Albatross aims to improve ultra-fast charging capabilities for electric vehicles

As we transition to clean energy, and the UK Government implements its strategy to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the demand for electric vehicles and the associated technology and infrastructure will increase.

There are still significant barriers to overcome, including limited range and battery life and poor access to charging infrastructure with fast charging capabilities.

The Powertrain Research Centre at the University of Nottingham Energy Institute is internationally renowned for close collaboration with the automotive industry. Led by Professor Alasdair Cairns, the centre is now a key player in a pan-European consortium .  


The new Horizon 2020 ‘ALBATROSS’ (Advanced Lightweight Battery Systems Optimised for Fast Charging, Safety and Second Life) four-year project was established in January 2021, and has received £8.5m in funding from the EU H2020 programme with £800k funding for the University of Nottingham.

The ultimate aim of ‘ALBATROSS’ is to see a 20% battery pack weight reduction and 25% charging time reduction in a medium sized battery powered electric vehicle that is currently in production.

There are several different work packages that have been identified as vital to the success of the project, and the team from the University of Nottingham will be working to upgrade the vehicle thermal management system.  A novel two-phase dielectric cooling system will be introduced within a re-optimised battery pack. An improved cooling system will facilitate regular ultra-fast charging conditions without a detrimental effect on battery pack life.

Alasdair Cairns commented, “The work at Nottingham is mainly focused upon range extension and ultra-fast charging capabilities of 300kW+ through novel partial immersion cooling. The specific tasks will involve fundamental benchtop thermal experiments such as two-phase boiling, battery pack testing, vehicle cooling circuit integration and in-vehicle demonstrations. This work will provide a vital contribution to the overall success of this multi-layered, highly collaborative project.”

As a bonus, a new demonstrator vehicle will be developed and retained at the University of Nottingham for future collaborative projects.

Contact Alasdair Cairns to find out more.


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