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A New Battery/Ultra-Capacitor Hybrid Energy Storage System for Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric

Jian Cao and Ali Emadi
Electric Power and Power Electronics Center Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL 60616, USA E-mail:; URL:
Abstract—In this paper, a new battery/ultra-capacitor hybrid energy storage system (HESS) is proposed for electric drive vehicles including electric, hybrid electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Compared to the conventional HESS design, which requires a larger DC/DC converter to interface between the ultra-capacitor and the battery/DC link, the new design uses a much smaller DC/DC converter to maintain the voltage of the ultra-capacitor at a value higher than the battery voltage. In addition, the battery directly provides power when the ultracapacitor voltage drops below the battery voltage. Therefore, a relatively constant load profile is created for the battery. In addition, the battery is not used to directly harvest energy from the regenerative braking; thus, the battery is isolated from random charges, which will increase the life of the battery. The proposed topology has the possibility of utilizing the system configuration for fast charging via the ultra-capacitor. Keywords—Battery; control; DC/DC converters; electric vehicles; energy storage; hybrid electric vehicles; plug-in vehicles; power electronics; propulsion systems; ultra-capacitor.

Balancing of the cells in a battery system is another problem that needs to be solved concerning the life of the battery because, without the balancing system, the individual cell voltages will drift apart over time. The capacity of the total pack will decrease more quickly during operation which might result in the failure of the entire battery system. This condition is especially severe when the battery has a long string of cells or the battery is used to do frequent high rate charges and discharges [6], [7]. To solve the problems listed above, hybrid energy storage systems (HESS) have been proposed by many researchers [10][19]. The basic idea of an HESS is to combine ultra-capacitors (UC) and batteries to achieve a better overall performance. This is because compared to batteries, ultra-capacitors have a high power density but low energy density. In conventional HESS designs, the battery pack is directly connected to the DC link while a half bridge converter is placed between the UC bank and the DC link. However, in order to utilize the power density advantage of the UC, the half bridge converter must match the power level of the UC. In most cases, the half bridge converter is the bottleneck of the system. Although this design solves the problem of the peak power demands, the battery still suffers from shorter life cycle. To solve all these problems mentioned above, a new HESS is proposed in this paper. The details of the new HESS will be explained in detail in the following sections of this paper. This paper is organized as follows; Section II is a general introduction to HESS; Section III presents design considerations of HESS. Section IV discusses the topology and operating modes of the new HESS; Section V is focused on the control strategy of the HESS; a case study of the new HESS is presented in Section VI and then this is followed by the conclusion which is in Section VII. II. HYBRID ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS Batteries and ultra-capacitors are electrochemical devices. However, the working principles are different which make their characteristics highly different [3], [4]. Table I is a list of characteristics of the state-of-the-art batteries. Table II shows

I. INTRODUCTION Energy storage systems (ESS) have been a major research area in electric, hybrid electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs, HEVs, and PHEVs) for a long time [1]-[9]. Of all the energy storage devices, battery is one of the most widely used. However, using battery as the sole energy storage system has several disadvantages [1]-[4]. In order to approach the performance of a conventional car, the energy storage system of a hybrid or electric vehicle shall have an equivalent or similar power capability as a gasoline engine. Unfortunately, most available batteries have relative low power density. Although there are high power density batteries available, the price is much higher; also with the increased power density, the thermal management of the battery will be a challenge. The life of the battery is another major area of concern. In advanced automotive applications, because the load profile varies rapidly according to the road conditions and the driver’s behavior, the energy storage system suffers from random charges (regenerative barking) and discharges (acceleration command), which have a negative effect on the life of the battery [6], [7].

