Energy Storage Systems Technology
A123 Systems excels at designing and manufacturing fully-integrated battery systems that help enable our customers to take new products from concept to commercialization. A123 has extensive engineering experience in developing and implementing advanced components, software, electronics, thermal management and battery management systems for innovations in battery system design. We provide complete system design and integration services and develop optimized systems that meet our customer’s performance requirements, including power, safety, life, and energy, while meeting size, weight and cost targets.
A123’s system design takes advantage of our patented Nanophosphate® cell technology which delivers high power, excellent safety, and long life. Our high-performance cells are incorporated into battery modules which serve as the building blocks for our advanced energy storage systems. Our modules and systems are built with automotive-grade components, battery management systems, and thermal management for long battery life and retained capacity.
A123 Systems’ engineering team is able to leverage its deep research and development experience and extensive knowledge across customer product platforms to rapidly design and develop new batteries and energy storage solutions that help customers quickly deliver their most innovative products to the marketplace.
A123’s proven track record of commercial field deployments enables us to understand customer requirements and challenges and build robust systems that deliver on performance expectations in the field. We also work with our customers to provide ongoing product support and services.
A123 has developed and validated an automotive-grade electronics and software set for battery management, designed to ensure the safe and reliable operation of large battery systems. The distributed system consists of a Battery Control Module, Current Sense Module, Monitor and Balance Electronics, and an Electrical Distribution Module. Features of the BMS include industry standard CAN and Diagnostic interfaces, SOC and SOH algorithms, Charge Management, and Safety Management. The BMS components can be reused use across energy and power systems to enable rapid design and development of a cost effective system. The BMS can be optimized for specific customer needs if required. A123’s BMS technology is also implemented in our other large format systems, such as our battery systems for the electric grid.
Thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to success because extreme temperatures can affect battery performance, reliability, safety and durability. A123 has the expertise in designing, developing, and validating fully integrated air- and liquid-cooled battery thermal management systems. As a technical leader, A123 has developed and validated a proprietary Matlab/Simulink based model to optimize battery life at a given drive cycle and weather conditions by studying different thermal management strategies. This tool can also provide accurate cooling and heating load for thermal management system sizing. For air-cooled system, A123 conducts Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize the air flow uniformity through battery modules, reduce the system pressure drop, and lower system noise level. CFD is also utilized in liquid cooled system to maximum flow uniformity through a cold plate, reduce coolant system pressure drop, and to increase temperature uniformity between cells in a battery pack. A123 utilizes Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to evaluate the structural rigidity and durability of the thermal management system and components under various thermal and mechanical load conditions.
A123 designs and manufactured advanced battery modules with common components and functionality that serve as the building blocks for robust systems. Our battery modules are designed to meet or exceed all automotive shock and vibration requirements, to provide high levels of abuse tolerance, and to easily scale for different pack configurations for rapid deployment into platforms and products. A123’s expertise in laser welding and ultrasonic welding enables our modules to have highly reliable electrical connections for high power applications. Our modules come equipped with battery management electronics for cell balancing, voltage, temperature and state of charge (SOC) measurement. The modules are designed for liquid and air cooling at the system level.