Mahle Mild Hybrid Concept Claims Regeneration Boost

Germany powertrain specialist Mahle Powertrain is claiming up to 15% fuel saving through energy regeneration from its mild hybrid concept.

Its new 48-volt system claims to offset mild hybrids’ issues with requiring a relatively high power during vehicle deceleration to replenish the electricity system. It points out that battery capacity is not the issue because recuperated energy can be deployed during the next acceleration.

In this way it says a compact and cost effective battery that is capable of high charge and discharge power levels relative to its storage capacity (high C-rates) is the best option. So Mahle decided to develop its own using LTO chemistry in the selected cells to enable continuous charge/discharge rates of 10 kW and peak rates for short periods up to 20 kW from a battery pack that has only a 0.5 kWh storage capacity.

A battery cooling system manages charge/discharge performance and battery durability. To keep the coolant isolated from the cells, the company engineers focused on the design of the busbars and electrical connections within the battery because high resistance in these components can generate extra heat and limit the power capability of the system.

Mahle says testing of the first prototype is underway to verify that the pack can meet the performance targets. Initial results indicate that all temperatures within the pack remain within an acceptable range at a continuous discharge rate. The next step will be to install the prototype pack into a 48-volt eSupercharged extreme downsizing demonstrator vehicle developed by the company.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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