AVID joins R&D team developing battery storage for off-highway machinery

AVID Technology has teamed up with Caterpillar UK and Imperial College London in a research and development project to develop a new battery storage system for electric off-highway machinery.

L to R: Guy Blundell, manager, Energy and Transportation Research at Caterpillar with Simon Conway, manager, Advanced Engineering at Caterpillar and Ryan Maughan, MD at AVID Technology Group

The £2.8m project will look at significantly improving battery life through advanced controls, monitoring and thermal management.

The overall aim is to create an advanced battery system capable of meeting the lifecycle and load demands of a heavy-duty electric or hybrid vehicle, whilst delivering high levels of energy density.

The team will also use simulation techniques to demonstrate how integrated powertrain systems utilising battery storage can be commercially viable for electric and hybrid vehicles in the commercial on-highway as well as off-highway sectors.

Imperial College’s Dr Gregory Offer said: “The project will bring together multiple innovative ideas to deliver a step change in performance and cost for these aggressive applications.”

AVID will bring its experience in the design of power electronics and motors used in electric propulsion systems for the electric and hybrid vehicle industry, robotics and aerospace sectors.

Ryan Maughan, managing director of AVID Technology Group said: “In recent years there have been major advances in energy storage driven in part by the boom in the automotive sector for electric and hybrid passenger cars. This has resulted in huge improvements in energy density and crucially cost.

“However the emissions and environmental impact of heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks, buses and construction machinery are far greater due to the high operating hours and power factors required.

“This means there is huge potential for the design and manufacture of electrification systems to improve the situation. But it also presents several challenges in delivering electric vehicle drivetrains that are robust enough and able to deliver the performance required.”

The project is part-funded by Innovate UK’s Faraday Challenge Industrial Strategy Fund.