Development of a Novel Method for Lithium-Ion Battery Testing on Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Abstract: Increasing demands for lower environmental impact from vehicles, including heavy-duty vehicles, have driven several vehicle manufacturers to consider adding hybrid electrical vehicles (HEV’s) to the product portfolio. Present research on batteries for HEV’s is mainly focused on lithium-ion battery chemistries, since lithium-ion batteries has the most promising technical potential compared to other types of batteries. However, the uncertainty regarding battery lifetime combined with a high battery cost can have a negative impact on large scale commercialisation of heavy-duty hybrid vehicles in the near future.A large part of present lithium-ion battery research is focused on new materials, but there is also research focusing on ageing of already established lithium-ion battery chemistries. Cycle ageing of batteries often includes complete charging and discharging of batteries or the use of standardized test cycles. Battery cycling in real HEV applications is however quite different compared to this kind of laboratory testing, and real life testing on vehicles is a way of verifying the soundness of laboratory ageing.The aim of this study was to develop a test method suitable for real life testing of lithium-ion batteries for heavy-duty HEV-usage, with the purpose of investigating the correlation of battery ageing and usage in real life applications. This concept study includes both cell level battery cycling and performance testing on board vehicles. The performance tests consist of discharge capacity measurements and hybrid pulse power characterization (HPPC) tests. The main feature of this test equipment is that it is designed to be used on conventional vehicles, emulating an HEV environment for the tested battery. The functionality of the equipment was verified on a heavy-duty HEV with satisfying results. Results from real life testing of 8 batteries using the developed test equipment on four conventional heavy-duty trucks shows that the concept of comparing battery ageing with battery usage has a most promising potential to be used as a tool when optimizing battery usage vs. lifetime. Initial results from this real life study shows significant differences in state of charge (SOC) and power distributions between cycled batteries, but so far only small differences in ageing. Lithium-ion batteries of the type lithium manganese spinel/lithium titanate (LMO/LTO) were used in this study.
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