-division/solutions/cliphvent.html

Yasa, new grant of over £7M from the Advanced Propulsion Centre

As part of a project to develop a high-frequency capable high voltage dual inverter with a pioneering dual-redundant braking system, Yasa received new grant of over £7M from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. This is part of the ultimate aim to enable significant weight and cost savings whilst increasing regenerative braking potential in battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This project addresses key market demands for ever increasing BEV performance and efficiency, whilst also creating a validated safety case, which does not currently exist. The project will enable the realization of next generation electric-vehicle motor technologies. These complimentary and innovative technologies will together enable a step change in vehicle design and significant performance.
Yasa have partnered with semiconductor specialists Cambridge GaN Devices, and Horiba Mira, and over the next 2 years, Project Re-Gen perfectly embodies world-class UK-based innovation, anchoring production expertise in the UK with a strong immediate route to market and great future expansion opportunities, delivered by a strong consortium with significant growth potential.
Founder and Cto, Dr Tim Woolmer said: “We are delighted once again to be recognized by APC for Yasa’s ongoing commitment to the development of Net-Zero automotive technology. This award will be fundamental to our work in expanding our core expertise to incorporate power electronics and safety systems, enabling new architectures for electric cars of the future. We are thrilled to be working alongside Horiba Mira and Cambridge GAN Devices to bring this exciting development to the market in the coming years”.

Electron-beam welding, £ 430,000 research grant

Automating electron-beam welding, partnership between Ford and Cambridge Vacuum Engineering
Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), a UK supplier of laser and electron-beam welding systems, and Ford, today announced that they have won a £430,000 research grant from Ukri’s Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge, offered by Innovate UK.
The aim is to explore the automation and expansion of electron beam welding for joining copper and aluminium components used to power electric motors for the automotive industry. As part of the EB-eDrive project, CVE and Ford are trying to reduce the time needed to produce hairpin stators, the electromagnetic system that is crucial for the smooth running of electric vehicle motors. Speeding up this process could help to increase the production of electric vehicles in the UK, supporting government targets. It would also help strengthen the country’s position in the research and development of advanced manufacturing technologies.
Zooming in on technology, electron beam welding is significantly faster than traditional laser welding techniques. The technology is already making a big difference in other clean energy applications, significantly accelerating the rate at which wind turbines and nuclear reactors can be produced, while reducing the amount of energy used and the carbon footprint of the associated processes.

Turin, a new R&D Centre for electric and electronic components

MTA, multinational that operates in the global automotive sector through the two Electric and Electronic divisions, has announced the establishment of a new Research & Development Centre in Turin, in Mirafiori area, automotive excellence pole. The new centre, already in operation, will employ at steady-state about 25 engineers dedicated to the development of electric and electronic components, with a particular focus on products such as OBC (On Board Charger) and DC/DC converters intended for hybrid and electric vehicles, automotive, truck and heavy-duty applications. The new centre will host also a laboratory with test benches and forefront equipment to allow the autonomous execution of tests on power electronics components developed here.
“We intend, as it already happens with Milan Polytechnics, to establish a relationship of fruitful know-how exchange with Turin Polytechnics, an excellence for the whole automotive world. Therefore, the centre will allow us to support vehicle manufacturers even better, with an increasingly articulated and technologically advanced offer for new-mobility requirements”, stated Antonio Falchetti, Executive Director of MTA.

Opportunity for women in the auto-rickshaw industry

As part of the Moving Boundaries 2 campaign, Mowo Social Initiatives Foundation has set out to train 500 women across Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Delhi in electric auto driving. This transformative initiative, which kicked off on March 8th, 2024 aims to empower women by providing them with skills and opportunities needed to thrive in the electric auto-rickshaw industry. The team comprises an 8-member all-women crew steering an array of electric vehicles –auto-rickshaw, bike, and cargo van, set to cover 3,333 km over 30 days.
«Our inspiring team of 5 women auto-rickshaw drivers consists of Naseem, Bhavani, Prabha, Reena, and Saritha. These trailblazers are driving ETO Motors electric auto-rickshaws in a relay format, setting an example and inspiring countless others to join the movement towards electric vehicle livelihoods» explains Tamanna Chaudhary di Mowo. Partnering with ETO Motors, an electric three-wheeler company, Mowo is dedicated to providing comprehensive training and support to participants. The vehicle is the BDY T3 electric van.

Cell testing: Unico presents a new innovative solution

The new BAT300 series by Unico was presented recently in the USA during an international seminar about batteries. It promises to establish a new standard in testing cells. The BAT300 series, designed for test applications that value economy and flexibility over ultra-high accuracy, is based on the IDAC Unico power platform and offers other performance, efficiency, and versatility at a reduced cost. The last offer by Unico is an all-in-one compact solution (from 480 V CA to CC) that reduces to the minimum the energy consumption and maximizes test efficiency.

