Cleantron develops modular battery system for electric vehicles

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Cleantron, the independent Dutch developer of lithium-ion batteries, has developed a powerful battery system for light electric vehicles such as electric scooters and minicars.

The company's High Power Multi Pack Configuration (HP MPC) technology combines a built-in lithium-ion battery with compact, portable lithium-ion battery units and a DC/DC converter. Using this system, vehicle manufacturers will be able to generate higher capacity, with no extra charging infrastructure needed.

The patented system is described by the company as a 'revolution in the field of e-mobility' helping to accelerate the development and use of electric transportation, both of people and goods.

With growing demand for electric vehicles many countries cannot sufficiently expand their charging infrastructure in urban environments impeding the development of e-mobility with electric vehicles and LEVs (Light Electric Vehicles). Another issue is that interchangeable batteries are often heavy and difficult to handle, and they limit the vehicle’s performance.

Cleantron has responded by developing a modular technology to increase capacity (Multi-Pack Configuration, or MPC) and generate more power (High Power MPC).

The High Power MPC system is an integrated system in which one fixed high-power lithium-ion battery and one or more lightweight, portable lithium-ion batteries (for capacity) work intelligently together via a special Cleantron unidirectional DC/DC converter with no loss of performance (range and capacity).

To guarantee that the vehicle can both operate for long periods and accelerate well, the portable batteries provide as much energy (kWh) as possible while the fixed battery creates maximum capacity (W). Both the portable battery component and the fixed battery comply with the safety requirements of ECE R100 (electric vehicles) and NEN-EN 50604-1 (rechargeable lithium batteries).

Cleantron has designed the portable component so that as much energy as possible (2 to 2.5 kWh per battery) is generated by batteries that are as light and compact as possible. A vehicle compartment can contain several low voltage (less than 60V) batteries so the end user can change the safe-to touch batteries with no risk. These portable batteries have a maximum weight of 10 kg, and so are truly portable.

To achieve this low weight Cleantron limits the discharge power, so that lighter wiring and smaller connectors can be used and deterioration of the battery cells is limited. What is more, the compact dimensions of the battery compartments make changing batteries simple. The portable batteries are switched in parallel using the existing Cleantron MPC system which controls the communication between the batteries, which for safety reasons all have their own BMS (Battery Management System).

The MPC system determines which battery has to be activated on the basis of the charge status of the portable batteries, and seamlessly switches over to that battery. In principle the number of batteries that can be connected is endless: the low weight of the portable batteries makes the MPC system modular in design.

Above: Construction of the HP MPC system with a built-in lithium-ion battery, portable lithium ion battery units and a DC/DC-converter

The DC/DC converter means that the portable batteries charge up the High Power component of the system. A low, constant discharge current flows from the portable batteries to the fixed battery via the converter. Because there are no peaks there is less warming and deterioration of the fixed battery, and this battery is used to the full. Cleantron offers a choice of three types of converters (48/48 V, 48/100 V and 48/400 V) for different power trains.

Cleantron is able to supply a low or high voltage battery to match the power train in question and performance requirements. There is also a choice of batteries with different chemical compositions in line with their use, especially LFP and LTO (low voltage) and NMC and NCA (high voltage). The fixed battery has a choice of capacities between 1 and 60 kWh. Cleantron can configure the optimum battery component on the basis of these options, taking account of costs, performance and lifespan.

The High Power MPC system offers vehicle manufacturers the possibility of combining portable batteries and a fixed battery in optimal application-specific ways. The system is particularly suitable for micro-mobility (two wheeled vehicles such as electric motorcycles and scooters, and minicars), urban distribution (last mile cargo delivery), multi-person transport (taxis and minibuses) and maritime applications.