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3 Chemistry Energy Density (Wh/Kg) 30-40 55-80 80-170 130/200 80-115 Power Density (kW/kg) 0.2 Li-Ion 3. Figure 4 shows the diagram of the multiple converter topology. another bi-directional DC/DC converter was added between the UC bank and the DC link. Battery/Ultra-Capacitor Configuration By switching the position of the battery and UC in the UC/battery configuration. the voltage of the battery can be maintained lower. the bi-directional converter needs to be of a larger size in order to handle the power of the UC. Furthermore. This forms a cascaded converter topology as shown in Figure 3.000. The voltage of both the battery and the UC can be maintained lower than the DC link voltage. B. In this section.4-1. In addition.7 Li-Iron Phosphate 3. the life of the UC is over one million cycles which is thousands of times of that of the batteries. C. Ultra-capacitor/battery configuration. The battery is connected directly to the DC link. Figure 1. The disadvantages are that the energy by regenerative barking cannot be effectively controlled to be absorbed by the UC only. The disadvantage of this method is that two converters are needed. Battery/ultra-capacitor configuration diagram. Cascaded configuration.200 Up to 1. Multiple converter configuration. As we can see from the tables. The topologies of HESS have been studied over the past years.000 Figure 3. The UC is connected to the DC link directly working as a low pass filter.5/2. A.2/3.3-3. By using a bi-directional DC/DC converter to interface the UC. Ultra-Capacitor/Battery Configuration The ultra-capacitor/battery configuration [12] is the most studied and researched HESS. batteries have a relatively high energy density of 30-200 Wh/Kg varying by their chemistry but low power density whereas ultracapacitors have a much lower energy density. In this configuration.8-2 1-2. a review of the most widely used HESS topologies is given. [13] as shown in Figure 2.5 Cycle life (Times) Up to 800 Up to 1. The control strategy applied to this topology allows the DC link voltage to fluctuate in a range so that the UC can work in a wider range. TABLE I CHARACTERISTICS OF BATTERIES Nominal Voltage (Volt) Lead Acid 2 Ni-Mh 1. The characteristics of the two allow the combination of them to achieve a much better overall performance. The outputs of the two converters are the same as the DC link voltage.000 Up to 2.000 Up to1.7 Energy Density (Wh/Kg) 2-10 Power Density (kW/kg) 4-10 Cycle life (Times) Over 1. but significantly higher power density. The voltage of the UC can vary in a wide range so the capacitor is fully used.000 [10]. Cascaded Configuration Figure 2.18 0.8 1. the multiple converter method [15] parallels the output of the two converters. the DC link voltage can be maintained relatively constant. To make a better working range of the UC of the battery/UC configuration. On the other hand. TABLE II CHARACTERISTICS OF UC Chemistry UC Nominal Voltage (Volt) 2. as a result.that of ultra-capacitors. we get the battery/UC configuration Figure 4.2 0. D. 942 . Figure 1 shows the diagram of a conventional HESS.6 Li-Polymer 3. the nominal voltage of the UC bank can be lower. the voltage of UC can be used in a wide range. Multiple Converter Configuration Instead of the cascaded connection of the two converters.

