Maxwell and Argonne Lab to Collaborate on Ultracapacitor/Li-Ion Battery Combination for HEVs

May 17, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. announced that it will supply ultracapacitor cells and integration kits to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory for a collaborative research project to assemble and evaluate an integrated ultracapacitor/lithium-ion battery energy storage system for hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Argonne will provide batteries and power electronics, design and fabricate the integrated energy system for installation in the Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) of the Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF) in Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research. APRF’s primary focus is technology validation and benchmarking testing for advanced vehicles and their supporting subsystems.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for Maxwell to collaborate with a world-renowned transportation research organization in demonstrating how ultracapacitors complement hybrid vehicle batteries," said Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell’s President and CEO. "We believe that this project will further validate the efficiency, low temperature performance, battery life and other advantages of combining ultracapacitor and lithium-ion technology."

Dr. Don Hillebrand, Director of Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research, said, "We are intrigued with ultracapacitors’ rapid charge/discharge capabilities and their ability to handle the heavy cycling involved in regenerative braking, torque assist and other demands on energy storage systems for hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles."

Argonne and Maxwell have agreed on an active parallel system configuration that will combine a standard lithium-ion plug-in hybrid battery with a string of 112 of Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP® BCAP0650 P270 650-farad ultracapacitor cells, along with appropriate power electronics and cooling and safety-related features. The system will undergo HIL validation during the summer of 2007.