The WMG Outreach Team had a busy summer term concluding with the Experience Warwick Year 10 Summer School, which ran from 3-6 July and was supported by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
The programme was created and led by Phil Jemmett and saw a total of 42 students, aged 14 and 15 years, work on mini-engineering projects in small teams. They were supported by University of Warwick student ambassadors, research staff and Graduate Trainee Engineers from WMG.
Professor Margaret Low, Widening Participation Officer for WMG explained: “The projects were designed to introduce the youngsters to key engineering skills and to help them to recognise the importance of resilience and team work.
The Summer School, organised by Warwick Outreach and Widening Participation Team, gave the students a true insight into life at university: they got to stay in University of Warwick halls of residence, attend academic sessions and experience the social and sport facilities on campus.
Based on the success of the project, next summer it will be expanded into a full work experience programme in July 2020.
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As part of a Circular Economy for electric vehicle battery systems, as the number of such vehicles increases rapidly, the need to find the best way to reuse and recycle vehicle batteries becomes just as intense.
In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Future Transport Systems and Videre Global, researchers at WMG, University of Warwick, have found a way not just to recycle those used batteries, but repurpose them as small energy storage systems (ESS) for off grid locations in developing countries or isolated communities.
The repurposed units, each containing approximately 2kWh of energy capacity, will be able to power a small shop, a farm holding, or multiple residential homes.
WMG’s Professor James Marco who was lead researcher on the project said:
“When an electric vehicle’s battery reaches the end of its useful life it is by no means massively depleted. It has simply reached the end of its useful life in a vehicle.
"It is generally accepted that an EV battery has reached end of life when its capacity drops to 80% of a fresh battery. While this is no longer enough to satisfy drivers, it remains immensely useful for anyone who seeks to use the battery in a static situation.”
While such partially depleted batteries remain potentially very useful to other users there are still challenges to overcome, particularly to ensure that they can be used reliably, sustainably, and cheaply in remote locations. These challenges include:
· How to protect the lithium-ion cells from over-charge and discharge
· Can the ESS be made compatible with a variety of other used battery cells and modules from other manufacturers
· How to keep it low cost and easy maintenance, while providing an interface that is easy to use and understand
The WMG team, at the University of Warwick, set about overcoming these challenges with the help of the WMG HVM Catapult and Jaguar Land Rover who supplied batteries and components from the Jaguar I-PACE, their first all-electric performance SUV. The team designed a new Battery Management System (BMS) and packaging that allowed them to create a working and easily portable prototype ESS which included:
• The use of standard low cost components for control, communication and safety functions. All parts were either sourced from the JLR service department or were low cost components purchased from any electrical retailer.
• The ability to use different modules that could be interchanged within the 2nd-life system without having to recalibrate the whole BMS
• Enough energy for a small shop, farm holding or multiple residential homes
• Multiple 12V DC sockets and 5V USB charge ports
• The ability to have the 2nd –life module charged via reclaimed laptop chargers
• Simplified control system for easy integration and deployment
Professor James Marco continues:
“This is a great result that not only provides a highly efficient repurposing solution for automotive batteries but which could also change lives in remote communities. We are now looking for support to allow these new units to be further developed and tested in remote or off grid locations.”
The research project was part of the Innovate UK funded Project: 2nd hEVen (2nd-Life Energy Storage Systems) and is supported by the WMG High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.
WMG is pleased to announce that its Battery School is now officially supported by the Faraday Institution.
In its role as the Electrical Energy Storage APC Spoke, WMG’s battery experts together with guest lecturers facilitate a mix of presentations and practical hands-on lab sessions covering electrochemistry, applications, future technologies, manufacturing, safety, testing, forensics and battery end of life.
The new collaborative Battery School was officially opened by Neil Morris, CEO of the Faraday Institution, with the first session held for 25 PhD students and future battery engineers, in June.
The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, supporting research, training, and analysis. It brings together scientists and industry partners on research projects to reduce battery cost, weight, and volume; to improve performance and reliability; and to develop whole-life strategies from mining to recycling to second use.
The Battery School is situated at WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre – the largest facility of its kind in the UK. Find out more about the Energy Innovation Centre here.
The event brought together CEOs, CTOs and senior executives from UK leaders in the sector, speakers included Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, GiffGaff, WMG, You.Smart.Thing and FiveAI, to discuss how ACES technologies will radically change the way we travel.
There is a global call to both reduce emissions and also to ease congestion and increase the simplicity, safety and speed at which passengers are able to get from point A to B. There is no doubt that the future of transport will be ACES.
The UK has always been at the forefront of transport innovation and manufacturing, and needs to continue to bring manufacturers and governing bodies together to push forward the ACES transport agenda and ensure the UK remains competitive in a global market.
WMG, NatWest and Lombard will be releasing thought leadership pieces from expert industry leaders, sharing the challenges and opportunities for the UK transport sector.
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Archie MacPherson, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult at WMG is part of the expert panel at the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC)’s State of Small Business Britain Conference 2019, taking place at The Shard in London today.
