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Williams Advanced Engineering to debut off-highway electrification solutions at Bauma

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), now wholly owned by Fortescue Metals Group, will be showcasing a wide range of cutting-edge electrification solutions, all of which will support acceleration of the off-highway sector in its journey to decarbonisation, at next week’s Bauma 2022 event in Munich, Germany.

WAE will be using the event to show its leading advanced battery and energy storage technology, which have been specifically developed for the rugged use cases of mining and other off-highway applications.

Following its acquisition by Fortescue at the start of this year, WAE, already a leader in high performance battery technology developed originally for global motorsport and road car programs, is becoming a leading supplier to the off-highway sector, using its expertise to support Fortescue in its transition to a global green renewables and resources company through the decarbonisation of its worldwide vehicle fleet, it said.

Additionally, WAE is working on a world first, zero emission ‘Infinity Train’; a regenerating battery-electric iron ore train project using gravitational energy to recharge its battery-electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.

In June 2022, Fortescue announced a partnership with Liebherr, who will be developing and supplying green mining haul trucks (using the T264) in which zero emission power system technologies – developed by Williams Advanced Engineering – will be integrated.

WAE’s technology line-up at Bauma 2022 will include the following off-highway specific innovations:

Off-Highway Battery Module

Featuring a scalable, modular design delivering sub-30 minute pack charge times for maximum performance, WAE’s Off-Highway Battery Module boasts laser-welded cell-to-busbar technology for in service reliability, the company says. It also has a robust alloy frame, which improves durability and extends life in service, as well as optimised cell packaging for maximum energy density.

Battery Management Unit

Unlocking battery performance through best-in-class software architecture, WAE’s Battery Management Unit is designed for pack architectures of less than 800 V. Its advanced state detection algorithms allow for more efficient energy usage, while the unit also reduces equipment down-time by enabling maximised fast charge rates.

Cell Management Unit

Enabling real-time telematics to maximise cell performance, WAE’s Cell Management Unit allows high precision cell voltage and temperature monitoring. Its innovative flexi interconnects enables enhanced durability, while the system’s design also allows manufacturing complexity to be reduced for high volume applications.

DC-DC Converter

With a ruggedised design developed for deployment in off-highway vehicle applications, WAE’s DC-DC Converter is a 600kW 1.5kV – 1kV stepdown converter for high power loads. Its Silicon Carbide technology delivers exceptional efficiency of 98.5%, while full power operation takes place at ambient temperature of 50°C.

Vehicle Control Module

This powerful processing platform unlocks vehicle performance advantages, featuring a versatile vehicle system controller. Specifically designed for decarbonised powertrains it has a flexible heterogenous MPSoC processor.

Graham Belgum, General Manager for Green Fleet, WAE, said: “High performance battery and electrification systems are at the core of what we do. Over the last two decades WAE has garnered unparalleled experience in the development of cutting-edge technology which, increasingly is being applied to the off-highway sector. Now that we are part of the Fortescue family, WAE is central to battery power systems and products capability, supporting the business as it transitions to a clean, green fleet. Our technology has the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of any off-highway vehicle – and we are delighted to be debuting these at Bauma 2022.”