[6]. IV. a higher voltage ultra-capacitor bank is always directly connected to the DC bus so as to provide peak power demands where as a lower voltage battery is connected to the DC bus via a power diode or a controlled switch. Multiple Input Converter Configuration As we discussed in the previous sub section. due to the unique load profile. the DC/DC converter should be 100 kW capacity. A bi-directional DC/DC converter is connected between the battery and the ultra-capacitor to convey the energy. UC is easier to be balanced. the vehicle should still be able to operate normally with a reduced performance. The battery is connected through a DC/DC converter to the DC Link. In this case. A. [7]. D. If connected to the DC link where as the UC is connected through a DC/DC bi-directional converter to the DC link. for example. if the UC is connected through a DC/DC converter to the DC bus. the energy storage system suffers from random charges and discharges. The UC bank is connected to the DC link directly working like a low pass filter. Four basic design considerations which should be kept in mind when developing battery/UC HESS are listed here. the energy storage system must be able to provide the peak command needs. C. the voltage of VUC < VBatt = VDC . THE PROPOSED HESS In this design. assume the efficiency is 90%. The peak heat dissipation will reach 10 kW which is a great challenge [10]. The DC/DC converter is normally controlled to maintain the voltage of the ultra-capacitor higher than that of the battery. Voltage Strategy of the Two Energy Sources The topology of the HESS is highly depended on the voltage strategy [4]. random discharges are caused by the command from the driver. VUC . the working range of the UC is very small. the diode is reversed biased. In driving conditions which require acceleration. B. a practical problem that needs to be considered is the thermal management of the DC/DC converter [9]. the battery life will decrease. If Batt = UC = DC . so another design goal of an HESS is to use the UC to provide the peak power needs. Therefore. The advantage of this voltage strategy is the possibility of using a full range of the UC where as a lower voltage UC bank is needed. Figure 5. not like a laptop which draws a relatively constant current from the battery. The selection of the voltage strategy is highly related to the practical application and the properties of the battery and UC used. when designing the topology of the HESS. battery and UC are connected to the DC link via a power electronics converter(s). With this topology. Usually a higher energy storage device voltage means the higher potential to have cell imbalances. Over discharge current is also bad for the life of the battery.E. Multiple input converter topologies are proposed in order to reduce the cost of the entire system. However. For example. For a 100 kW DC/DC converter. in order to fully utilize the high power density of the UC. that means the battery and the UC are directly paralleled and connected to the DC link. That means. If high power DC/DC converter is introduced. however. The most significant advantage of this topology is that no DC/DC converter is needed. [8]. if the HESS fails. The system diagram of the multiple input converter method is shown in Figure 5. most of them are mainly concern about the specific topology they use. In addition. different from the conventional designs. especially Lithium-ion batteries [3]. the voltage of the battery can be maintained lower so that less balancing problems exist. If this surge current is not regulated and injected directly to a battery. the power of the DC/DC converter should match that of the UC. In the following discussion. HESS DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Many design considerations have been addressed by researchers. the cost of multiple converter configuration is high because it requires two bi-directional converters to interface both the battery and UC. as the interface of a 100 kW UC bank. The solution is to use the UC to absorb the surge current. VBatt and battery pack. If Batt < UC = DC then the battery and the UC have switched their position compared to the previous topology. From cell balancing point of view. Multiple input converter configuration. and the voltage of DC link respectively. Power Electronics Size and Cost The power of the power electronic converter is important concerning the cost of the HESS. III. then both the 943 . the system should still be able to work. in most cases. In designing of the HESS. If VDC are referred as the voltage of UC bank. the DC/DC converter power should be equivalent or similar to that of the UC in order to use the full performance of the UC. A 100 kW DC/DC converter is expensive. There are still no standard rules about how to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of such systems. Protection of the Battery from Over Current In automotive propulsion applications. A random charge is a current surge caused by unpredictable regenerative braking. if one of the energy storage devices fails or there are some problems with the power electronic device. Reliability of the HESS Reliability of the HESS means. that means the battery pack is directly V V V V V V VBatt ≠ VUC ≠ VDC .

the DC/DC converter is controlled to provide power as well. therefore. In fact. regenerative braking mode. Figure 7 shows the energy flow of the low-power mode of operation of the HESS. the system demands more power and the 944 . D. this mode provides a controlled charging for the battery. the operating mode is high-power mode (Mode II). a portion of the regenerative braking power or the ultra-capacitor power will charge the battery through the bi-directional DC/DC converter. Such controlled charging extends the life of the battery. high-power mode. the ultra-capacitor could have a higher voltage than the battery. Figure 6. If the vehicle operation demands a higher power than the power capacity of the DC/DC converter. shown in Figure 11. Figure 8 shows the energy flow in the high-power mode. there could be two phases. Figure 9 shows the energy flow of the regenerative braking in phase I. Mode IV: Acceleration At the beginning of the acceleration mode. since the DC/DC converter has enough power to provide the required power of the vehicle. The operation of the HESS can be separated into four modes of operation: low-power mode. In this mode. If the power demand is equal to or less than the power capacity of the DC/DC converter. Figure 9. C. the main power diode is reversely biased. the DC bus voltage is also maintained at that higher voltage. As a result. Regenerative braking phase II energy flow. Therefore. In the low-power mode.also providing energy directly to the DC link bus through the diode or controlled switch. The battery is Figure 10. Mode II: High-Power Mode In the high-power mode. Proposed HESS design. In this mode. In phase I. In this mode. The DC link bus voltage is the same as the ultra-capacitor. and acceleration mode. the operating mode is low-power mode (Mode I). the main power diode will be forward biased. Since the ultra-capacitor voltage is higher than that of the battery. High-power mode energy flow. In this phase. Figure 7. the DC/DC converter could work in buck mode to transfer the power to the battery. Mode III: Regenerative Braking In the regenerative braking mode. the voltage of the ultra-capacitor can be maintained higher than the voltage of the battery. Mode I: Low-Power Mode Cruising operation of the vehicle is divided to two modes according the required power and if the DC/DC converter can handle the power demand alone. The four operating modes are discussed below in detail. Regenerative braking phase I energy flow. Figure 10 shows the energy flow path of the regenerative braking in phase II. Low-power mode energy flow. the voltage of the ultra-capacitor can no longer be maintained. The regenerative braking mode is further composed of two operating phases depending on the use of the DC/DC converter to convey excess energy into the battery. Therefore. The battery is not providing the power to the DC link bus through the DC/DC converter. the required power is higher than the power capacity of the DC/DC converter. A. B. The DC/DC converter provides power to the system as well. Figure 8. there is no energy flow through the diode. the regenerative energy will be injected into the ultracapacitor.

