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Williams Advanced Engineering launches new battery technology

Williams Advanced Engineering will be showcasing its latest low-carbon vehicle technologies at Cenex LCV2019 at Millbrook, Bedfordshire. The main focus of the stand will be an innovative battery pack showcasing Williams Advanced Engineering’s Adaptive Multi-Chem technology, which brings together the company’s knowledge from a wide variety of projects, including four seasons as the sole battery supplier to FIA Formula E as well as many electric vehicle programmes.

Adaptive Multi-Chem technology enables reduced mass and volume, thus increased energy and power density within motorsport, hypercar and electrified flight applications. The company will also be showcasing a number of its patent-pending lightweighting technologies, including the revolutionary 223 composite manufacturing process.

Increasing the energy and power density of batteries is widely regarded as electrification’s greatest challenge. With the industry ramping up production of electric and hybrid vehicles, there is significant demand for new battery technologies. Manufacturers are usually faced with a compromise between energy and power density as they try to minimise the size and weight of battery packs for a target performance level. Williams Advanced Engineering’s Adaptive Multi-Chem technology provides the best of both worlds. It uses a state-of-the-art, bi-directional DC/DC converter to deliver high energy and high power density in a single pack.

Use of Adaptive Multi-Chem technology enables a 37% increase in energy density for a target power density. The system is highly adaptable, with semi-independent sizing of energy and power cells through the use of scalable blocks. A compact thermal management system is able to provide sufficient cooling without unnecessary bulk, improving packaging. Adaptive Multi-Chem will allow the use of novel, ultra-high energy and power dense cell technologies in a variety of high performance applications including motorsport, performance cars and aerospace.

The Williams Advanced Engineering stand will feature a battery module that incorporates Adaptive Multi-Chem technology. Peak power, continuous power and stored energy of the module can be tailored to individual requirement. The unit on display has a total stored energy of 60kWh, with a core battery mass of 345kg. Peak deployment power is 550kW (20 second pulse), and peak regeneration power is 550kW (10 second pulse).

The new battery module also features an exoskeleton manufactured using the company’s lightweighting technology, 223. This unique production process creates an engineered hinge embedded within a single composite preform of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP). 223 enables the creation of 3D structures from 2D materials, opening the potential for manufacture techniques previously constrained by cost or production rate. It allows for rapid, low-cost composite production and includes the use of recycled materials.

The 223 exoskeleton greatly improves the battery’s structural performance, with the complete base and case weighing just 40kg. It has an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio, impressive stiffness and excellent fatigue and environmental resistance. The technology is particularly relevant to the automotive industry, where lightweighting is seen as one of the primary tools needed to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions targets, as well as support the range required from electric vehicles.

“We are developing and delivering technologies that will shape the future of low-carbon vehicles,” explained Paul McNamara, Williams Advanced Engineering Technical Director. “We are well equipped to analyse and resolve challenges from energy management to aerodynamics and thermodynamics. These skills are being put to fantastic use, developing the technologies you see here and helping some of the world’s most successful manufacturers develop electric and hybrid vehicles.”

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