The invention is a novel method that optimizes battery utilization in electric vehicles to improve driving range and extend battery lifetime, all while maintaining safe battery temperature.
Recent advancements in the electric vehicle technology turned such vehicles into environmentally attractive transportation alternatives. However, insufficient energy storage is one of the constraints affecting the performance and the reliability of this emerging technology, as it restricts the electric vehicles’ driving range. In addition, inefficient usage degrades battery lifetime and, ultimately, necessitates costly battery replacement. Consequently, extending the battery efficiency and lifetime are the primary focus of electric vehicle research today. Highly dense battery pack designs are one approach towards improving the driving range of electric vehicles. However such designs also generate extreme internal heat, causing the battery’s temperature to rise significantly, and lead to reliability and safety issues, as well as overall degradation of battery capacity and lifetime. While the use of active battery cooling systems helps mitigate these thermal management issues and maintain the vehicle’s battery temperature in a safe range, it, alone, cannot improve the battery efficiency. On the other hand, hybrid electrical energy storage designs, which include specially interconnected batteries and ultracapacitors, may improve the total energy efficiency of an electric vehicle, but such architectures are unreliable and highly dependent on the ultracapacitor size. Researchers at UCI have now developed a smart hybrid energy management systems that predicts the electric vehicle power requests and utilizes the available resources in the most efficient way (thermal energy “budgeting”) to reach the best battery performance. To this end, the proposed method predicts the future state of the system (power requests) to help the controller best configure and utilize the available energy resources, such as battery cooling systems and battery ultracapacitors. Therefore, by pre-cooling the battery or pre-charging the ultracapacitors in anticipation of demand, the system is kept at the most efficient state at all times. The proposed method demonstrates significant improvement in the battery efficiency and lifetime over the currently available state of the art.
Electric vehicles, batteries
Improved battery lifetime (by 16.8% over state of the art) Reduced energy consumption (by 12.1% on average as compared to the state of the art) Improved reliability of energy storage management