April 26, 2011 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) will launch a new cooperative research project focusing on safe, reliable, cost-effective energy storage systems for electric and hybrid-electric vehicle applications.
The Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety (EssEs) consortium is intended to help vehicle manufacturers and battery suppliers develop precompetitive, detailed cell-level test data on electrochemical storage systems and perform research to advance testing methodologies to evaluate batteries. The four-year consortium, renewable annually, is designed to provide transparency in the automotive battery market to advance global development of energy storage systems. The initial EssEs meeting will be held May 24, 2011, at Southwest Research Institute.
"The information gathered through this consortium will be critical to the future of hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, both in the United States and in the global market place," said Dr. Bapiraju Surampudi, a principal engineer in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division who leads the newly formed consortium. Test data produced by the consortium will free up resources of original equipment manufacturers, allowing them to concentrate on product development rather than performing battery cell assessments.
"With today's rapidly advancing battery technology, the challenge for manufacturers is how to assess what is on the market and make an informed decision about the appropriate battery chemistry, power and life cycle for specific electric or hybrid vehicle applications," added Karl Kreder, an engineer in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division.
Membership fees will fund assessment testing of eight battery types for life and abuse testing and 16 cell types for characterization testing.
SwRI has a long history of managing consortia, ranging from clean diesel and high-efficiency gasoline engines to solving engine pre-ignition problems.