Li-ion Cells are getting better, not cheaper.
That’s why it all comes down to a smart Battery Pack and Application.
Guru’s or Engineers?
There are a lot of guru’s and prophecies about energy storage and battery technology in particular. Publications are often single sided news by emphasizing the benefits of new energy storage technology and not the disadvantages like high costs, time to market and the chance it will never reach the market anyhow.
There are some facts however. The Li-ion technology is currently the dominant technology and, indeed, on a structural bases there will be periods of shortage of cells. We also know that cell suppliers are still making very little money.
But, next to that, the current (Asian) Cell suppliers are executing their roadmaps step by step and continuously improving the performance of Cells, but at a constant cost per Wh. The world needs engineers to utilise that value, not guru’s.
Unlock the value of Li-ion Cells
The current most effective way forward to make electric mobility more affordable can be found in the application to unlock the value of the Li-ion to its full extent. The key to this lies in the advanced cell management that orchestrates the interdependency of ranges of cells within a Battery Pack, and an accurate integration in the driveline of the Vehicle.
This implies a full understanding of the customer en design requirements of the application with sufficient granularity. Cell suppliers may be knowledgeable on the Cell side but are generally too big to deal with and lack the capability to tailor solutions.
Advanced Batteries Concepts
The Advanced Battery Department of Cleantron a Dutch company based on the outskirts of Amsterdam specialises in exploring and developing battery concepts that go beyond the usual tracks, with battery concepts that are based on proven cell technology, utilising the results of extensive research.
The results of Cleantron research, Li-ion cell algorithms driving electronic (impedance based) BMS solutions, package designs with integrated thermal management and new collaborations of cell chemistries, are the major building blocks for Advanced Battery Concepts.
The Impedance based BMS
This next generation Battery Management (BMS) makes use of impedance, instead of only current, voltage and temperature, which is the traditional approach. Impedance of a battery cell corresponds directly to the internal state of the cell, and thus paints an accurate picture of what is going on inside the cell. This can be used to deduce cell parameters. This can determine SoC, internal temperature and SoH values with a higher precision than a traditional approach. Based on this more accurate data, the BMS can optimise the operating strategy to fully suit the battery cell, which enables an extension of battery cell lifetime, and simultaneously a similar or improved battery cell performance.
“We have a strong commitment to quality. Our fully automated production facility in the Netherlands really sets us apart from our competitors, who may not always be as precise when it comes to testing”, explains Maurice van Giezen, co-founder and Director at Cleantron. “Lithium battery packs are complex and potentially hazardous. So safety is a top priority for us.”
Range & Acceleration, overcoming the waterbed effect
The waterbed-effect of Batteries that offer either high specific power (for i.e. acceleration) or high specific energy (for i.e. range) is a central theme for electric mobility and therefore for the Advanced Battery Department of Cleantron.
van Giezen went on to say “We have many years of experience with portable exchangeable 48V battery modules (“battery swapping”) for instance in electric scooters and industrial AGV’s ; now, after years of research, we have developed a low voltage and high voltage battery system for light electric vehicle & automotive applications that overcomes the waterbed effect. The new system offers the required C- rates for acceleration & speed on the one hand, and works with lightweight exchangeable battery modules with high specific energy for the range, on the other hand”
One size fits all?
“It goes without saying that there is no such thing as a standard solution; “one size fits all” is another way of saying that it is suboptimal: too expensive, not good enough or both. In the market sector of electric mobility the requirements for personal mobility are different then for urban logistics. That is why Cleantron refers to the system as an Advanced Battery Concept. It needs to be engineered into an optimal solution that works and keeps on working”. van Giezen continued
“So, based on this Cleantron can develop tailored battery systems that unlock the value resulting in the lowest TCO without compromising on quality and lifetime. Unlocking the true value of Li-ion Cells will unlock the value of electric mobility”, he concluded.
Cleantron is a specialist supplier of advanced battery packs, serving the market sectors of Industry 4.0, Light Electric Vehicles; Low Voltage as well as High Voltage.
Cleantron is a dutch, privately owned, company, located in Nieuw Vennep, 10 minutes with a Tesla taxi from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The ISO9001 certified company has 6 automated production lines.
Because Cleantron has developed her own battery pack production machines, the strategy is clearly systems for pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehiclesthat everything that Cleantron develops and engineers is eventually supposed to be produced within Cleantron.
For years the company runs an research & innovation program in close collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology (former Philips country) resulting in, among other things, impedance based BMS solutions.
In 2017, by introducing CAM (Cleantron Automotive Module) Cleantron presented herself also to the Automotive Industry. In 2020 Cleantron will open in the Netherlands the CAC; the Cleantron Automotive Centre, where automotive niche series (urban delivery, motorsport, defence and luxury applications) will be produced. with the CAC Cleantron also serves Automotive OEM Advanced Engineering with prototypes for mainstream automotive applications
As well as the production and Head Quarters in the Netherlands, Cleantron has offices in Munich, Paris and Thaizou (China).