Qnovo Battery Intelligence Platform Ushers In A New Approach To Cost For Improved Efficiency & Security


The aptly named Qnovo desires to assist the world get extra worth from present lithium-ion battery expertise. In its identify, Q is derived from the image in physics that represents electrical cost, and novo is a remix of the phrase nouveau, that means new. Subsequently, in full, Qnovo stands for “a brand new means of charging.”

Qnovo’s worth proposition is anchored on offering intelligence via software program that will get essentially the most out of present battery expertise in addition to reaching new ranges of battery security, regardless of the battery chemistry. Qnovo holds over 50 patents within the area. The corporate  is headquartered in Milpitas, California, and is already working with a few of the world’s prime automotive OEMs.

By means of over 13 years of deep analysis into battery supplies, silicon chips, and software program, Qnovo realized that there was a have to put extra intelligence in battery administration programs to get higher efficiency. The corporate began off by designing its personal silicon chips. Early merchandise centered on a mix of {hardware} and software program options because the crew felt they wanted to regulate the {hardware} aspect of issues as effectively. Qnovo’s founders had realized very early on that battery administration programs can be one of many vital items for mobility going ahead and there can be a necessity for top efficiency and secure batteries.

To get issues going, Qnovo first focused the cellphone business, as on the time, the electrical car market of the trendy period was not but totally developed, with solely the Tesla Roadster and some different automobiles simply arriving in the marketplace. Cellphones, alternatively, had been a rising market after the introduction of the iPhone. The cellphone market was already an present massive addressable market which introduced Qnovo with an unimaginable alternative to additional develop, collectively take a look at, and launch its new merchandise with cellphone producers and cellphone service suppliers/carriers. The cellphone business additionally provided Qnovo an business with a quick turnaround time. It was subsequently the right platform to develop and commercialize its product whereas ready for the electrical mobility business to mature.

Qnovo’s software program was piloted in a number of main telephones after which commercially rolled out to over 150 million cell phones globally from 2016 up to now. The corporate launched its subsequent product with its Japanese companion NTT DOCOMO. NTT DOCOMO has simply launched a brand new cellphone in Japan that has a 4-year battery life powered by Qnovo’s software program. This prolonged battery life signifies that telephones will final for much longer, resulting in a extra sustainable ecosystem within the cell phone business the place individuals gained’t have to abandon their telephones too early.

It was through the firm’s work with cellphone producers that they noticed that many producers weren’t too eager on including additional {hardware} of their merchandise. It was additionally a kind of eureka second for the Qnovo crew as they realized they might probably obtain their objectives utilizing solely software program. Nobody else was doing this at the moment, and subsequently the crew took up the problem to give you their very own product.

CEO and Co-Founder Nadim Maluf says, “Software program is the packaging and supply mechanism for the intelligence and capabilities which are underpinned by complicated chemical fashions making use of the power to measure the state of your battery in actual time.” The true deal is in understanding the battery supplies and their conduct, particularly how batteries age, after which making use of that in fashions that drive the software program. In truth, actually understanding how a battery works and monitoring the growing old course of is Qnovo’s distinctive worth proposition and core competency, and Nadim says his crew is on the forefront of this work.

Beneath what circumstances batteries age naturally, how accelerated growing old happens, and understanding the foundation causes of growing old are the true pillars of Qnovo’s merchandise and the important thing driver of its fashions.

Because the begin of the software-only product, Qnovo’s crew of battery specialists has been led by Dania Ghantous, Co-Founder and VP of Know-how. Dania is a seasoned battery specialist who has beforehand been voted within the prime 100 ladies of affect in Silicon Valley. By means of numerous experimental strategies and assessments, her crew’s deep dive into growing old allowed them to get distinctive insights into find out how to optimize battery efficiency. It led to realization that it wasn’t all in regards to the supplies science and the chemistry; there was a necessity so as to add a layer of intelligence based mostly on the understanding of the supplies and the chemistry to get higher efficiency and longevity from battery administration programs.

A whole lot of growing old and degradation occurs throughout charging, but the usual means of charging doesn’t issue within the battery’s present state of well being. A brand new solution to cost needed to think about battery well being and degradation — Qnovo zones in on this utilizing its proprietary platform to allow adaptive charging.

Qnovo’s software program repeatedly screens the battery and is most energetic throughout charging periods, adapting the cost based mostly on the present and predictive state of the battery. Qnovo makes real-time measurements utilizing electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) that present a novel perception into the growing old and different degradation processes going down contained in the battery. The measurements then should be in contrast with fashions to then assess if what it’s being measured now’s the way it’s imagined to be or if it’s indicating that one thing else requires a correction. For instance, if the software program is seeing sooner than anticipated indicators of growing old, it then strikes to optimize charging to lengthen battery well being (adaptive charging). This occurs each time the battery is plugged in. Qnovo’s software program additionally goes via each cell each time you plug in, gathering information of all of the cells and their state of well being, making strategies for the charging profiles accordingly. So, they get distinctive information of batteries from all the information they are going to be always gathering.

Dania says, “Our crew understands how batteries degrade throughout charging, and so we requested ourselves how we might enhance charging and decelerate and mitigate a few of the reactions going down throughout charging? The primary degradation in batteries is because of the stable electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer consuming a few of Li stock in a battery over time. That’s regular growing old, which is able to occur in any battery over time, however then there are additionally reactions that end in lithium metallic plating that are detrimental as they eat Li stock and could be a security threat. Lithium plating can occur in case you are quick charging incorrectly, if there’s a defect within the battery, whereas charging in very chilly climate or when operating a excessive present within the battery. Normal charging strategies don’t see these transformations over time, and they’ll simply cost the identical means.”

