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VW Preparing to Test New Lithium-polymer Battery Technology

By KBB.com Editors on August 20, 2008 9:03 AM

German technology gurus from the Fraunhofer Insititute have undertaken development of a new strain of high-efficiency Lithium-polymer battery that will be evaluated by its primary automotive test partner, Volkswagen AG, starting in 2010. This three-year "Electromobility Fleet Test" pilot project was launched by Volkswagen and Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment together with seven other affiliates. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's largest organization for applied research, is using combined resources from its Silicon Technology, Integrated Circuits and Integrated Systems and Device Technology Institutes to develop the new Lithium-polymer storage module that's specifically designed to excel in automotive applications and to do so with a greater degree of environmental friendliness.

In characterizing the effort, Dr. Gerold Neumann, who coordinates the Fraunhofer activities, notes that, "This module has to be able to withstand the harsh environmental conditions it will encounter in a hybrid vehicle, and above all it must guarantee high operational reliability and a long service life." To that end, the battery/accumulator design employs a new power management system that enhances those key characteristics by integrating both mechanical and electrical components onto a single high-capacity module that's optimized for space-efficient automotive packaging.

In addition to investigating ways to maximize the system's effective power density potential, the Fraunhofer teams are exploring new ways to better control operating temperatures, register actual system performance data and meet all of the critical safety demands that are generated by a high-voltage environment. When development and configuration of the new advanced lithium-polymer energy storage module is complete sometime in mid-2010, Volkswagen AG will begin a series of field tests to evaluate the package for use in its family of passenger vehicles.