Eaton, NREL team to reduce hybrid-electric-vehicle battery size

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Using advanced physics-based battery models developed in partnership with NREL, the hybrid vehicle supervisory controller dynamically balances fuel economy and the health of the downsized battery pack.

Eaton Corp. is developing a power control system for hybrid-electric vehicles (from passenger cars to commercial vehicles) with the goal of reducing by 50% the size of the battery needed. The company on Aug. 27 announced that the work is part of a $2.8 million project funded jointly by Eaton and the U.S. Department of Energy, the latter of which is contributing $2 million. The project is being led by Eaton's Innovation Center team in Southfield, MI, which will work with a team from the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—the former offering expertise in intelligent power management and the latter expertise in battery modeling and prognostics. Specifically, the project aims to significantly downsize the battery through a combination of duty-cycle learning and model-based supervisory optimal control design. Using advanced physics-based battery models developed in partnership with NREL, the hybrid vehicle supervisory controller dynamically balances fuel economy and the health of the downsized battery pack to maximize vehicle performance while minimizing the impact on battery life.

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