All through the event course of, they got here to the understanding that charging algorithms should be adaptive as a result of the battery adjustments quite a bit and subsequently they’ll’t be static. There was no normal gear out there wherever to do all these research. Qnovo needed to design its personal take a look at infrastructure from scratch to check its charging algorithms. This gear was customized by Fred Berkowitz, Co-Founder and Qnovo’s VP of Product Engineering, and his crew.

Fred’s crew takes all the output from Dania’s crew and packages it into the fashions driving the software program that’s going to fulfill the standards of their prospects. Collectively, they construct them into library features that prospects can then select which of them they need. Fred says they’ve a distributed modular configurable structure which makes it appropriate for numerous purposes reminiscent of in shopper units, industrial instruments, development gear, 2-wheelers to 18-wheelers, residential power storage, and grid-scale storage.

As a part of its battery testing regime, Qnovo goes via a collection of processes to know the fabric properties. They seize all of the outputs from these assessments and enter them right into a collection of fashions that then feed into “the principle mannequin” driving their software program. These fashions take a look at issues like Li plating, temperature results, quick charging conduct, and the kinetics of the cell. These then get constructed right into a charging algorithm. Due to the adaptiveness of the algorithm, Qnovo can then mitigate towards the consequences of the aspect reactions going down. This then permits for enabling increased Depth of Discharge (DOD), sooner charging, and so forth., inside an prolonged band of parameters from the customary boundaries present batteries are confined. Qnovo additionally says that its software program is especially helpful in excessive power density battery chemistry. The extra energy-dense the battery, the extra Lithium ions are stacked in the identical quantity — that is the place managing the site visitors of ions turns into vital. Nadim calls this a case the place “Qnovo shines as a site visitors supervisor.”

Qnovo has raised over $40M in funding by main buyers together with BorgWarner, OGCI Local weather Investments, Constellation Know-how Ventures, U.S. Enterprise Companions, and RockPort Capital. So, after rolling out its product in over 150 million cell phones, Qnovo now works with the world’s prime automotive OEMs. Certainly one of its important merchandise for the auto business is SpectralX, a software-only resolution that works as a layer on prime of a producer’s present battery administration system (BMS) with a minimal footprint. In line with the crew, SpectralX makes use of predictive analytics to enhance battery efficiency, EV vary by as much as 10%, and security in all sorts of electrical automobiles with any sort of lithium-ion battery. Qnovo says the addition of Qnovo’s Battery Genome© helps to automate the cell choice course of, saving time in qualification to facilitate deployment of SpectralX in a matter of weeks on a car.

Qnovo’s SpectralX Well being and Security goes past evaluation capabilities to predictively determine cells which may be vulnerable to failure and advocate the speed of cost adjustment to mitigate the issues earlier than they flip into security hazards. It runs as a software program layer over SpectralX Charging, combining adaptive charging and mitigation to ship ultrafast charging with out compromising security, efficiency, or cycle life.

Qnovo SpectralX Providers arms OEMs and electrical car fleet managers with on-vehicle and cloud-based purposes. OEMs can theoretically see all their automobiles and which of them to recall if essential, slightly than problem a blanket recall, saving time and cash. For fleets, the software program optimizes fleet operations, performs security monitoring to determine faulty batteries, tasks the remaining helpful lifetime of a battery to higher plan lifecycle administration, and predicts the state of the battery over time to assist optimize routes and cargo planning in actual time.

Final month Qnovo introduced at CES that it has signed a strategic partnership with Vanderhall Motor Works, a US producer of sunshine mobility automobiles. Vanderhall will make the most of Qnovo’s new innovation for electrified mobility, SpectralX, in its electrical automobiles beginning in 2023.

Qnovo licenses its software program to OEMs within the auto and cell phone business. When it begins working with a companion, Qnovo shortly finds out which battery the companion plans to make use of or in the event that they need assistance deciding on a battery. Qnovo then recommends the suitable battery for his or her purposes. With a long time of collective expertise, the crew has in-depth information of batteries produced by all main battery producers. This permits the crew to customise the software program to work with that battery, which takes on common two to 3 weeks. The connection doesn’t finish there. Qnovo then has over-the-air (OTA) updates for enhancements over the lifetime of the cellphone or car. It additionally affords a monitoring and diagnostics service the place they monitor battery well being repeatedly.

Qnovo’s cloud resolution can optimize fleet operators’ routes by way of always monitoring state of battery state of cost and state of well being. Visibility on a cell degree in actual time. This real-time cell degree view is vital for OEMs and fleet operators. Meaning OEMs can see all their automobiles on roads and may see which of them to recall if essential, as an alternative slightly than simply problem a blanket recall, saving time and cash.

Qnovo’s options even have utility within the round economic system and for the insurance coverage business. Battery intelligence and adaptive charging is vital for second life batteries (batteries repurposed for secondary makes use of after their preliminary lifecycle). Within the foreseeable future, hundreds of thousands of EV batteries will probably have a second life, and every of these batteries will should be examined to find out if they are often repurposed. Qnovo’s software program automates this course of, exhibiting which cells in a battery could have points — the present guide methodology of testing will not be scalable. It can additionally assist the insurance coverage business. This historic view in addition to the present state of well being of the battery may also help help in predictions of how way more life that battery has. Insurance coverage corporations might additionally now monetize this and supply prolonged warranties.

Photos courtesy of Qnovo



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