A marriage of turbomachinery R&D and battery technology
Burlington, MA, April 29, 2021 – SoftInWay is taking to the skies yet again! This time, the SoftInWay team was awarded a Phase 1 STTR contract from the US Air Force to extend its AxSTREAM® platform for use in battery pack technology for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. This project has the potential to revolutionize the market, enabling both commercial and governmental organizations to size, price, and select a power source such as a battery, and then analyze its performance and behavior in a complete system such as an eVTOL aircraft.
SoftInWay’s engineers have been using their experience with AxSTREAM alongside partners at Argonne National Laboratory who developed their BatPaC battery manufacturing cost estimation solver. Together, these integrated programs will provide a solution for battery sizing and propulsion system integration in future eVTOLs used by the US Air Force.
When asked about the project, Clément Joly, lead project engineer for this SoftInWay venture said, “We’re proud to be part of this initiative, where two well-known tools are being integrated to solve this challenge of battery selection and system performance in electric and hybrid VTOL aircraft. As we continue to make efforts as a society to reduce our carbon footprint, it is critical that the alternative technologies be feasible and well made. The propulsion system, whether that is a fan or propeller, must be designed to operate optimally in tandem with the proper battery system for any expected and unexpected mission requirements. This partnership with Argonne is a great start for giving engineers the tools required to create digital twins of eVTOL propulsion systems.”
“We’re happy to customize and extend the application of BatPaC for this use in electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles,” said Shabbir Ahmed, a chemical engineer at Argonne who is responsible for the continuing development of BatPaC, a one-of-a-kind spreadsheet tool used for the design and cost estimation of lithium-ion battery packs. “Our tool captures the interplay between the design and cost of these batteries for transportation applications.”
BatPaC was funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Vehicle Technology Office (VTO). Last year, the tool was recognized as a finalist for an R&D 100 Award, widely known as the Oscar of Innovation.
Joly said this initiative would greatly reduce time spent on propulsion system development. It will allow eVTOL and powertrain manufacturers to bring their product to market faster as well as evaluate what propulsion system makes the most sense for the application. At a time where the focus is being shifted towards lessened dependence on fossil-fuel technology, and increased implementation of battery-electric technology, SoftInWay’s engineering team will continue supporting carbon-neutral initiatives.
About SoftInWay, Inc.
SoftInWay, Inc. is a global R&D engineering company specializing in the development of efficient turbomachinery components and systems by offering its integrated and automated software platform, AxSTREAM ® for all steps of the turbomachinery design, redesign, analysis, and optimization process (including complete 3D design, thermodynamic cycles, rotor dynamics, and secondary flow and cooling system simulation). SoftInWay also offers a number of engineering services and educational courses, available both online and in a classroom-style setting.
SoftInWay is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016 certified and committed to providing our customers with products and services that meet international quality standards.
SoftInWay supports more than 450 companies worldwide and works closely with universities, research laboratories, and government organizations. You can find more information at www.softinway.com