HESS control flow chart. Track Power Demands Regenerative Braking Mode Phase I: Converter No Operation Engine Engine Power Generator Generator Power Drive Motor Drive Motor Power Motor Controller Battery Car Weight Check if the UC voltage higher than Battery Voltage N If UC Voltage Close to Upper Limit? Y Regenerative Braking Mode Phase II: Converter Buck Operation In our simulations. the vechile works in parallel mode. This is an example as a case study and is based on the power handeling capability of the DC/DC converter. By connecting in series three of them. ACE I series-parallel hybrid power train topology. the internal combustion engine (ICE) is connected to the wheels through an electromagnetic clutch.000 rpm Navitas TSE600-96 Lithium Polymer 77. 50A peak 6. in the acceleration run. CONTROL STRATEGY OF THE PROPOSED HESS An example of the control strategy for the proposed HESS is presented by the flow chart shown in Figure 12. The simulation results show that the ultra-capacitor is able to power the car for the first 4 seconds. the cars will accelerate from a standing start over a distance of 75 meters (82 yards) on a flat surface.ultra-capacitor voltage drops. A simple simulation was carried out. the HESS will switch to Mode II—high-power mode.5 kW boost converter. The BMOD0165 P048 ultra-capacitor module is rated at 48V 165F. The specifications of the car are shown in Table III. As we can see from the diagram. Figure 13 shows the powertrain structure of the ACE 1. Figure 13. For the battery pack. The intelligent control on the vehicle will determine the shifting between the two modes.000 RPM PM DC by Perm-Motor (PMG-132) 10kW Max Series wound by D&D (ES-15A-6) 10Hp continuous. Figure 11. the voltage of the battery is 88V. When the clutch is connected. we get an ultra-capacitor bank of 144V 55F. 22 Ah 800 lbs without driver N Braking Pedal or Acceleration Pedal is Pressed Y Brake Check Acceleration Pedal Position and DC bus voltage Acc. PROOF-OF-THE-CONCEPT A case study of the proposed HESS design has been carried out. with an average current of 500 A. 250 cc gasoline engine 34 Hp @ 11. we assume that. 945 . The DC/DC converter is assumed to be a 130V. three BMOD0165 P048 ultra-capacitor modules from Maxwell Technologies are added to the vehicle to form the HESS. The first 4 seconds of the acceleration will be powered only by the ultra-capacitors before the battery pack kicks in. Figure 12. the vehicle works in series mode. shaft coupled through electronic controlled clutch Yamaha. If power demand higher than converter capacity The design goal of the vehicle is to be able to finish the electric acceleration in less than 5 seconds. In the acceleration event. Figure 14 shows the voltage and current curve of the battery and ultra-capacitor during one acceleration run.7 V. which aproximately equals to 100% stage-of-charge (SOC). VI. V. If the DC link bus voltage decreases to the battery voltage.7V. the voltage of the ultra-capacitor is maintained by the DC/DC converter at a maximum of 130V. Assume we apply the new HESS to the Formula Hybrid Racing car “Armor College of Engineering #1” (ACE 1). 40 Hp peak @ 4. TABLE III SPECIFICATIONS OF THE FORMULA HYBRID RACING CAR ACE1 Drivetrain Structure Parallel/series shiftable system. The ACE 1 is a series-parallel hybrid racing car. Acceleration mode energy flow. High Constant Speed Mode: Converter No Operation Acceleration Mode: Converter Full Power Boost Operation Low Constant Speed Mode: Converter Boost Operation. when the clutch is disengaged. since the nominal voltage is 77. In order to ensure safety.

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