Steve Bright, the CEO of Unico, affirmed: «with the recent acquisition of Present Power Systems, we’re already leveraging the technologies of our new Advanced Technology Group, and the BAT300 series represents our first product to come out of the acquisition». He continues by adding that «the new IDAC Power Platform enables Unico to strengthen our presence in the battery markets and venture into new areas such as onboard charging, home charging, battery recycling, and more».

The BAT300 series is ideal for cell creation inside gigafactories, aging and functionality testing in R&D laboratories, and end-of-life (EOL) activities in cell/module production lines.

E-motors tested in a simulated atmosphere equivalent to 43,000 feet of altitude

Wright Electric Inc., the producer of advanced motor, generator, and inverter technologies, announced that they successfully tested their motor in the Wright Lab at a simulated atmosphere equivalent to 43,000 feet of altitude without Potential Discharge (PD).

Conducted at 1,000 volts, this test sets the stage for simulated altitude testing at the Nasa Neat facility later this year. PD-free performance is crucial to operating electric motors on aircraft. When electric motors run at high voltages, the insulation surrounding the conductive components is subjected to electric stress. Over time, this stress may weaken the insulation, leading to PD. It can further accelerate the degradation of insulation, potentially causing motor failure, among other safety concerns.

As altitude increases, the voltage level needed to cause PD decreases. Because of this, PD is not an issue for many electric aircraft under development, such as air taxis, which cruise around 3,000 feet where typical insulation is sufficient. Wright Electric is developing motors and inverters for commercial aircraft that typically cruise at 36,000 feet, making air taxi solutions impractical. Jeff Engler, Founder and CEO of Wright Electric, explained, «45% of all aviation emissions are from single-aisle flights. By proving those flights can be flown without potential discharge, we are one step closer to eliminating this massive form of pollution.»

Highlights of microwave Hvac system for electric vehicles

e-Thermal bank, University of Birmingham
e-Thermal bank, University of Birmingham

A team of researchers of the University of Birmingham is working at the e-Thermal bank, a thermo-chemical system based on microwaves for the climate control of electric vehicles that might extend by even 70% the vehicle’s range.
The system operates as a secondary energy source inside the vehicle, discharging Hvac tasks from the battery and so increasing the autonomy. It acts by coupling a chemical heat pump with the energy of microwaves, supplying heating or conditioning to the cabin on demand, with a higher energy density than battery packs. The microwave energy dissociates a working pair of solid vapour and condenses the vapour into liquid. This charge process stores energy inside the car, inside the e-Thermal bank.
According to researchers, the thermochemical system has a high density of 1600Wh/Kg. On the contrary, the record density for lithium-ion batteries is around 700 Wh/Kg.
“The heating and the cooling of the electric vehicle’s passenger compartment need a notable energy and contribute more significantly in the reduction of the electric vehicle’s range”, affirmed professor Yongliang Li, research manager and holder of the chair of Thermal Energy Engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering in Birmingham.
“We expect that, replacing the conventional Hvac and possibly a small part of the battery pack, e-Thermal banks would provide an efficient control of the cabin’s temperature and a range extension up to 70%, at a lower cost compared to the increase of the battery’s capacity”.

By Korean researchers a study about the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries

The researchers at Chung-Ang University in South Korea have discovered that high-concentration electrolytes can improve the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, making electric vehicles greener.

Researchers have focused on the electrolytic solutions used in batteries and have studied the impact of high-concentration electrolytes on their performances, discovering that these electrolytes improve quick charge skills and prevent problems like cell swelling caused by the lithium coating. Researchers think that their discoveries will encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and will contribute to decreasing carbon emissions.

The study has analyzed the use of some electrolytes, like those based on linear carbonate with concentrated LiPF6, to improve the performances of lithium-ion batteries.

Mazda enhances R&D for its rotary engine

Mazda has announced they will speed up their research and development activity on the rotary engine (RE), already used in the MX-30 R-EV and presented as the powertrain of the concept Iconic SP shown to use on future electrified models.

The new “RE Development Group” will take care of going on making its rotary engine evolve, equipping it with ideal sizes to be used as a generator in electrified models, carrying out research and development activities in areas such as conformity with regulations in primary markets and the use of zero-emission fuels.

Speaking of the new team, Ichiro Hirose – Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – declared: «In the electrification era and a society featuring zero carbon emissions, together with our challenging spirit, we promise we will continue to offer appealing cars that thrill customers».

Recently, for the first time Mazda restarted the production of cars with rotary engines, eleven years after the exit from the scene in 2012 of the Mazda RX-8, equipping the MX-30 with a motor-generator unit that is the core of its first mass-produced PHEV system. Released in Japan and Europe, the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is the twelfth Mazda model with a rotary engine.