A new generation of batteries to move towards greener mobility

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The UPC Power Electronics Research Centre (PERC UPC) is participating in the international project High-pErformance moduLar battery packs for sustaInable urban electrOmobility Services (HELIOS), to develop a new concept of smart, modular, adaptable battery for electric vehicles.

The aim of HELIOS is to develop and integrate innovative materials, designs, technologies and processes to create a new concept of smart, modular, adaptable battery for a wide range of electric vehicles used for urban electromobility services, from medium-sized electric vehicles to electric buses, with better performance, energy density, lifetime and levelised cost of storage (LCoS)./p>

In this project, new advances will also be studied that integrate hardware and software solutions for the control of electrical and thermal systems that take advantage of new materials, power electronic devices, sensors and cutting-edge ICT, as well as the analysis of big data based on the cloud, artificial intelligence and IoT technologies (Internet of Things).

All of these advances combined enable an increase in energy and power density, that is, the amount of energy and power stored per unit volume of the battery and they provide key characteristics such as ultra-fast charging and safety improvement. They could also create better strategies for controlling fleets of electric vehicles, optimised procedures for charging and discharging, and predictive maintenance programmes, which would enable the lifetime of batteries to be extended.

In addition, the load status, health status and carbon footprint of each pack of batteries could be monitored during its entire lifecycle, which enables a chain of supply comprised of manufacture, reuse and recycling of lithium-ion battery packs. In addition, from a circular economy perspective, the project seeks to optimise the design of battery packs with reduced LCoS, so that they can be easily reused in second applications before they are recycled at the end of their life cycle.

Finally, the effectiveness of HELIOS will be assessed in different urban models of electromobility such as vehicle populations or fleets of electric busies, to determine the final scope of the project.

The HELIOS project is coordinated by Aarhus Universitet (Denmark) and has 18 collaborating entities in 8 European countries. The project is part of the Horizon 2020 – Societal Challenges programme of the European Research Council. It began in March 2018 and will last four years with a total budget of almost 11.5 m euros.