The design of the battery system for electric vehicles is always a calculation with several variables – range, weight, costs and space requirements must be balanced so that the customer has the optimal user experience. This consideration is even more radical than for an electric car for an electrically powered skateboard, precisely because the space, weight and cost of the battery pack are extremely limited. The engineering service provider HABO Engineering from Bernau am Chiemsee developed a corresponding optimization algorithm for battery storage using the generative engineering software ELISE.
HABO Engineering unites a team of engineers from the fields of polymer technology, automotive engineering and industrial engineering to form a high-performance and highly creative “think tank”. The company is active in automotive pre-development and racing and develops on behalf of well-known vehicle manufacturers. The service provider specializes in the field of connected engineering.
HABO works with a wide range of software tools, including CAD systems such as Catia and Inventor, FEM and CFD simulation software. A new tool in this toolbox is ELISE. This software makes it possible to solve almost any optimization task using algorithms that are packaged in modules and can be linked together very easily. The highlight here is the linking of the modules, which makes it possible, for example, to exchange the geometry input – i.e. the geometry to be optimized – and retain the rest of the optimization process. ELISE thereby emulates the way DNA works, which does not contain fixed “blueprints” of a plant or animal, but algorithms that can be used to generate solutions for given environmental conditions.
ELISE uses functional blocks, called components, with input and output interfaces. Input and output flow in and out of these blocks from other blocks. In ELISE, these blocks are represented pictorially and the user connects inputs and outputs of different components with “cables” that transport the values and data. This allows an optimization sequence to be defined, which can then be applied to different geometries. ELISE can also incorporate software packages such as simulation solvers from well-known manufacturers, as well as algorithms for 3D printing optimization, cost calculation or sustainability.
HABO Engineering found an interesting application for testing how this technical DNA is suitable for designing electric vehicles: One of the employees develops, builds and sells electrically powered skateboards or longboards in his spare time. For these, the lowest possible weight is important for handling, while at the same time a reasonable range should be achieved and the cost of the battery pack should not grow immeasurably. And finally, the battery pack must fit under the deck, i.e. the plate between the axles on which the rider stands.
Pierre Menard, who developed the optimization in ELISE, explains: “The aim here is to achieve the range desired by the customer depending on the weight of the driver – and at the lowest possible weight and cost. In addition to rider weight and range, the geometry of the longboard and its battery compartment are fed into the optimization DNA. The available battery cell types are stored in a database with dimensions, weight, electrical properties and price. This information is taken into account in the optimization.”
ELISE then calculates not only the optimal number of a particular battery type, but also its optimal arrangement in the battery compartment. In doing so, it may be better to use more cells that are lighter and less expensive than a few heavy and expensive ones.
Menard concludes, “The goal was to show how we can solve complex geometric problems with optimizations in ELISE. This allows us to speed up and automate the development of other vehicles equipped with batteries. Thanks to ELISE’s easy-to-use interface, optimization workflows can be defined quickly and easily and adapted to new problems as needed.”
Interested in seeing the battery pack configurator applied to your e-mobility tasks?