Ricardo monitoring technology aims to reduce electric vehicle battery failures

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UK-based Ricardo has been awarded funding from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), in partnership with Innovate UK, for a research and development project which seeks to improve electric vehicle battery life, performance and resilience.

From its prior experience in R&D programs on connected vehicle platforms, such as its ConnectHEV technology demonstrator, Ricardo understands the power of digital services to extract insights from large data sets which are generated by connected vehicle fleets. The company’s vision is for advanced monitoring and prognostics services to reduce electric vehicle battery failures in the field and extend battery life, which will be the focus of the new research project.

Running for six months, the project has received £112,000 (US$150,800) in funding and has three key objectives. The first is the development of a test platform for monitoring and prognostics of battery health, which will form part of a connected battery management system. Secondly, the project aims to investigate novel hybrid physics-based/data-driven prognostics algorithms for battery health management. The third objective is to derive calibration updates for the battery management system from the physics-based/data-driven prognostics algorithm; these can then be applied via software-over-the-air.

In order to undertake the research, the Ricardo team will develop tools to virtually represent vehicle fleets; these virtual fleets will provide data for the connected battery management system test platform. The team will address information, data and software flows to and from the battery system, while also focusing on battery monitoring and prognostics algorithm development.

The expectation is for the project to deliver three innovations which will enable Ricardo to deliver a service to extend battery capacity and range over service life, and therefore reduce cost. First, it will propose novel data storage methods on a connected battery management system, exploring techniques for data compression without degrading fidelity. Secondly, its team will develop algorithms, combining physics-based modeling and data-driven techniques to generate insight into battery health. Thirdly, it plans to derive from these algorithms techniques to automatically update the battery management system calibrations that will be provided to vehicles over the air.

Richard Gordon, Ricardo head of R&D, commented, “We are confident that this R&D project will prove to be a significant building block in helping vehicle manufacturers leverage simulation, virtual calibration and trusted data sources to improve electric vehicle battery performance, which will reduce long-term warranty costs and build consumer confidence in great electric or hybrid products.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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