McMaster’s HESS Energy Solution to Power Year Two

Hess picThe McMaster EcoCAR 3 Engineering team will be utilizing a vehicle architecture which will feature a Hybrid Energy Storage System (HESS). A HESS couples the benefits of both Lithium-ion batteries and ultra-capacitors by pairing these two energy sources together.

Lithium-ion batteries are energy dense and therefore allow the vehicle to have a longer electric-only driving range. While their increased range represents a significant benefit, Lithium-ion batteries typically do not have the power density to provide or accept large bursts of power. Ultra-capacitors (UC) have the power density to sustain the dynamic profile of a vehicle yet they do not have the energy density to propel the vehicle for a sufficiently large electric-only range.

A HESS system represents the best of both worlds. The battery provides most of the constant power while, the power dense ultra-capacitor bank supplies the dynamic power profile. As a result, a HESS topology will ensure that the battery does not get overstressed and that it is kept in good health. The McMaster team believes that the HESS would be most suited to the electric powertrain of a performance vehicle like the Chevrolet Camaro. The performance genes of the vehicle will demand large bursts of power to be received or supplied by the energy storage system, thus matching the HESS’s characteristics.