Archie joins automotive experts as well as representatives of the FSB and officials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Industrial Strategy, to discuss how to strengthen key sectors of the economy.
He explains: “Support is needed now, more than ever, from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to ensure that UK businesses maintain competitiveness during this period of uncertainty in UK Manufacturing.”
The ERC’s State of Small Business Britain report, which was launched at the Conference, presents a new analysis of the fortunes of the manufacturing and services sectors since the Great Recession of a decade ago.
The report provides a broader snapshot of the health of UK manufacturers in light of recent announcements about factory closures and job losses by the carmakers Ford at Bridgend and Honda at Swindon which the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has estimated could lead to the loss of 60,000 jobs directly and in supply chains. In May, British Steel collapsed into administration after a last-ditch appeal to the Government, putting a further 25,000 jobs at risk.
Following the Conference, Archie will be making his way back to WMG for “The Future will be Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES)” networking dinner bringing together global leaders in the transport and communications sector. Guests will discuss the opportunities and challenges that ACES technology can bring.
About High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult at WMG
WMG is one of the founding members of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), and the lead centre for Vehicle Electrification and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) within the HVMC network. The centre is also active in showing how Digital Manufacturing technologies can help improve company and supply chain competitiveness.
As part of the £640m Government funding package for HVM Catapult, WMG was allocated £100m in 2018 to continue strengthening UK industry through collaborative R&D, innovation and technology transfer from automotive into other transport sectors over the next five years.
About the Enterprise Research Centre
ERC is the UK’s leading independent research institute on the drivers behind the growth and productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the British Business Bank (BBB).
ERC is producing the new knowledge around SMEs that will allow us to create a business-friendly environment nationwide, grounded in hard evidence. We want to understand what makes entrepreneurs and firms thrive so we can spread the lessons from best practice and make the UK a more successful economy.
The Centre is led by Professors Stephen Roper of Warwick Business School and Mark Hart of Aston University, Birmingham. Our senior researchers are world-class academics from both Aston and Warwick Universities as well as from our partner institutions which include Imperial College, Queens University Belfast and the University of Strathclyde.
The event showcases leading figures from motorsport, automotive and beyond to discuss current and future technology development, and explores the many opportunities for business growth and success.
At the conference, our Professor Dave Greenwood joined other experts for a lively panel discussion entitled 'What's in it for me? Electric Power in Motorsport and Automotive'.
In the evening, the MIA held its prestigious Business Excellence Awards. WMG sponsored the ‘Export Achievement Award,’ with AP Racing crowned much-deserved winners. The AP Racing team were presented with their award by the CEO of our WMG centre HVM Catapult, Archie MacPherson.
You can read more about MIA events here.
The research will develop world-leading cost effective, scalable carbon fibre composite solutions, with the view to boosting the performance of electric vehicles. The CO2 benefit of the project between 2023-2032, will be 4.5 million tonnes.
WMG will receive £4m, of the £18.7m government funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), to drive the development of innovative lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures, building on the UK’s leading-edge capability in this area.
Project Tucana will allow the true environmental credentials of electric vehicles to be realised by enabling wider adoption. Tucana will deliver this step-change by addressing structural performance at a design, material and volume manufacturing-level which is currently unmet across the industry.
£100 million new funding for WMG’s work in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult – will help create the technologies of tomorrow
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the RT Hon Philip Hammond MP has announced today (Friday 10th August 2018) that WMG, at the University of Warwick, has been awarded £100m in Government funding for WMG’s work in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
It forms part of a £780 million announcement of which £270.9 million has been awarded to the West Midlands (to WMG and MTC for their work in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and the Energy Systems Catapult in Birmingham).
Tipton-based darkroom specialists Paterson Photographic Ltd have added daylight to darkness in their leading studio and theatre lighting equipment, thanks to LED technology support from WMG at the University of Warwick.
Having developed a global reputation for the quality of their darkroom equipment, they wanted to add to their product offering and re-enter the studio lighting market with a comprehensive range of Continuous Lighting units manufactured in their own UK factory.
Creating a studio lighting range that used LEDs with a colour temperature of 6000K (daylight) rather than the most common methods using fluorescent lighting would provide Paterson Photographic with a technological leap in their products.
The SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) support team at WMG at the University of Warwick provided technical and research support allowing the company to launch the first batch of LED-based daylight products with bespoke coloured filters at the 2018 Photography Show at Birmingham’s NEC. The new products are expected to generate sales in six figures for Paterson over the next year.
Plans for a very light rail service in Coventry moved a step closer today, as researchers from WMG, at the University of Warwick, unveiled early vehicle concept designs to representatives from Coventry City Council.
The project, funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and West Midlands Combined Authority Devolution Deal (which is subject to approval of the business case), is set to better connect the City. This will use a state-of-the-art rail system which will be cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than anything currently available.
Councillors Jim O’Boyle and David Welsh will meet with Dr Nick Mallinson, Dr Darren Hughes and Dr James Winnett from WMG, at the University of Warwick, to showcase the latest plans which have been developed through an initial feasibility study.