Cranfield University has been awarded one of the new Industry Fellowships from the Faraday Institution, aimed at strengthening ties between battery researchers working in industry and academia.

Dr Abbas Fotouhi, Lecturer in Advanced Vehicle Engineering, will work with Delta Motorsport to explore potential applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and develop new temperature prediction techniques that improve the performance of battery thermal management systems. 

The project will see Cranfield researchers working at Delta Motorsport’s facility at Silverstone Circuit, and could lead to a reduction in the cost of producing electric vehicles.

Dr Fotouhi, of Cranfield’s Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre, said: “A well-designed battery management system can not only protect a battery from damage, but can also improve its performance and prolong its life. The advantage of AI techniques is that they can learn from experience and minimise the computational engineering effort needed to make efficient and accurate systems work with real-world application and the uncertainties that involves.

“It is an honour to have been successful in securing this Fellowship funding from the Faraday Institution and close collaboration with Delta will ensure that the technique is industrially relevant from the outset.”

The main goal of the research is to produce a hybrid modelling framework with minimum complexity to investigate the effects of temperature and improve prediction accuracy on battery capacity fade and performance. 

The project will run until May 2021 and involve desk-based design and simulation work along with experimental tests using lithium-ion cell batteries to collect data at Cranfield and Delta Motorsport. 

Ian Ellerington, Head of Technology Transfer at the Faraday Institution, said: “This is the Faraday Institution’s latest initiative to deliver application-inspired battery research as part of our mission to accelerate breakthroughs in energy storage technologies. The programme joins our Entrepreneurial Fellowships, Industry Sprints and our main research projects, all targeted at achieving industry-defined goals.”

Six Industry Fellowships totalling £270,000 have been awarded in this first round of the programme. The Fellowships are aimed at enabling academics and industrialists to undertake mutually beneficial electrochemical energy storage research projects that solve critical industrial problems with the potential for near- and longer-term benefit to the wider UK battery industry.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.