Developments around “the heart of the battery” advancing rapidly

Cell technology is prolonging and transforming the battery as we know it. By Elle Farrell-Kingsley

In August 2021, Sprint Power announced it was leading Project CELERITAS, a new US$11.67m UK government-backed project aimed at developing ultra-fast charging cells and battery packs for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles (FCHEVs). Sprint Power delivers advanced electrification solutions and systems engineering to customers in multiple industries—from off-highway to on-highway, aircraft, and automotive.

Special report: Electric vehicle battery materials

One of its core specialisms is the development and supply of battery technologies and systems. Although it doesn’t do internal cell engineering directly, it collaborates extensively with cell companies. "We work with these suppliers to understand what is going well in their innovations, and then we integrate those cells into battery packs and the vehicle’s systems," says Sprint Power’s Chief Engineer of High Voltage Drive Systems, Brian Cooper. Cooper leads the high voltage team to deliver high propulsion systems, batteries, power electronics and drive solutions—specifically focusing on automotive solutions in electric vehicles (EVs).

Sprint Power designs the battery by focusing on the systems, engineering, and cell pack design. Its area of development covers power electronics and its associated challenges, including welding, bonding, thermal management, and electrical connections. "There's a whole-system engineering approach to designing the battery, and we have to work closely with the material suppliers to use the best materials for the right applications to hit client targets," says Cooper.

Pack processes

The energy density of the vehicle’s battery is greatly impacted by the materials used. “The battery system is an area where performance can vary based on material selection,” highlights Cooper.

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