Formula E supplier Williams has debuted new, more lightweight battery technology that can produce more power.
Williams Advanced Engineering has revealed a new battery module it claims is lighter but more power-dense than conventional lithium-ion units.
Autocar reports the new lithium-ion battery module uses Adaptive Multi-Chem technology that could make battery packs up to 30 per cent lighter and 37 per cent more energy dense.
This could deliver longer range and higher power without making the battery packs any physically larger.
The new battery module debuted at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event earlier this month in Millbrook, England. It’s still in development but could reach low-volume production, with plans to build around 50 units in the next six to 12 months.
Beyond road-going vehicles the new module could also see applications in aerospace, where its inherent scalability is appealing.
For those unfamiliar with the construction of lithium-ion batteries, a pack is comprised of multiple modules which are in turn comprised of multiple cells, typically all of the same type and with the same composition.
Williams has taken a slightly different approach. Its new module uses two different types of cells – one type known for good energy density, another type for higher power – which are then arranged separately within the module.
Each module uses an innovative, bi-directional DC/DC converter to manage the energy transfer between the two cell types. There’s also a compact thermal management system to manage cooling.
Williams is currently the sole battery supplier to the FIA Formula E race series. Accordingly, the new technology is intended for use in electric sports cars, at least at first. That’s also due to the added complexity of the module which, naturally, would result in higher prices at first.
At Cenex, Williams demonstrated a test battery pack comprised of 16 of the new modules. The test pack had a storage capacity of 60kWh and produced peak power of 550kW for 20 seconds and peak regeneration of 550kW for 10 seconds.
The pack also demonstrated Williams’s new 223 technology, a manufacturing process employed to create a lightweight exoskeleton for battery module. On the demo pack, the exoskeleton’s complete base and case weigh just 40kg.
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Lighter, more powerful: Williams debuts new battery technology